Wisconsin Fast Forward Addresses Need for Skilled Workers

July 29th, 2014 - By admin

The Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) program created worker training grants and other investments to prepare workers for jobs available today and in the years to come. The worker training grants deliver flexible, demand-driven training to companies that identify a specific workforce need. Companies can partner with other firms as well as workforce development boards, economic development organizations, technical colleges, and others. Recent grant recipients in Northern Wisconsin include:

  • College of Menominee Nation (Health Care), $208,750 and (Construction), $29,917
  • Veriha Trucking, Inc., $227,473
  • North Central Workforce Development Board, $191,935
  • Pro Products, Inc., $21,987
  • Superior Council of the Arts, $15,400

Learn More

Recent WWF Blueprint for Prosperity grants are supporting dual-enrollment opportunities for high school seniors. Grant recipients in northern Wisconsin included Northcentral Technical College ($149,641) and Oneida County Economic Development Corporation ($132,385). Learn More

Department of Transportation MAPSS Performance Improvement Program Tracks Results

July 29th, 2014 - By admin

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s MAPSS Performance Improvement Program focuses on five core goal areas-Mobility, Accountability, Preservation, Safety, and Service-that serve as the strategic compass for the agency. Performance measures provide a valuable tool to keep Wisconsin residents and businesses informed about the state of the transportation network, while providing ongoing accountability and transparency through regular reporting of results.

The latest MAPSS Performance Improvement Report and interactive web visualizations demonstrate favorable trends in the areas of Safety and Service. For example:

Traffic fatalities -The state has experienced a dramatic reduction in traffic fatalities on its roads in recent years, but each fatality is a tragic loss of life. In 2013, there were 528 traffic fatalities in Wisconsin, which is the lowest annual fatality total since 1944. This measure tracks fatalities by county. 

DMV driver license road test scheduling – Customers scheduling a first-time driver skills test expect to find adequate appointment slots available at their preferred location. This measure ensures there are adequate tests to meet 90 percent of the estimated demand, and tracks performance by region.

Learn More

Does Your Business Have Adequate Broadband Speed?

July 29th, 2014 - By admin

State broadband planners are finding that numerous rural businesses/business parks do not have access to the bandwidth to successfully compete in today’s economy.

Please help with an effort to collect data as a first step in meeting this critical need! The Public Service Commission (PSC) recently announced the launch of the LinkWISCONSIN Bandwidth Assessment Tool (BAT).

By completing a simple assessment, the BAT provides residents and businesses with a report estimating how much bandwidth is required for doing the daily necessities they want or need to do online. This data is aggregated by the PSC and will be used to identify needs and find solutions. Learn more by watching a two minute video at: http://www.linkwisconsin.org/lwi/bat.htm

Business Seminar for Owners Leads to Results

July 29th, 2014 - By admin

L-R: Noel Eggebraaten and Jeff Redmond

“This was the first workshop I’ve attended when I could go back to work and take action immediately to improve our business.”  This is how one business owner felt after taking the recent workshop entitled ‘1+1+1 = 19′ which helps business owners to improve their bottom line.

This workshop was designed to help growing companies improve their operation. The workshop was sponsored by Polk County EDC, St. Croix County EDC, Pierce County EDC, and Dunn County EDC.

Noel Eggebraaten and Jeff Redmon, from Smart Growth Catalysts were presenting to a group of businesses, but with a focus on each individual business. All participating businesses felt it was well worth their time.

Small Business Development Center Relocates

June 30th, 2014 - By admin

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has relocated off-campus to the River Falls Municipal Power Plant building at 401 S. Winter St., just a few blocks from UWRF. The SBDC is housed in the newly renovated east office addition and is sharing that space with the new Center for Innovation and Business Development (CIBD). Free parking is available at the site.

The SBDC provides information, advising and training to Wisconsin entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers located in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties.

“At the SBDC, we continue to look forward to working with all the businesses in the St. Croix Valley,” said Steve DeWald, director of the Small Business Development Center.

For more information about the SBDC, email DeWald at steven.e.dewald@uwrf.edu or visit www.uwrf.edu/CBE/Centers/SBDC.cfm.

 

June 2014 – Featured Board Member – Peter Kling

June 30th, 2014 - By admin
Featured Board Member

Peter Kling joined the team at Bremer Bank as a Business Banker in September 2013. He manages a commercial and commercial real estate portfolio. Peter handles business development and retention, credit analysis, loan structure design, risk management, community involvement, and ensures the assigned portfolio is in compliance with all applicable standards, policies, procedures and regulatory requirements.

Prior to working at Bremer Bank, Peter was a Community, Natural Resource and Community Development Agent with the UW-Extension in St. Croix County for seven years. Here he collaborated with residents, businesses and local elected officials to address community, natural resource and economic development challenges and opportunities.

He provided leadership in program areas such as land use planning and management, community engagement, strategic planning, organizational development and bioenergy development.

Peter has been on the Polk County EDC board for two months. He enjoys working with local business owners and communities to grow the Polk County economy. Peter grew up in the small town of Fall Creek, WI, and has lived in New Richmond for 20 years with his wife and four kids. He enjoys fishing and golfing.

