A report on economic opportunity occurring in Sheboygan County and what it means for the local economy
Economic Progress Updates & COVID-19 Corner
November 16, 2020
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Kingsbury Village nearing completion.
COVID-19 Corner
Several Sheboygan County Cultural Organizations Receive COVID-19 Grants
Seehafernews.com - A total of $15 million was granted to cultural organizations throughout Wisconsin from the COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grants, and 8 organizations in Sheboygan County were a part of that.

The Plymouth Arts Foundation, Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Weill Center Foundation, Bookworm Gardens, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, Lakeshore Chorale and the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center split nearly $425,000 in aid.

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center received the largest amount, totaling about $137,000, while the Weill Center Foundation received just over $120,000.
Exciting to have eight recipient organizations from Sheboygan County.
Pine Haven to Open Dedicated Covid-19 Recovery Unit
WHBL - The personal Battle with COVID-19 is different for each patient, and for some persons that means an extended recovery period or long quarantine with skilled nursing care after discharge from the hospital.

In response, Pine Haven Christian Community has announced the opening of a dedicated COVID-19 recovery unit for up to 14 persons on their Haven Drive campus in Sheboygan Falls.  The self-contained unit will have its own staff and hospital partners including specialized MD’s.  All employees there will be wearing appropriate Personal Protection Equipment, and work will be done in a negative-pressure environment, equivalent to a hospital setting.

Pine Haven’s Medical Director, Dr. Brian DeMaster, says the move is an outgrowth of Pine Haven’s “faith-based” community approach that tells them to care for those in need, and today that would include those with COVID-19 needing post-hospital treatment.  The unit is scheduled to open on Thursday, November 12th.
Thank you for providing this needed service in Sheboygan County.
$750,000 in Emergency Response Training Grants Received by Lakeshore Technical College
Cleveland - Lakeshore Technical College has received two competitive grants totaling $750,000 to support training for students and community members involved in carrying out emergency response activities. Lakeshore received the funds through its membership in the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training.
“We are pleased to receive this funding in support of the critical safety training we provide to students in our emergency response programs and emergency responders currently working in our community,” said Lakeshore President Dr. Paul Carlsen.

A five-year award of $740,000 will be distributed through annual $148,000 payments to Lakeshore. The funding will support curriculum development, technical and administrative support, and delivery of hazardous waste worker training programs, as well as purchases including air monitoring and confined space rescue equipment. In addition, a training equipment storage trailer, which allows Lakeshore to deliver courses off campus to local businesses and organizations, will be replaced.

A $10,000 grant will fund development and delivery of training related to COVID-19. Those who will receive training include students in LTC’s criminal justice, fire, and emergency medical services programs, as well as emergency response team members in the LTC district. Funding will also go toward purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning supplies, and other materials required for training.

Important COVID-19 training for our area.
Economic Progress Update
Employers - We need your employees' input on area housing needs!
City of Sheboygan - Sheboygan has been in need of new housing for some time, according to a study completed by the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation, which has led to an increase in the development of apartments in Sheboygan – most notably downtown. As the public sees these new developments come on the market, the City has received inquiries as to the need for more affordable options. To help guide and inform the City in future housing development needs, the City of Sheboygan Department of Planning and Development has hired MSA Professional Services to complete an Affordable Housing Study. This study will determine what types of housing units, and at what cost, the City is most in need of.
The Affordable Housing Study, set to be completed by April 2021, will be composed of three core activities: data collection, stakeholder input, and the production of a final report. Stakeholder input is one of the key pieces needed for a successful housing study, and input directly from those living in the community helps verify whether the data is truly telling a complete story of the housing market. As a way to better understand the perspectives, preferences, and perceptions of area residents a community survey on housing has been developed. This survey digs deep into what types of housing people are looking for, location, price range, and condition of housing that is currently considered affordable. 
Please take a few minutes to complete the Affordable Housing Survey in order to help direct strategic actions presented in the Affordable Housing Study’s Final Report. Follow the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SheboyganHousing

Please share the above link with your employees.
Acuity: Earns Millennial Women’s Advancement, process improvement awards from ACORD
wisbusiness.com - Acuity announced that it has earned three awards from ACORD in 2020, including the ACORD Millennial Women’s Insurance Advancement Award and two ACORD Case Study Awards.

ACORD is a nonprofit organization recognized as the global standards-setting body for the insurance and related financial services industries.

The ACORD Millennial Women’s Insurance Advancement Award recognizes companies that have made impressive strides in attracting and retaining millennials within the insurance industry. A video featuring some of Acuity’s amazing millennial women is available at www.acuity.com/empower.

“Acuity focuses on creating a workplace culture that promotes growth and advancement of employees of all ages, genders, and backgrounds,” said Ben Salzmann, Acuity President and CEO. “Our workplace initiatives have had a significant impact on staff recruitment, development, and retention, including millennial women.”

The ACORD Case Study Award is presented to organizations that have demonstrated how the implementation of ACORD standards significantly improved business processes. Acuity earned two awards—one for using ACORD-based services to support real-time online integrations with independent agencies and one for utilizing ACORD standards to interface with HSB to deliver additional products to agents and customers.

Well done, Acuity.
Viking Masek begins major expansion of US headquarters, doubles production capacity
Oostburg -The $4 million project officially broke ground in early November 2020 with expected completion in July 2021.

