Wisconsin’s central location, proven industry know-how, transportation infrastructure and positive business climate combine to provide an ideal environment for business growth.
Goods produced in Wisconsin reach markets throughout the U.S. in a single day, thanks to the state’s reliable transportation network designed to maximize commerce. Wisconsin’s roads, railways and ports provide seamless, convenient access to the world’s busiest multimodal transportation hub located just 55 miles south of the state’s border. Eight commercial airports serve major industrial and metropolitan areas statewide. Wisconsin is also situated on the nation’s greatest waterways and ships 39 million tons of product annually from 29 commercial ports located along Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River.
Technological advancements made by Wisconsin manufacturers have kept the state at the forefront of industry trends, in both productivity and sustainability. From medical discoveries to food and water quality improvements, research performed in Wisconsin is improving lives worldwide.
Building upon a long history of innovation and leveraging well established and versatile manufacturing supply chains, Wisconsin companies are delivering new solutions to global challenges. Businesses and supporting organizations work together to ensure Wisconsin stays ahead of industry trends. Early successes achieved through coordinated industry efforts include the establishment of centers of excellence in water research and energy technology. Cooperation between the state’s extensive network of academic institutions helps spur the commercialization of new technologies in these industries as well as many others.
More than $1.1 billion in research spending takes place annually at the University of Wisconsin-Madison—the third-highest in the nation. The university places sixth nationally in terms of spending on science and engineering research. In addition, a significant amount of applied research takes place through independent and collaborative programs at Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Medical College of Wisconsin, throughout the University of Wisconsin System, and in private sector research facilities across the state, such as GE’s Global Design Center. These discoveries support innovation and continuous improvement in biosciences, animal genetics, medical devices and medicines, water technology, energy, big data modeling, rapid prototyping, advanced materials and manufacturing methods, among other areas.
Underscoring Wisconsin’s manufacturing leadership is the fact that the state has the second-highest concentration of manufacturing employment in the nation at 17 percent. With more than 450,000 manufacturing jobs in the state, Wisconsin’s manufacturing job concentration is 87 percent above the national average. And this strength continues to grow. From 2009 to 2014, manufacturing employment in Wisconsin grew by 7.4 percent. To ensure that workers in Wisconsin continue to meet the evolving needs of industry, the state has recently dedicated $150 million to workforce training.
Wisconsin’s university system, anchored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supports the researchers, companies and policy makers across the state that are working together to develop new, innovative products to fulfill market needs. Approximately 240,000 students in 51 public and private universities and colleges are preparing to make strong contributions to Wisconsin’s economy.
Wisconsin was the first state to develop a technical colleges system, giving the state more than 100 years of experience, training its workforce to fulfill ever-changing industry demands. Today, the state’s highly-rated technical college system helps ensure that its 340,000 students are ready to meet current and future job requirements.
Further proof of the benefits of operating in Wisconsin is the state’s number-two ranking in the Dun & Bradstreet/American Express Power Index survey for scaling up companies in the mid-market sector. The survey of 19 million businesses defined mid-market companies as those with annual revenue between $10 million and $1 billion. Wisconsin’s mid-market companies are creating 92 percent of the net jobs in all commercially active businesses, despite accounting for less than one percent of all companies, according to the survey.
The survey findings validate the value of Wisconsin’s Scale Up Milwaukee initiative, which aims to help entrepreneurs at all stages grow their ventures by stimulating a strong regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. Scale Up Milwaukee recently graduated its 27 company from its Scalerator program, which offers innovative training designed to teach company leaders how to maximize their growth potential. To date, the 27 companies that have gone through the program account for $65 million in cumulative revenues, 12-month growth rates ranging from 10 to 50 percent, 265 new jobs, 464 new business customers and numerous new financings.
Incentives Encourage Productivity
Recognizing the importance innovations in manufacturing play in creating a competitive advantage for the state, Wisconsin provides specific incentives to manufactures to maximize their production. Chief among them is the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit, which virtually eliminates the tax on income from manufacturing activity in Wisconsin. When fully phased in in tax year 2016, the tax credit will result in an effective corporate tax rate of just 0.4 percent on income from eligible, qualified production activities.
In a perfect world, new development projects would enjoy fast turnaround times, quick approvals and low risk. That perfect world exists in Wisconsin as a result of the Certified In Wisconsin® Program. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) worked with Deloitte Consulting to create consistent standards for industrial site certification in Wisconsin. Certification criteria were developed based on representative needs of advanced manufacturing projects. WEDC’s thorough review process produces detailed documentation about a site’s price, availability, utilities, access and environmental standing, allowing investors to make informed decisions.
A Strong Business Partner
As part of the state’s commitment to helping expand business in Wisconsin, WEDC was created to provide business-focused services and resources, partnering with a network of more than 600 regional and local entities that share that commitment. WEDC provides financial and operational assistance to help businesses locate and expand, drawing upon state and local resources and programs to simplify the relocation process. If you’re ready to take the next step to grow or relocate your business, Wisconsin is ready for you. Visit Select.InWisconsin.com for more information.
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