WEDC Bulletin

An Economic Development Update from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

City of Fond du Lac receives $90,000 state grant to support redevelopment of downtown historical building

WEDC awarded the City of Fond du Lac a $90,000 state grant to assist in the redevelopment of a vacant commercial building into The Livery Lofts, featuring an upscale tavern and residential lofts.

The Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant will support the renovation of the building to improve the exterior façade and support the change from a fully commercial use to a mixed-use development.

The redevelopment project will require significant renovation to support the change to a mixed-use development. The Livery Lofts will feature an upscale tavern on the first floor and market rate apartments on the second floor. An existing asphalt parking lot will also be redeveloped into a new outdoor dining area for the tavern.

$189 million ND Paper project receives WEDC support

WEDC announced an agreement to provide ND Paper with $1.7 million in tax credits over three years to support the company’s expansion at its Biron division—a project expected to create 27 new jobs.

ND Paper, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper, is planning several major projects, including the conversion of the B25 paper machine from white papers to containerboard products, construction of a two-line greenfield recycled pulp facility and the construction of a water treatment and fiber recovery plant.

The actual amount of state income tax credits the company receives is contingent upon the number of jobs created and retained, and the amount of capital investment the company makes through 2022. As is the case for all WEDC tax credits, ND Paper must first create the jobs and make the capital investment before receiving any credits.

Advanced Composite Products and Technology establishes operations in Wisconsin

Advanced Composite Products and Technology Inc (ACPT), a manufacturer of composites, is establishing its first Wisconsin facility in Marathon County–a $5.2 million project expected to create 13 jobs over the next three years.

The project includes the acquisition and equipping of an existing production facility in Schoefield Industrial Park. At the facility ACPT will manufacture carbon fiber drive shafts, a component of Oshkosh Defense tactical wheeled vehicles.

WEDC is supporting the project by authorizing up to $150,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits ACPT will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that period.

Centro Sperimentale del Latte establishes operations in Racine County

Centro Sperimentale del Latte (CSL) USA Inc., a probiotic company, plans to establish its first operations in the U.S. with a manufacturing facility in Racine County—a multimillion-dollar project expected to create up to 31 jobs over the next four years.

Centro Sperimentale del Latte’s related entity, PROBIO RE LLC, has recently purchased its first U.S. location, with plans to establish a newly constructed manufacturing facility on a 25-acre site in Franksville. The facility will produce probiotics and related materials.

The company chose the facility due to the growing probiotic supplement market in the U.S. as well as the close proximity to specialty cheesemakers throughout Wisconsin.

WEDC is supporting the project by authorizing up to $350,000 in state income tax credits over the next four years. The actual amount of tax credits Centro Sperimentale del Latte will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that period.

Faith Technologies expands operations in Outagamie County

Faith Technologies Inc., a leading electrical planning, engineering, design and installation expert, is expanding its Excellerate division with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Little Chute—a $20 million project expected to create 275 jobs over the next three years.

Construction on the 225,000-square-foot facility is now underway and expected to be completed later this year. A natural energy microgrid, also built by Faith Technologies and Excellerate Manufacturing, will allow the building to be operated off the traditional energy grid.

Excellerate, a subsidiary of Faith Technologies, is an electrically focused manufacturer of made-to-order assemblies through custom-engineered construction solutions that drive cost savings, schedule compression and safety excellence. Excellerate serves the energy, manufacturing, supply chain and construction landscape.

WEDC is supporting the project by authorizing up to $800,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits Faith Technologies will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created during that period.

WEDC approves tax credits for new Amazon facility in Oak Creek

WEDC has approved awarding state income tax credits to support Amazon’s plans to build a 640,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Oak Creek—a project expected to create 1,500 jobs.

Amazon plans to build the $200 million facility in the Ryan Business Park at Ryan Road and I-94.

WEDC is awarding the company with up to $7.5 million in tax credits for job creation and capital investment for any investments Amazon makes in Wisconsin. The actual amount of credits the company will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment the company makes through 2024.

This catalytic project will be the first-of-its-kind robotics sorting center for Amazon. The newly constructed 640,000-square-foot fulfillment center will be the flagship facility and will represent the company’s largest investment in Wisconsin, both in terms of capital expenditures and in terms of new jobs.

