Racine –For the fifth consecutive year, Racine County’s 2008 budget includes $25,000 for the Manufacturing Renewal Grant program, which provides grants for small and medium-sized Racine County-based manufacturing firms with fewer than 200 employees.  Qualifying Racine County manufacturers can apply for grants to be used to help underwrite investments in employee skills training, technology implementation projects or production efficiency consulting services.  The program’s objective is to help participating companies stay in business and continue to retain or create jobs for Racine County residents.

Previous grant recipients have high praise for the program:

·         [At] Gormac Products, Inc., we were able to sharpen our leadership skills on several levels and develop and implement the team structure that is necessary to take us into the future.  We are currently making and shipping precision machined parts to the UK, Brazil, Mexico, and England.  We intend, however, to stay right here in Racine, Wisconsin.  To do that, we must maximize all educational opportunities and technology available to offset competing wage and benefit levels in other parts of the world.”  Mark Sommer, President and CEO

·         Drewco Corporation has … utilized the grant funds to provide our employees 5-S training that they in turn used to “lean” the Drewco office and manufacturing processes. The Grant also facilitated our ISO certification attainment by funding part of our required auditor training. … Most recently grant funds have helped to provide mid level management and leadership training to support the personal growth of the employees and the economic goals of the company.  The grant application process is painless and this grant is one of the few funding opportunities for growing companies in the mid size range.  I highly recommend Racine County companies take advantage of the opportunity.  Ann Pettibone, CEO

·         “At O&H Danish Bakery … a Manufacturing Renewal Grant … helped us pay for a process-improvement consultant’s evaluation of our manufacturing methods.  From that evaluation our company contracted with the consultant to learn how to utilize lean manufacturing techniques within our system.  Our company is now better able to predict and control manufacturing costs and that allows us to be more competitive.” – Eric Olesen, CEO





During the program’s first three years, grant funds were in high demand, so interested companies are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The UW Parkside Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is managing the grant program on behalf of Racine County. Businesses that believe they meet the grant criteria can contact Deneine Powell, the SBDC Director, for more information and for a grant application: