WMC: Urges Legislators to OK Manufacturing Training Program

James S. Haney or Heidi Garvin, (608) 258-3400

State Support Draws Federal Funds to Wisconsin

MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Tuesday urged lawmakers to back a plan to provide $3 million to two groups that help manufacturers, which will bring an added $6 million in federal funds to the programs.

“That state funding is critical to getting the federal match,” said James S. Haney, president of WMC. The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership is slated to receive $1.3 million. Haney serves on the WMEP board of directors.

Governor Jim Doyle announced his WMEP funding proposal Monday, along with funding for the Northwest Manufacturing Outreach Center.

WMEP helps small and midsize manufacturers increase productivity, adopt new technology, and become more efficient. During the recent recession, WMEP helped manufacturers retrain over 3,000 workers and helped companies generate over $500 million in economic benefit by using WMEP-led innovations.

“WMEP enjoys strong support in the Legislature because the program provides real results that benefit industry and Wisconsin communities,” Haney said. “Manufacturers – large, medium, and small – strongly urge the Legislature to make sure the WMEP is funded so Wisconsin can keep manufacturing strong, and capture the federal matching funds.”

Doyle said that when manufacturers grow and expand based on WMEP innovations, state government receives over $15 million in increased revenue. Doyle hailed the 10-to-1 return on investment. “This investment in manufacturing innovation will build a stronger economy, leverage federal dollars and protect manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin,” Doyle said in announcing the funding.

WMEP is the only entity specifically chartered by the state to advance manufacturing competitiveness.

“We need to protect manufacturing in Wisconsin,” Haney said. “These programs help make our manufacturers more efficient and profitable. That keeps jobs in Wisconsin and helps our economy grow. In the end, this is about better jobs and brighter futures.”