MadREP Report: August 23, 2018
The ridesharing pilot has improved SCC's ability to recruit workers.
MadREP Supports Ground-Breaking Rural Transportation Initiative

Transportation across long distances is a common challenge in most rural counties in the US. The issue acutely impacts the agriculture, food processing and light manufacturing industries that depend on lower-skilled workers, many of whom lack access to a vehicle or do not have a driver's license. The challenge cuts both ways: without transportation, employers have difficulty filling job vacancies and endure high rates of absenteeism while residents who want to work lose the opportunity to earn additional income. Supported by MadREP and led by Paul Scharfman, President of Specialty Cheese Company (SCC) in Reeseville, a public/private consortium in Dodge County is now tackling this challenge head-on.

"Paul and I first connected on this issue nearly two years ago," said Gene Dalhoff, MadREP V.P. of Talent & Education. "He was looking for ways to fill open positions at his company and was convinced there were individuals in Dodge County who would be available for work if they had a reliable means of transportation. Others were added to the discussion, and soon there was a Dodge county- based team exploring options and solutions."

The consortium came to include a number of employers, nonprofits, government agencies and economic development partners. The initiative resulting from their work has become known as the Getting-To-Work program.

With support from a $100,000 Easter Seals Grant received in 2017, the Getting-To-Work team is in the middle of two major projects. First, they are running a county-wide survey to objectively assess and prioritize barriers that prevent willing residents from entering the workforce. With evidence, the team expects to justify expanded investment to solve the transportation challenge. Second, with Specialty Cheese Company (SCC) serving as the pioneer, the team is running an employer subsidized ridesharing pilot to test and refine operational concepts. Within the pilot, more than 40 workers on all 3 shifts and 5 contracted drivers participate in round-trip ridesharing runs along two high-demand routes.

According to Scharfman, the pilot has improved SCC's ability to recruit workers, virtually eliminated absenteeism, and noticeably increased employee morale and retention. Said Scharfman, "I've been convinced for a long time that lack of transportation in Dodge County has negatively impacted the grow rate of my business. Now I've seen the positive impact on residents when we remove barriers and draw more people into the workforce. I am absolutely delighted by the results."

WGA welcomed fellow game developers to their Forward Fest Social at StartingBlock Madison
Forward Fest Reflections

Here at MadREP, we get excited when it's time for Forward Fest. The Forward Festival is Madison's flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival, which has grown tremendously since starting in 2010. This year we are especially proud to have taken part in the Badger Startup Summit and the Wisconsin Games Alliance (WGA) Meetup.

This year, MadREP continued serving as the supporting host organization for the annual Badger Startup Summit, an event connecting Wisconsin entrepreneurs. "Badger Summit has evolved over the last six years from strictly ICT-focused startups to the crossover technologies," said MadREP Senior Vice President of Economic Development, Michael Gay. "These are ICT sub-sectors that cross into manufacturing, including machine learning for health system data management, cell phone microchips that turn your phone into an ultrasound machine, and leveraging cloud-based technology to share radiology images across the globe via mobile devices." In addition to networking, the event's 140 attendees enjoyed Gregg Fergus' keynote speech, Democratizing Healthcare with Innovative Hardware, AI and the Virtuous Circle. Fergus, a UW-Madison grad, negotiated the sale of Ion Torrent to Life Technologies for $725 million before joining 4Catalyzer, a Guilford, Connecticut-based startup accelerator.

Later that evening, WGA welcomed MadREP staff and fellow game developers to an evening of networking and good times at the WGA Forward Fest Social at StartingBlock Madison. Attendees enjoyed beer and spirits from Good City Brewing and Domeloz Honey Spirit while learning about the upcoming M+DEV conference, an annual Midwest games event. Taking place October 19 at Alliant Energy Center, attendees will enjoy speakers and panel discussions on topics such as "How to Show Your Game to Strangers," "Empathy and Gender Diversity in Games" and "Selling Your Studio." Tickets are available for purchase at WGA hosts social events like this one quarterly to further solidify the Madison and Wisconsin game development community. All WGA members are welcome to attend these casual social events to connect and make friends with area game developers and industry professionals.

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What's next for the MadREP and the Madison Region?

In 2013, the Madison Region's existing regional economic development organization underwent rebranding, becoming MadREP, the Madison Region Economic Partnership. Having seen notable implementation successes with the first strategy, MadREP is embarking on a second five-year plan,  Advance Now  2.0, to continue the Madison Region's economic momentum. Market Street Services is currently executing the competitive assessment portion of the strategy. .

We believe that every person is an expert about the place in which they live. We want to hear your perspectives on what it's like to live and work in the Madison Region. MadREP has launched a survey that will be a major component informing the recommendations in Advance Now 2.0. It will take roughly 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Your responses are confidential.

Take the Survey

Madison in the News:   
43 Wisconsin companies on Inc. 5000 list

There are 43 Wisconsin companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list...with Madison-based SwanLeap taking the top spot at $99 million in 2017 revenue and 75,661 percent three-year growth.
For the state, that's fewer companies listed than last year, when 54 Wisconsin firms made the list. But, the highest ranking company from the state in 2017 was No. 55. This year, two Wisconsin companies are in the top 10.


