Forward Wisconsin: Forward Wisconsin And Fifty Wisconsin Groups To Exhibit At The International Plastics Showcase In Chicago Next Week

For More Information Contact: Scott Reigstad, 608.261.2506

MADISON – – Wisconsin’s leadership in the plastics industry will be readily apparent next week when Forward Wisconsin and its team joins 50 Wisconsin plastics-related firms on the exhibit floor at McCormick Place in Chicago for the National Plastics Exposition (NPE 2006). NPE 2006 will take place June 19-23 and will be the largest international plastics show of the year, featuring 100,000 registrants from more than 100 countries, and 2000 exhibiting companies. One-third of NPE 2006 exhibitors are coming directly from outside the United States.

Forward Wisconsin, the state’s business marketing group, will lead a group of 12 economic development professionals, business people and researchers from across the state to the Windy City for NPE 2006, in its ongoing effort to recruit new businesses and investment to the state. Plastics is one of three industries that are being specifically targeted by Forward Wisconsin for attraction and expansion this year, as well as one of ten critical industry clusters identified by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

“Plastics is Wisconsin’s fourth largest industry and one that Forward Wisconsin has focused on promoting for over 20 years with the goal of attracting investment, companies and jobs,” said Forward Wisconsin President Pepi Randolph. “Wisconsin is an excellent location for plastics firms for many reasons and our business costs for companies continue to become more competitive versus other states, as we phase-in the single sale factor apportionment formula.”

Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue released a report titled “Corporate Tax Burden: Plastics Industry” that shows Wisconsin will have the fourth lowest total tax liability, compared with 14 other states, for a hypothetical plastics company, when the single sales factor apportionment is fully implemented in 2008. Currently, Wisconsin ranks fifth highest when being compared to the 14 other states. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue conducted the study at the request of Forward Wisconsin for use at NPE 2006 and for its ongoing efforts to attract plastics businesses and investment to the state.

The Forward Wisconsin Team has more than just the business cost comparison report with which to make a strong case to plastics companies. In addition to the state’s profitable business climate and competitive business taxes, Wisconsin has a highly productive workforce with worker’s compensation rates below the national average, access to one-fifth of the world’s fresh water supply and education programs specifically designed for the plastics industry. Plastics support industries such as foundries, specialty tool and die shops, fabricated metals and electrical/non-electrical machinery are also abundant in the state.

As part of the state’s plastics marketing effort, Forward Wisconsin has produced a Wisconsin Plastics Business Directory that it will distribute at NPE 2006, along with the recently released Wisconsin Department of Revenue report. The Directory lists over 750 plastics-related businesses. While southeast Wisconsin is home to the highest concentration of plastics firms – with over 200 manufacturing facilities – plastics and related companies have found success throughout both rural and urban parts of the state. In fact, some of our largest and most successful plastics businesses thrive in Wisconsin’s smaller communities.

According to the most recent data compiled by the Society of the Plastics Industry, employment in Wisconsin’s plastics industry totals about 46,000 jobs with annual plastics industry shipments of nearly $11 billion. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reports plastics industry wages of over $1 billion annually. Wisconsin remains in the top ten states in terms of plastics employment, number of plastics processing machines installed and value of plastics shipments.

While at NPE 2006, the Forward Wisconsin Team members will not only speak with plastics professionals stopping by their booth, but they will also visit all other show exhibitors and inquire about possible business expansion plans. The 50 Wisconsin-based plastics firms will also be recognized at the show for their continuing contributions to Wisconsin’s healthy economy.

The Forward Wisconsin Team representing Wisconsin at NPE 2006 includes:

Jan Alf Forward Wisconsin John Choren Rapid Prototyping Consortium, MSOE Suzanne Choren MA Mortensen Co. Brian Doudna Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation Nancy Elsing Columbia County Economic Development Corporation Vern Kenas Xcel Energy Michael Kloss WOW Logistics Betty Nowak Port of Milwaukee Jon Peters Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation Pepi Randolph Forward Wisconsin John Rogers Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Douglas Venable City of Janesville

Forward Wisconsin, Inc., (, created in 1984, is a unique public-private state marketing organization. Its job is marketing Wisconsin’s business advantages outside the state to educate decision-makers on the positive benefits of living, working, playing and doing business in Wisconsin. Governor Jim Doyle is Forward Wisconsin’s Chairman of the Board.

Note to Editors: To view the “Wisconsin Plastics Business Directory”, the “Corporate Tax Burden: Plastics Industry” report and other information on Wisconsin’s plastics industry, go to and click on “Industry Clusters” and then “Plastics.”