20 Wisconsin school districts awarded Fab Labs Grants

Governor Tony Evers and WEDC announced that 20 school districts throughout the state have been awarded a total of more than $500,000 in grants to establish or expand local fabrication laboratory (fab lab) facilities.

Governor Evers has declared May 13 as Fab Lab Day in Wisconsin, and to mark the occasion, he and Lt. Governor Barnes, along with WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan and other key state leaders, visited eight school districts to present the grants and celebrate their successes.

A fab lab is a high-technology workshop equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers and plasma cutters. Through its Fab Labs Grant Program, WEDC is supporting the purchase of fab lab equipment for instructional and educational purposes by elementary, middle, junior high or high school students.

The following school districts were awarded Fab Lab Grants:

  • Abbotsford (Clark and Marathon Counties), $25,000
  • Beloit Turner (Rock County), $25,000
  • Brown Deer (Milwaukee County), $25,000
  • Fall River (Columbia County), $25,000
  • Grafton (Ozaukee County), $25,000
  • Hayward (Sawyer County), $25,000
  • Lakeland Union High School Consortium (Oneida County), $41,628
  • Maple (Douglas County), $22,937
  • Merrill (Lincoln County), $24,761
  • Milwaukee Public Schools (Milwaukee County), $25,000
  • Mount Horeb (Dane County), $25,000
  • Necedah (Juneau County), $12,220
  • Southern Door (Door County), $25,000
  • Francis (Milwaukee County), $25,000
  • Thorp (Clark County), $24,157
  • Three Lakes (Oneida County), $20,640
  • Wabeno (Forest County), $25,000
  • Wauwatosa (Milwaukee County), $24,056
  • Whitehall (Trempealeau County), $50,000
  • Wisconsin Rapids (Wood County), $25,000

WEDC awards $150,000 grant to support new food and beverage talent outreach program

WEDC awarded a $150,000 grant to Food and Beverage (FaB) Wisconsin to support the organization’s Talent Outreach Program (TOP) Initiative, a new project designed to promote talent outreach and development in the food and beverage manufacturing industry.

FaB Wisconsin has identified talent outreach and development as a top priority for the food and beverage manufacturing industry. In response to industry input, FaB Wisconsin designed a new statewide talent outreach initiative, aimed at providing industry outreach and educational programming.

The TOP Initiative consists of five components designed in partnership with key stakeholders and private sector leaders to be implemented over a two-year period:

  1. FaB Inspire Portal: Creating a portal for food and beverage businesses to easily connect with regional entities supporting the Inspire Wisconsin platform designed to connect today’s businesses with tomorrow’s talent
  2. FaBsafe Certification for High Schools: Developing and piloting a high school version of FaB’s food safety training certification, which will serve as an industry employment or career pathway on-ramp
  3. FaB Universities: Developing a collective of high schools, colleges, universities and workforce development entities that offer industry-specific academic and training programs in the food and beverage industry
  4. FaB Farm-Factory-Fork: Expanding and extending FaB’s high school career discovery initiative, which was established to engage schools, students and businesses to reach more students about lifelong career opportunities in the industry
  5. FaB Council Talent Needs Assessment: Conducting a statewide survey on effectiveness of tools and emerging needs in the food and beverage industry

WEDC awards $750,000 grant for new beverage innovation center of excellence

WEDC awarded a $750,000 grant to the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) to establish the Beverage Innovation Center, a new center of excellence that will provide resources to small businesses to test and develop new beverage products.

The Beverage Innovation Center will be a modular pilot plant with an aseptic processing and bottling system for small businesses to produce small batch amounts of packaged beverages that can be used as prototypes in testing and optimizing formulas. The pilot plant will provide entrepreneurs access to CDR expertise, licensed space and equipment. With this access, clients will be able to test and fine tune the scalability of their prototypes in a production environment.

One of the advantages of the center is that it will provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to run small-scale trials. Most aseptic processing and bottling systems run large-scale quantities, which are cost prohibitive for most entrepreneurs.

The project also includes the creation of the Client Development and Growth Program for qualified clients of the Technology, University, Research, Business, Opportunities (TURBO) program. This program will provide access to consultants for technical advice in identifying new markets, ensuring regulatory compliance, evaluating production costs and return on investment, packaging design and grant-writing assistance. Consulting services will be specifically targeted to Wisconsin companies that have fewer than 50 employees and are located in rural areas.