“This business expansion is a natural progression for our company,” said Robb Leonhard, Viking Masek co-owner and Executive Vice President. “It increases our ability to better provide innovative and automated packaging lines from tote to pallet."

The building expansion will add 24,000 sq. ft. of warehouse/production space plus 9,000 sq. ft. of office areas including 36+ new workspaces. Viking Masek will also add an additional pub-themed gathering area, conference rooms, a sunny indoor commons area, and an outdoor courtyard. 

With the addition of the space, Viking Masek will be able to:

  • Double their production capacity to meet the needs of a growing client base
  • Streamline shipping and receiving areas and processes
  • Dedicate additional space and resources to R&D and full packaging line integration
  • Provide space for their growing workforce to collaborate, inspire creativity, and relax

The major campus expansion will add approximately 33,000 sq. ft. to its US headquarters in Oostburg, WI, increasing its total footprint by over 60 percent to 91,000 sq. ft. 

Great to see Viking Masek expanding in the Oostburg area.
How the 147 year-old, family-owned Kohler Company is meeting 2020 head-on
onmilwaukee.com - Learn more about the postponement of this year's Ryder Cup, explore what it's like to run a global family business and see how Kohler Co. has adapted to this strange year we call 2020.

Very interesting and informative.
Desserted, a pastry stout beer, battles bitter taste of 2020 and benefits Movember foundation
Sheboygan Press -Desserted, a turtle sundae inspired pastry stout, promises to be a sweet counterbalance to the bitter taste of 2020.

The 8.1% ABV also will help take the edge off anxiety filled days. But 3 Sheeps Brewing and Lion's Tail Brewing hope their collaboration beer makes a bigger impact beyond 2020 by raising awareness of men's health issues.

Beer sale proceeds go to Movember, a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness of prostrate and testicular cancers, as well as mental health issues affecting men.

Grant Pauly, co-owner of 3 Sheeps, said this is the brewery's first statewide beer benefiting Movember. The brewery has been involved in other fundraising efforts for the cause of men's health awareness. In 2015, the brewery crew teamed with 8th Street Ale Haus and Plymouth Brewing Co. in the Brew Men Calendar to help raise $15,000.

Great beer for a great cause.
Johnsonville Debuts New Ready-to-Eat Sandwiches
Sheboygan Falls - Johnsonville Sausage has launched two new handheld sandwiches specifically for the convenience-store market.
The sandwiches come in two varieties: Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage and Beef Hot Dog. Both are packaged in a sealed, microwavable film and feature a Johnsonville link enrobed in golden-brown bread.

The sandwiches offer a quick option for consumers seeking something more substantial for on-the-go occasions, Johnsonville said.

“Our new enrobed handheld sandwiches are a perfect option for in-store displays,” said Austin Van Treeck, product marketing manager for Johnsonville. “With quality ingredients and grab-and-go convenience, these sandwiches are ideal for busy consumers who desire a satisfying meal that can easily be enjoyed without disrupting their daily routine.”

Great on-the-go option.
American Freight just opened a store in Sheboygan near Interstate 43
Sheboygan Press - A new home furnishing store opened in Sheboygan, near where Interstate 43 crosses State 42.

American Freight is a national home retail store known for everyday low prices, according to a news release. The warehouse-style store buys directly from factories and offers furniture, mattresses and appliances.

“By keeping our overhead low, we can offer everyday low prices on home furnishings while delivering exceptional customer service," said American Freight Chief Stores Officer Michael Gray.

This is its first store in Sheboygan County, but there are four in Milwaukee County.

Welcome to the Sheboygan area.
Energy Innovation Grant Program
Wisconsin - The Energy Innovation Grant Program covers a wide variety of energy related projects that reduce energy consumption and support renewable energy and energy storage, energy efficiency and demand response, electric and renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicles and infrastructure, or comprehensive energy planning.​

2020 Energy Innovation Grant - Now Open!
Applications are due at 12:00pm CDT on January 22, 2021!​ See the Application Instructions below ​for details on how to apply using our Electronic Records Filing System!
Attend our webinar on this grant program on Thursday November 19th at 9:30 am​Registration is required, use this Registration Link.​

Another beneficial grant program. You are encouraged to apply.
Upcoming Events

The Surge Pitch | Sheboygan County Business Pitch Contest
Date: Nov. 18, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Virtual
More Info: Register to Pitch
Great Business COVID-19 Links

Sheboygan County EDC Vetted Resource Page

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Topics: Interim guidance for employers, disinfection recommendations

WEDC Strategies for Small Business
Topics: Small business strategies, funding and technical resources

Small Business Administration
Topics: general guidance and financial assistance
More Info: sba.gov/coronavirus

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Topics: Workplace recommendations, response planning, recovery planning & more...

SCEDC team contact information: 

Brian Doudna, Executive Director
C: 920-946-9378

Mary Motiska, Special Project Assistant
C: 920-980-0177

Ray York, Entrepreneurial Development Specialist
C: 920-946-9379

Nick O'Brien, Director of Innovation & Engagement
The Surge Innovation Programming
C: 920-452-2350

Salaseini (Sala) Sander, Coordinator
Wisconsin Internet of Things Council (WIoT)
C: 630-200-0786