From WisBusiness.com …
— Wisconsin Department of Revenue Department Economist John Koskinen says the Badger State economy is doing better than most of its neighbors and should post a growth rate of up to 1.5 percent this year.
Speaking on WISC TV’s “For the Record” program Sunday, Koskinen said that rate should increase to 3 percent as economic conditions improve for both Wisconsin and the nation.
Koskinen also said Wisconsin’s employment level is lower than many other states and below the national average. For April, the Badger State jobless figure was 4.4 percent, down from 5.2 percent in March and well below the U.S. unemployment level of 4.8 percent.
— North Dakota-based Tharaldson Lodging Companies has told state and local officials it plans to terminate oprerations at the Hudson Fairfield Inn in Hudson and the Milwaukee Holiday Inn Express in Wauwatosa by Aug. 15. .
As a result, officials said the hotel management firm will lay off 22 workers in Hudson and 31 in Wauwatosa.
Tharaldson operates the hotels for Fargo Hotels and New Century Hotel Portfolio, which plan to run the Wisconsin properties themselves. Tharaldson said the laid off workers may be able to apply for their old jobs.
— LaCrosse Footwear Inc. says it will shut down two distribution centers in the La Crosse area, eliminating 32 jobs, and shift the work to a new plant to be built near Indianapolis.
Company spokeswoman Erin Patterson Small Business Times that the firm had issued a request for proposals and received 40 responses from three markets, including La Crosse, to be the new location of its Midwest distribution center.
The company said its criteria for the new site included: competitive annual costs; government/economic incentives; property tax abatement; foreign trade zone designation; accessibility to interstate transportation hubs; distribution center selection options and proximity to a major ground/air hub. LaCrosse Footwear is based in Portland, Ore.
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Report: State to add 1,000 jobs by 2016: A large wave of retirees and the growth of startup businesses will help open up roughly 1 million job vacancies in Wisconsin by the year 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Workforce Development. About two-thirds of those projected jobs are directly related to older workers retiring and therefore leaving behind vacancies, said Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman. The medical needs of the aging baby boomer generation will also increase demand for health care professionals, Gassman said.
It takes a city to build a coal plant in Oak Creek: Project attracts 2,500 workers to Oak Creek… Megan McGuire graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in history, but her heart’s desire was to see the world. First stop: Oak Creek. McGuire, 24, of Scranton, Pa., got a job with Bechtel Corp., general contractor for the $2.2 billion We Energies Oak Creek coal plant expansion, known as the Elm Road Generating Station Project. Bechtel, a global engineering, construction and project management corporation with headquarters in San Francisco, has contracts that take its employees all over the world, including Oak Creek.
Local stem cell firm gets fed grant: Chief scientist cited in Forbes magazine… Madison-based stem cell company Stemina Biomarkers Discovery Inc. has learned it will receive a $150,000 Phase I grant from the National Cancer Institute through the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research grant program, the Wisconsin Technology Council said in a news release Friday. Stemina, founded in late 2006 by chief executive officer Beth Donley and UW-Madison stem cell scientist Gabriella Cezar, is aiming to use human embryonic stem cells to help determine whether new drug candidates will cause birth defects in humans. So-called “biomarker” research can also test drug toxicity in other ways.
State plans to consolidate job assistance programs: The state plans to consolidate its job assistance programs in 12 regional sites, pulling staff from dozens of smaller communities and placing them in larger cities — a move advocates for the poor criticized. The Department of Workforce Development is consolidating its 157 employees involved in the program at 12 locations: two in Milwaukee and one each in Madison, Janesville, Kenosha, Pewaukee, Green Bay, Menasha, Wausau, Superior, Eau Claire and La Crosse. The centers rely on federal funding, and cutbacks require the consolidation, said Dick Jones, agency liaison for the department.
Third Wave acquires patents from Agilent: Madison-based Third Wave Technologies Inc. announced Friday that it would acquire intellectual property from Agilent Technologies Inc. related to DNA and RNA analysis. Terms were not disclosed. Third Wave said it would acquire patents and patent applications from Stratagene’s Full Velocity program. Those patents are used in a genetic test known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Third Wave’s genetic technology is called Invader. Third Wave said the acquisition would support the company’s laboratory testing product Invader Plus, which couples the Invader chemistry with PCR. Third Wave said the acquisition also supports the next generation of Invader chemistries, which will amplify and detect DNA, RNA and microRNA on real-time PCR instruments.
Feingold asks India to lower tariffs on heavyweight bikes: Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold says he wants officials in India to lower a tariff that he says is preventing Harley-Davidson from selling its bikes there. The Democrat says he urged three different government officials in the country during a visit there this week to lower the 60 percent tariff. He made the comments Friday in New Delhi during a call with reporters. Feingold says he argued that India doesn’t produce the same kinds of heavyweight motorcycles that the Milwaukee-based company does. Harley-Davidson has said it wants to do business in motorcycle-hungry India, but it wants the tariffs reduced first.
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Huge possibilities, tiny product
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– Scientist group on solid ground
BIOTECH (back to top)
– Heparin crisis a blow to company
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ECONOMY (back to top)
– Canadian company to build sand plant in Chippewa Falls
MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Oshkosh Corp. in driver’s seat for new technologies
– Bassett Mechanical prospering under third-generation leadership
LABOR (back to top)
– Job loss stresses workers
– Job center gains workers
– Trades turn to apprentice mentors
SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Red Apple owner ‘not going to stop’ smokers despite citations
– Séura’s simple beginning turns into big-time growth
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INVESTING (back to top)
– NorthStar Coop Stockowners Receive in Patronage, Dividends
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– Old Iron to be on Display at Wisconsin Farm Tech Days
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– Rail congestion pits suburbs against companies
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– Evans Department Store in Manitowoc is going out of business
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TOURISM (back to top)
– EAA eyes expansion for year-round facility
– MGE seeks 7 percent rate increase
– Gift boosts windmill project
– Door County water under microscope
– An enormous cavern, painstakingly blasted
– A blooming bright idea
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FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Jittery banks cutting dividends
– Garner elected to M&I Bank board
MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Regional, national corporate leaders weigh in on business climate
– LaCrosse Footwear’s exodus complete in 2009
– Bucyrus joins Harley on IndustryWeek list
– State labor secretary reaches milestone
BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Greg Linnemanstons: Ethical behavior can be a good marketing strategy
– Tom Saler: Inflation’s an issue, not ’70s crisis
– Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt: Continually fine-tune your business
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