Infinity Retail Services Recipient of Energy Efficiency Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Energy EfficiencyTURTLE LAKE – Infinity Retail Services was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Energy Efficiency Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13, 2014.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Village of Turtle Lake Trustee Ken Mendley presented a resolution adopted by the Village of Turtle Lake Trustees recognizing the company’s achievements. Kevin and Wendy Jansen, founders and owners, accepted the awards and recognition.

Infinity Retail Services was founded in 2007 by Kevin and Wendy Jansen. Their company specializes in the lean manufacturing of custom retail store displays at their new 60,000-square-foot facility located in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. The company’s mission is simple: “To provide our customers with INFINITE solutions through innovation, leadership and performance excellence while maintaining a sustainable footprint.”

A 50kw wind turbine currently provides a significant amount of the company’s electrical needs, off-setting more than 100,000 kg of carbon dioxide to date. The facility utilizes motion sensors for lighting not only in the office, but in the shop as well. LED lighting has been installed in all exterior applications, including parking lot, building security, flag and sign areas. A combination of high efficiency furnaces and heat pumps are utilized to heat and cool the office.

A newly implemented material handling system allows the company to produce its products more efficiently, decreasing machinery run time and energy use. This also enables greater production in less space due to the elimination of significant forklift traffic lanes.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.

Prior Award Recipients Guests at PCEDC Business Awards Luncheon

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Past AwardsBALSAM LAKE – Prior Award Recipient Guests were recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for their contributions to economic and community development in Polk County, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13, 2014.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369.

PHOTO CUTLINE: FRONT ROPW L to R Amanda Troff, NEI Electric, Laura Rockford, Trollhaugen, Sandra Williams, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, Caroline Rediske, Sew Creative, Shari Overby, Westconsin Credit Union.

BACK ROW L to R Royce Keehr, Core Products International, Ray Gessler, SMC-Amery, Brent Ledbury, SMC-Amery, Dave Dobosenski, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, Jim Rockford Jr., Trollhaugen, Phil Mattison, Core Products International, Scott Ostrom, Marketplace Food and Liquor, Carol Kraft, Marketplace Foods and Liquor, Donna Betts, Marketplace Foods and Liquor, Tammy Twedt-Close, Bremer Bank, Steve Rediske, Sew Creative, Chris Nelson, Nelson Construction Services.

AFP advanced food products, llc Recipient of Large Business Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Large BusinessCLEAR LAKE – AFP advanced food products, llc was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Large Business Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Chuckie DeSmith, AFP Clear Lake Plant Manager, Lisa Cornell, Senior Human Resources Manager, Jackie Dibble, Production Superintendent, and Maci Nyseth, Human Resource Business, Partner, accepted the award and recognition on behalf of AFP Clear Lake.

AFP advanced food products, llc is a joint venture formed in 2001 between Land O’ Lakes and Bongrain SA, and is headquartered in New Holland, PA.   AFP Clear Lake is one of three plants that comprise AFP. The other two plants are located in Visalia, CA and New Holland, PA.

AFP is a food packaging company that produces aseptic food products that are shelf-stable at room temperature. The products consist of cheese sauce and dairy products that are packaged in steel/aluminum cans and plastic cups/pouches. Products are sold through food service, retail, and export channels. AFP customers include many global food brand owners (PepsiCo, Nestle, and Yum Brands) as well as many U. S. retailers and food service distributors (Kroger, Ahold, Wal-Mart, Sysco).

AFP is compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative and is certified through the British Retail Consortium consistently receiving an “A” grade. AFP is also certified by the American Institute of Baking, continually receiving “Superior” scores on those audits. AFP has been selected for many awards including the PepsiCo Quality Award in 2004, 2008 and 2010, Supplier of the Year award in 2010, Great Partner and Service Award in 2011 and the PepsiCo Productivity Award in 2012.

In 2013, 119 million pounds (roughly 2,700 semi truck loads) of product was produced at the AFP Clear Lake Plant. AFP Clear Lake continues to grow and is nearly a 24/7 operation. There are 165 employees with an average of 15 years of service. The annual turnover rate is less than 2 percent. The plant has an excellent safety record and successfully adheres to industry standards, exceeding expectations in all of the categories.

The Clear Lake plant supports the local community with donations and financial support. It contributes to the Annual Clear Lake Days celebration and donates roughly 300 cases of product to support local youth group activities as well as local school athletics and education activities.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.

Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative Recipient of Business Service Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Business ServiceCENTURIA – Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Business Service Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Ed Gullickson, Polk-Burnett board president, and Steve Stroshane, Polk-Burnett engineering and operations manager, accepted the award and recognition on behalf of the electric cooperative.

Polk-Burnett is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving 20,000 homes, cabins, businesses and farms in northwestern Wisconsin. Its mission is to benefit members by providing reliable electricity with efficiency and extraordinary service. It was established in 1938 by local farmers and the federal Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to provide electricity to rural areas. Today, Polk-Burnett is still owned and governed by local members and guided by a not-for-profit, cooperative business model, where electricity rates cover the cost of doing business and members receive friendly service from local employees who care about them and the communities in which we live.

“Since our beginning in 1938, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative remains committed to improving the quality of life in our local communities,” said Gullickson, “The co-op provides electricity to power communities and supports economic development throughout our service territory. We believe economic development leads to an improved standard of living, as well as a strong future for the cooperative, by creating local jobs and increasing energy sales. We are proud to be a member of Polk County Economic Development Corporation and we are honored to receive the 2014 Business Service Award.”

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.