MadREP Report: June 28, 2017
Improving Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Practices in the Region

Building on the success of its groundbreaking Workplace Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Surveys conducted the last two years, Madison Region Economic Partnership launched its third D&I Survey in early 2017. This year's survey captures quantitative and qualitative data about workforce demographics, business D&I efforts, and community engagement while providing companies with a vehicle to self-assess strengths and opportunities relative to diversity in their workforce.

The survey was sent to a random sample of 2,464 employers (drawn from 7,818 organizations with 10 or more employees) and received 468 responses (a 30% increase over last year), yielding a conīŦdence interval of plus/minus 4.40%. Selected year-over-year survey findings include:
  • 13.4% of Supervisory Positions were held by non-White workers, compared to 9.8% in 2016.
  • 7% of Top Level Leadership positions were held by non-White workers, compared to 4.6% in 2016.
  • 22% of respondents stated they have a written diversity statement, compared to 14% from last year.
  • 16% of respondents reported having staff dedicated to diversity and inclusion efforts, compared to 10% last year.
While companies of all sizes responded, 76% have fewer than 50 employees. All eight counties in the region were represented in the results, and companies from 19 of the 20 industry sectors responded.

"While we are happy to see many results from the survey this year that more closely match the actual demographics for the region, there is still more work for us to do as a region to embrace diversity and inclusion as a means of economic development. MadREP's Leadership & Diversity workgroup is studying ways to accomplish that," said Gene Dalhoff, MadREP VP of Talent & Education.

To access the survey overview and complete report, please see

The 2017 Madison Region Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Survey is sponsored by: Madison College, Blackhawk Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, and Southwest Tech.
Supply Chain Marketplace Expands Statewide

The Supply Chain Marketplace is now statewide! The Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace is a free resource where buyers can locate suppliers by entering just a few key strokes, and suppliers can highlight their company's capabilities, explore new market opportunities and diversify.


Click here to register your company today. 

Business Expansion:
Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells with $35 million plan to expand its convention center  

Wisconsin-based Kalahari Resorts and Conventions has announced $65 million in expansion projects for two of its indoor waterpark resorts -- but there won't be more room to slide, float or swim. Instead, the investment is all about growing its convention business and meeting the demand for conventions and conferences that, in some cases, are being denied due to a lack of space. For the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells, the plan calls for the addition of 130,000 square feet of space that would more than double its convention facilities. The Wisconsin Dells area has 4-5 million visitors a year who contribute more than $1 billion to the economy. That includes 5,600 meetings and conventions a year, a number that has grown over the past 20 years with the addition of more golf courses, spas, salons, high-end restaurants and shopping opportunities, said Tifani Jones, director of sales and service for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau.
Company Profile:
FEED Kitchens finds its groove: The food business incubator eyes expansion
Now in its third year, FEED Kitchens has overcome early financial challenges and is abuzz with activity virtually all hours of the day. More than 50 small businesses are members of the incubator. The nonprofit runs a bakery training program, provides business development help and is playing a central role in cultivating new vendors for the Madison Public Market. The five commercial kitchens at FEED Kitchens are fully in use around 35 percent of the time. Use of its dry, refrigerator and freezer storage space is now at capacity. Manager Adam Haen says they are hoping to launch a capital campaign to expand the facility next year. If all goes as planned, FEED Kitchens will add a small cafe to its space to aid in its jobs training program as well as provide some extra revenue. "There is also a huge amount of community building happening here. Veteran members take new members under their wing, show them the ropes and give advice," Haen says. "A lot of hard work is just now really starting to pay off. We are excited to take things to the next level."

Business Expansion: 
Crane Foundation announces $10M expansion for Baraboo HQ
International Crane Foundation leaders recently unveiled plans for a $10 million expansion to the organization's headquarters in Baraboo. ICF Headquarters Operations Vice President Kim Smith opened the nonprofit's Evening with the Cranes event with a brief overview of plans to construct a new visitor center and expand crane exhibits over the next three years. Smith said it will be the largest expansion project ICF has undertaken to date. ICF will break ground for the new improvements in June of next year, and construction will be completed by spring of 2020. "This is the only place in the world where people can see all 15 cranes," said ICF marketing and communications director Pamela Seelman. "This is a gateway to our mission -- to save the cranes and also the environments in which they live."

Regional Economy:
Arts driving tourism in Wisconsin, report shows 
The nonprofit arts industry is pulling tourism dollars into the state, according to a recent report by Americans for the Arts. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, the organization's fifth report on the economic impact of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, gathered data nationwide from surveys of 14,439 organizations and 212,691 arts event attendees for its analysis. Its 341 study areas represent all 50 states. The report shows that in 2015, the nonprofit arts and culture sector generated an estimated $656.9 million in total economic activity in Wisconsin, supporting 26,695 jobs. This spending brought an estimated $555.5 million in household income to locals, as well as $72.5 million in government revenue. "No longer do community leaders need to feel that a choice must be made between arts funding and economic development," said Robert Lynch, president and CEO for Americans for the Arts. "Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business."

Read more.

Startup Scene:
New east side craft brewery Giant Jones to make 'big beers for everyone'

Eric Jones grew up around home brewing, helping out his dad as a little kid. Since then, he's become a homebrewer, an advanced cicerone (beer expert) and a beer judge. Soon, Jones and his wife, FairShare CSA Coalition executive director Erika Jones, will take the next giant step and open their own brewery. By December, Giant Jones Brewing Company hopes to open at 931 E. Main St. on the South Brearly Street side of the building where Old Sugar Distillery makes craft whiskey, honey liqueur and brandy. Main Street Industries, owned and operated by Common Wealth Development, currently houses food-related businesses Underground Catering and Quince and Apple. Yumbutter, which recently merged with RP's Pasta and Ona Treats, spent some of its early years there. "There's a growing scene here that's going to blossom all at once, with a great longtime anchor at Old Sugar," Eric Jones said. "Why not open a brewery? It seems like the greatest adventure in the world."
Read more.

Business Expansion:
Grainger is over 1,000 employees and is still hiring 
Grainger's Wright Road facility is larger in size and scope than most companies in Janesville, and its headcount is among the largest under one roof in Janesville -- totaling more than 1,000 employees. Of those, 650 now work in the call center, servicing customers who order some of the hundreds of thousands of industrial products Grainger supplies to customers. And the company continues to hire in Janesville. Over the last year, Grainger has consolidated call centers from 150 locations across the country to just three. Call Center Director Shawn Mulligan said Grainger's national call center consolidation has brought some employees into Janesville from far and wide, but he said Grainger's hiring demand is largely being filled by local people. "If there's a hiring strain (in Janesville), I'm not seeing it here," Mulligan said. "We're really going forward fast, and I've been very happy with the talent in Janesville. It's kept coming." 

Request for Proposals: 2018 UniverCity Year
Deadline: June 30, 2017

UniverCity Year is a year-long partnership between UW-Madison and a community in Wisconsin that identifies projects that would benefit from UW-Madison expertise.The program is now accepting proposals for the 2018 calendar year. Review the request for proposals and contact the University Alliance for more info.
Now Accepting Applications: UpStart Fall 2017 Cohort
Deadline: June 30, 5pm

It takes more than a good idea to start a successful business. Issues like accounting, financing and marketing may seem overwhelming and connecting with the right resources can be challenging. WARF's free UpStart program can help. Learn more.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Road Tour
July 18, 8am-4pm
The Park Hotel, Madison

Do not miss this opportunity to learn how to access $2.5B in early stage technology funding; meet with agency Program Managers one-on-one; network with industry experts; hear SBIR awardee panels speak on past experiences and best practices; and receive valuable training from SBIR/STTR experts. Find out more.
Global Trade Venture: South Korea and Japan
Registration deadline: July 10

WEDC will lead a global trade venture to Japan and South Korea in September 2017. Wisconsin exporters of goods and services are invited to participate in this program, which will include segments in Tokyo and Seoul. In each city, participants will be scheduled for one-on-one meetings with potential partners in the market. Register online.
Applications Open: Pressure Chamber
Deadline: July 11, 5pm

Pressure Chamber provides emerging Madison-area companies valuable exposure to investors and the region's business community. A select number of companies will be chosen to pitch in front of a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives and a live audience during Forward Fest. Learn more.
FaBcap_scaler Seminar: Scaling Your Food Business
July 19, 1-5pm
MMAC, Milwaukee

You have a food or beverage business and want to grow. What's next? By the end of this program, you should have a good sense of what it's going to take to scale your business and how to tap the resources available to you. This event is geared toward food and beverage manufacturers. Find out more.
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