Derrick Built Project Honored as First LEED Silver Certified Manufacturing Facility in Western Wisconsin

August 26th, 2014 - By admin

Air Motion Systems of River Falls was honored earlier this month, when they were presented with their official LEED Silver Certification for its facility in River Falls which was built by Derrick Building Solutions. The award was presented by Mark Johnson, VP of Project Management and Bill Derrick, President, of Derrick Building Solutions LLC to Steve Metcalf and Hans Ulland of Air Motion Systems.

Photo caption: Left to Right: Mark Johnson, Steve Metcalf, Hans Ulland, and Bill Derrick.

This is the highest level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification awarded to any manufacturing facility in Western Wisconsin. The certification is the result of an application process including rigorous reviews of facility design and construction as well as performance in energy efficiency and environmental practices over time. In the case of Air Motion Systems, the process took six years and Derrick Building Solutions completed the process with the U.S. Green Building Council to obtain the certification for the facility.

LEED certification is a third party program that verifies a project has been designed, built, and is operating in a manner that conserves energy, reduces consumption, improves air quality, and utilizes innovation in design and building materials.

Air Motion Systems is a manufacturer of high speed and high efficiency curing equipment for printing, drying, and industrial finishing located in River Falls, WI. The facility was constructed in 2008 by Derrick Building Solutions and was designed by Elliot Architects of Hudson.


August 2014 Featured Business Member

August 26th, 2014 - By admin
Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company (NWE)

Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company (NWE) is an investor-owned electric utility which serves approximately 14,000 retail customers in Burnett and Polk counties of Wisconsin as well as a small number of customers in Pine County, Minnesota. Most of NWE’s 390 stockholders are members of the communities it serves.

These communities include Balsam Lake, Centuria, Milltown, Cushing, and Frederic in Polk County, and Grantsburg, Siren, Webster, and Danbury in Burnett County. NWE also proudly serves many of the townships between these communities.

NWE has a rich history in providing local service to the area which began in the early 1900’s with a small dam owned by Aaron Dahlberg near Round Lake to serve the Village of Frederic. Since then, NWE has added additional hydro generation as well as three emergency generation stations located in Danbury, Frederic and Grantsburg to service customers in the region. NWE has most recently purchased 15% of the output associated with a 50 MW wind generating facility located in west-central Minnesota to complement its wholesale purchases as well as its renewable energy portfolio. In 2014, NWE expects to provide over 19% of its energy sales to customers via renewable energy.

NWE serves its customers with 43 full time employees who live throughout the service territory. Their corporate office is located in Grantsburg and there is an office in Frederic as well. NWE offers a full range of electric tariffs filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to accommodate customer’s needs. This includes a range of industrial demand rates to rates which provide a retail payment for a customer’s renewable generation. We are also a member utility of the Wisconsin Focus On Energy program which provides assistance to every customer class to not only save on energy bills, but improve efficiency as well (

Northwestern Wisconsin Electric encourages all of its customers and prospective customers to take a look at the opportunities in the Polk County communities. We can help with all of your electric service needs.  Please visit us at or call 800-261-1200.

WEDC to Lift Moratorium on Historic Preservation Tax Credit

July 29th, 2014 - By admin

Reported in press releases on July 14, 2014 from the Office of the Governor and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Governor Scott Walker announced the WEDC will lift the moratorium on the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.

“The Historic Preservation Tax Credit has proven to be a successful economic development tool,” said Governor Walker. “While it was necessary for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to determine the best method to continue the program, worthwhile projects can now move forward to help grow local economies and revitalize communities throughout our state.”

On June 23, 2014, WEDC placed a moratorium on the receipt of applications for the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program pending a review of the program. Originally, the program was estimated to have a $4 million budget impact. However, due to the success and popularity of the program, the budget impact grew significantly beyond its original estimate to approximately $35 million.

After completing a review, WEDC determined that it can lift the moratorium on the Certified Historic Buildings program due to the rigorous application process required by State Historic Preservation Officer and the National Park Service prior to submitting applications to WEDC. The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program provides transferable tax credits to eligible entities rehabilitating certified historic buildings.

In addition, WEDC will begin collecting increased information under the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program regarding the return on investment to the State; including projected employment (construction and long-term), wages, leverage of investment, local participation, tax impact, and other relevant information.

To view the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Tax Credit Webinar and Fact Sheet PDFs go to:

Small Town Downtown Forums Are Coming To A Location Near You!

July 29th, 2014 - By admin
  • August 14 – Potosi, Grant County
  • \August 26 – Coloma, Waushara County
  • September 10 – Grantsburg, Burnett County
  • September 12 – Mellen, Ashland County

Small towns have unique issues and needs that are often very different from those of larger communities. These forums are intended to bring together those serving and working in and with communities of populations fewer than 1500 to learn from each other through case studies, roundtables and discussion groups.

Everyone who cares about the future of rural Wisconsin is invited to attend. These forums are about sharing ideas, learning and networking. Bring your “Brag Book” and examples of successful projects from your community.
Who Should Attend? Community leaders, elected officials, volunteers, business leaders, educators, and local and regional economic development, civic, and planning organizations. The cost is $10 per registrant.
The $10 fee covers refreshments, resources and program materials and can be paid online with PayPal or a check payable to WDAC mailed to: Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Inc.; 39 S. Marr Street, Suite 103; Fond du Lac, WI 54935.
Small Town Downtown Forums Are Hosted By: Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, Wisconsin Rural Partners, UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and United States Department of Agriculture.
For more information and to register online go to:

WDAC Members to Facilitate Roundtable Topics
An opportunity is available to facilitate a roundtable session at one of four upcoming Small Town Downtown Forums in the state.

Topics will be pre-scripted and your main goal is to assist participants in generating conversation on the topic. The roundtable topics are:

  • Helping communities get organized
  • Collaborating with neighboring communities
  • Business recruitment/expansion
  • How business incubators could work in downtowns
  • Community branding/rebranding
  • Customer service

If interested in this volunteer opportunity, contact Small Town Downtown Forums planning committee member: Sue Bessert,

ExporTech Program – Register Today

July 29th, 2014 - By admin

An Export Acceleration System for Achieving Profitable Growth

Dates: September 17, October 13, November 18, 2014

Time: 8:00am-5:00pm

Location: TBD, Menomonie, Wisconsin

Program Details: ExporTech was designed specifically for manufacturers that need innovative ways to grow, and see international sales as part of the answer. The program provides executive leaders with a systematic approach for entering or expanding in global markets. It is the only national export assistance program that offers a structured, yet customizable process that guides companies through every aspect of export growth.

Target Audience: Company Executives including CEO, Owner, VP/Director of International Sales, VP/Director of Sales and Marketing

Contact:  Joni Geroux, 715-232-5270,

Register Here

This program is being hosted by University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Professional Education Programs & Services and UW-Stout Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC).

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:

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 or visit