MadREP Report: May 3, 2018
Waupun Groundbreaking
Three Madison Region Schools Awarded Fab Lab Grants

In a statewide tour on Tuesday, May 1, Governor Scott Walker, WEDC Secretary Mark Hogan, UW System President Ray Cross and other key leaders awarded 22 grants totaling more than $500,000 during "Fab Lab Day." 

Fabrication Laboratories are high-tech workshops equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers, and plasma cutters. Through its Fab Lab Grant Program, WEDC is supporting the purchase of Fab Lab equipment for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior, or high school students.

MadREP actively supports school districts in our region with their grant applications for this program. Individual districts are eligible for up to $25,000, and consortiums of two or more districts are eligible for up to $50,000. The program requires matching funds from each district. Since the program's inception, 43 grants totaling $1.6 million have been awarded in the state with five going to schools in the Madison Region. This year, our region's awardees are:
  • Beaver Dam, Dodge County - $25,000
  • Waunakee, Dane County - $16,300
  • Waupun - Dodge and Fond du Lac counties - $25,000
They join Stoughton, who received an award last year. Waunakee is also a previous Fab Lab Grant recipient. 

School districts in the region interested in assistance applying for Fab Lab grants should contact Craig Kettleson at MadREP for support. Applications are typically released in the fall and due by the end of the year.


View more information and register online at .
All rates include full Summit & Luncheon.  Sponsorship and group rate benefits  are also available.


Special thanks to our co-presenting sponsors: 

Rebuilding Efforts:  
Didion rebuild to produce 'state-of-the-art' milling operation in 2019 
Didion Milling's rebuild remains on track for early 2019 completion, company leaders say.  Almost a year after an explosion devastated the corn grinding operation and resulted in the deaths of five employees, Didion Vice President Dale Drachenberg reported significant progress in new construction despite the long winter season.  "Overall, it's going really well," he said. "There are certain weeks where the weather has been challenging, but the teams involved in construction have been really flexible, getting the job done and keeping us on schedule."

Economic Development:   
Local Wisconsin Main Street organizations recognized at annual awards ceremony

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2017 at the 27th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony held Friday at Ripon College. Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, and other WEDC leaders were on hand to
recognize the efforts by Main Street volunteers and staff for the historic preservation and downtown economic development efforts of communities in Wisconsin. 

New Partnerships: 
American Airlines new uniform project now officially on fast track
American Airlines management issued a status report today on the massive project to replace all Twin Hill uniforms that were issued to some 70,000 employees in September of 2016. Lands' End was tapped to produce new uniforms for flight attendants and airport customer service and premium customer service agents. Murphy and Hartelius was named the new vendor for pilots' uniforms.
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Workforce Development:
Blackhawk Technical College: Janesville middle and high school students learn about careers in STEM
More than 150 girls from Marshall, Franklin and Edison Middle Schools, Parker and Craig High Schools, and Rock River, Rock University TAGOS Leadership Academy and Arise Virtual magnet schools attended Women in STEM, an event held in partnership between Blackhawk Technical College and the Janesville School District. It was held at BTC's central campus on Monday, April 23. 

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Real Estate Development: 
StartingBlock Madison Names New Tenants Ahead of June Opening
Startup companies developing products that range from a saliva-based fertility test to a smartphone app that lets you securely send photos to your doctor are getting set to bid farewell to their current office buildings and move into a new hub for entrepreneurs in Madison, WI. On Monday, StartingBlock Madison, a 50,000-square-foot center for startups, investors, and other innovators that plans to open its doors in June, shared the names of organizations it has signed as tenants


New Partnerships:  
UniverCity Year program announces partnership with Green County
UW-Madison's UniverCity Year program announced it will work with Green County for the 2018-19 school year.  The program is aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life in communities throughout Wisconsin. Students studying city planning will will have the chance to work with local community leaders on special projects, giving them the opportunity to apply classroom solutions to real-world problems.
Business Relocation:
Northside Auto relocates to Watertown's South Church Street

Northside Auto has relocated to 1718 S. Church St., Watertown, as of Monday. The owner of the business, John Mason, shown, said it has been located on Watertown's far north side since its inception 18 years ago. Hours for the business, which has two ASE certified master technicians, will now be Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 920-206-9434.

Food & Beverage:
McDonald's reimagines customer experience, renovates Portage, Baraboo and Reedsburg restaurants

For decades, McDonald's customers have been accustomed to approaching a wide counter at the front of the restaurant and addressing a cashier standing beneath an array of display boards to place an order. No more.  Following months of construction, the Portage McDonald's has undergone a makeover that is more than cosmetic. On Wednesday, an employee was hunkered down, helping a toddler wipe his hands in an expansive open area where a counter had once separated employees from customers.
Madison Nonprofit Day Conference Call for Proposals, May 5

The "Call for Proposals" has been extended. You now have an additional week to submit your pre-conference and conference workshops, panels, flash session ideas. New and experienced presenters are welcome. 

The Madison Nonprofit Day Conference is looking for dynamic, knowledgeable, and engaging individuals to present- that could be you. So submit one or more ideas.
SMALL BIZ: Free Consultations with the UW Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, May 8

Have a new business, or are you dreaming about starting one?  Stop in for a personal consultation with the UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic and learn how to set up your business for success from a legal perspective. 

Each consultation will last about 10-15 minutes, so bring your questions!

Workers Available Presentation, May 23

Think there are no workers in the Dodge/Jefferson county laborshed area? 

Think Again!

Attend a special event where the results from the recently completed Labor Availability Analysis will be revealed.

Dodge County event from 9:30-11 a.m.
Jefferson County event from 1:30-3 p.m.
Madworks Applications for Summer 2018 Open, June 1

Madworks is accepting applications for our Summer 2018 Cohort which will run from June 4th - August 6th in Madison. If you, or someone you know, is looking to take their business to the next level (and could use a little capital to boot!) please apply! Since 2014, Madworks has offered early-stage startups a 10-week program, comprising tailored mentorship on commercializing the entrepreneur's product and/or service and building governance acumen.

Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp, June 11 - June 15

The Morgridge Entrepreneurial Bootcamp (MEB) is a one-week intensive training program in technology entrepreneurship for graduate students in the sciences, engineering, and math. 

MEB is co-sponsored by the Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship (INSITE) and the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship.
Design Thinking for Business Innovation, June 20

You don't need to be a designer to think like one. 

The design thinking principles can be applied to any situation to create successful business strategies. 

This workshop introduces and elaborates on the tools and practice modes of Design Thinking and the theory behind it with an emphasis on business innovation and the desired outcomes for the customer.

Thank you to UnityPoint Health - Meriter and to all of our investors.

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