UW Hospitals recognized by U.S. News and World Report
UW Hospitals in Madison was the highest-ranked Wisconsin hospital for nine categories in a new U.S. News and World Report listing.
Other Wisconsin hospitals given a nod were Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, and Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Using data from around 5,000 medical centers and surveys from over 30,000 doctors, report authors rank hospitals in 16 areas like cancer, rehabilitation, surgery and more. In some categories, the top 50 are ranked, while only the top 12 or 13 are ranked in others.

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Life Sciences:
University Research Park Breaks Ground on Corporate Headquarters Building for Exact Sciences
A rapidly-growing company focused on early cancer detection will soon have a permanent home and room to grow at University Research Park (URP) in Madison, Wis.
Executives from Exact Sciences and URP broke ground on a new, 138,000 square-foot building, named Innovation One, located between 441 Charmany Drive and 501 Charmany Drive.

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Agriculture, Food & Beverage
McDonald's and its franchisees to invest $166 million in Wisconsin restaurants
Fast food restaurant chain McDonald's USA LLC announced...that the company and its franchisees will invest about $166 million in 2018 and 2019 to modernize 215 McDonald's restaurants in Wisconsin.
In total, McDonald's and franchisees will invest $6 billion to modernize most of its restaurants in the U.S. by 2020.
Several southeastern Wisconsin McDonald's locations have already been rebuilt in recent years.


Information Technology:  
Epic Systems Corp. holds 'un-users group meeting'
For the first time, Epic Systems Corp. is holding a conference for health care organizations that are not among its subscribers.
The idea of the un-Users Group Meeting is to give a "crash course" to employees of non-Epic hospitals and clinics on how they can more easily exchange patient records with Epic-based providers, according to the program's online agenda.
Advanced Manufacturing:
New analysis finds more 'clean energy' jobs in Wisconsin than previously reported

A report on the "clean energy" industry in the Midwest has found there are 75,044 clean energy jobs in Wisconsin, marking a drastic change from previous counts.
Last year, the Clean Jobs Midwest report from the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs asserted that Wisconsin had about 26,000 jobs in the clean energy industry - broadly defined as jobs having to do with energy efficiency, renewable energy production, alternative vehicles like hybrid or electric cars, and electrical grid modernization.


On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the US Trade Representative (USTR) published a proposed extensive list of products imported from China that could be subject to additional 10% tariffs.

The public hearing will take place August 20-23, 2018.

Rebuttal comments will be due on August 30, 2018.
New Markets Tax Credits

Lift Wisconsin, Inc. was established with a mission to invest in severely economically distressed areas of Wisconsin communities and to serve as a catalyst for economic development and job creation. 

In order to compete for New Markets Tax Credits we are soliciting projects to include in our application with the U.S. Department of Treasury.

This pipeline pre-application gives us the potential to compete for NMTC but does not ensure that Lift Wisconsin, Inc. will get an allocation of NMTC.

The Alliance for the American Dream Challenge, August 29

The Alliance for the American Dream initiative, funded by Schmidt Futures, seeks to improve economic opportunities for more Americans and increase the country's competitiveness by building and supporting a stronger, more inclusive middle class.
The first challenge for DreamUp Wisconsin is to develop proposals to increase the net income of 10,000 Dane County households by 10% by the end of 2020.
Webinar: Improved Efficiency in Food Processing Through Continuous Improvement, September 5
In this free WMEP webinar, Peg Dorn and Jerry Thiltgen will explore and discuss best practices for reducing waste for food processors.  

They will discuss "DOWNTIME" - Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-value added practices, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Employees) and how proactively addressing each of these factors positively and quantifiably impacts your business.

HACCP Certification, September 19
An intensive one-day course to achieve HACCP competency.
Companies need to develop and maintain a robust food safety system to conform with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and regulatory standards.

Our Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) training course  provides the tools you need to build a successful food safety system.
Learn More

2018 AgTech Venture Day, October 2
The day-long event in Johnson Creek - roughly halfway between Madison and Milwaukee - will bring together companies in fields such as precision farming, food packaging, food safety, organics, resource conservation and other disruptive technologies for pitches to Midwest angel and venture capitalists.
Hosted by Golden Angels Investors, the conference provides access to one of the Midwest's largest angel networks.  
M+DEV is a video game development conference for professional game developers and those seeking to become professional game developers.
This conference provides a gathering place for game developers in the state, the region and beyond to discuss and share the latest information on the science, art, mechanics and business of making games.
M+DEV is for anyone who is currently a professional video game developer or contractor, or who wishes to become one.
Discover Global Markets: Indo-Pacific, December 10-12

Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce's flagship event series for U.S. exporters! Attendees will include CEOs/presidents, sales & marketing professionals, business development managers, engineers, procurement representatives, supply chain operations. Target industries include: aircraft, engines, MROs, aviation services, avionics, aerospace composites, airport ground support equipment, cyber defense, additive manufacturing, unmanned systems, surveillance & detection and more.
Medical Japan 2019, February 20-22

WEDC, in partnership with REED Expos & the US Commercial Service with funding from SBA will provide a package deal valued at $6,632 for a  mini booth and  interpreter for 3 days.

REED Expos will be in Wisconsin the afternoon of September 10 for 1:1 meetings or a group presentation of the show on September 11th 9:00-10:30 at WEDC's lower level conference room.  Interested companies can schedule a 1:1 meeting or come to the morning presentation, please contact Monica Wahlberg at WEDC directly at 608-210-6734 or .

Thank you to UW Health / Quartz and to all of our investors.

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