From WisBusiness.com …
— Madison’s appreciation of its business community has come a long way since the 1970s, when the idea of University of Wisconsin researchers starting their own companies was roundly denounced, a long-time branding advocate says.
Now, stem cell pioneers like James Thomson are lauded not only for their research but for launching start-up firms, Marsha Lindsay, founder of Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, said today at a luncheon sponsored by WisBusiness.com, Madison Magazine and the Madison Club.
But the city has a ways to go promote commerce and attract new business to the region, added Lindsay, who started her company in 1978.
“There is an appreciation now for business that did not exist 25 or 30 years ago,” said Lindsay. In recent months, she has been intimately involved with branding efforts for the state Department of Tourism and the eight-county Madison-area marketing effort known as Thrive.
That understanding that business matters is especially important these days, she said, because the Madison region is no longer immune to recession and because while public jobs in government and at UW-Madison are flat, private sector jobs have grown to be more than half of the economy.
— The committee spearheading the search for candidates to replace UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley will meet this afternoon in closed session to narrow the field of candidates to five.
The final candidates have been whittled from 55 applicants to replace Wiley, who will step down as chancellor in September.
A UW spokesman said the finalists are scheduled to be announced Wednesday. After a series of public forums and interviews, the full Board of Regents will consider the final nominee at its June meeting.
— The Hanley Co., an 80-year-old business in Sun Prairie and community cornerstone, is closing and laying off 40 employees.
A recorded message at the hardware and power sports equipment store said the store is closed and a liquidation sale will begin Thursday.
The slowing economy and a reconstruction of Sun Prairie’s Main Street set for this year both played roles in the store owner’s decison to shut down, according to published reports.
— Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and three Milwaukee aldermen have sent a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, urging the agency to downsize the Interstate 94 widening project and divert some of the funds instead for mass transit in the region.
Barrett and aldermen Willie Hines, Michael Murphy and Robert Bauman sent the letter in response to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) compiled by the Federal Highway Administration and the DOT for the I-94 north/south corridor reconstruction and expansion project.
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Layoffs expected at GM supplier Lear: Lear Corp. in Janesville is expected to lay off more than 275 people in Janesville because of production cuts at its largest local customer, General Motors. When it takes effect this summer, the move will eliminate more than a third of Lear’s hourly workforce of 670. Lear is a just-in-time supplier of interiors and seating systems to the Janesville GM plant. Lear wages typically run between $15 and $20 per hour, depending upon the job. GM announced last week that it will eliminate second-shift production at the close of business on June 26. After a two-week summer vacation shutdown, GM will resume production of Chevrolet Suburbans and Tahoes and GMC Yukon XLs and Yukons on July 14 with a single shift.
Sun Prairie’s Hanley Co. closes after 80 years: A business cornerstone of Sun Prairie is closing its doors after 80 years. Hanley Co. Inc. is the latest casualty to the economy, according to company owner Tom Hanley, who told the approximate 40 employees of the closing Friday, according to SunPrairieToday.com. A recorded message at the hardware and power sports equipment store said the store is closed and a liquidation sale will begin Thursday. Hanley Co., 641 W. Main St., opened in 1928. A reconstruction of Main Street scheduled this year also played a role in Hanley’s decision, according to SunPrairieToday.com.
Crop prices offset by costs: USDA: Farmers can expect 17% increase for fertilizer, feed, machinery, fuel… While farmers are getting more for crops, they’re also paying significantly more for many of the products needed to plant those commodities. From diesel to fertilizer, seed and feed, American farmers paid 17 percent more in production input costs in April than they did at the same time last year, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The largest increase was seen in fertilizer, where the U.S. prices paid index jumped 65 percent from April 2007, according to the report. Muriate of potash doubled from 2006 to $561 per ton, while Urea increased 22 percent to $522 per ton. In Wisconsin and surrounding states, farmers paid an average of $769 per ton for anhydrous ammonia.
Sitel defends job cuts: We’re not breaking law: Sitel Corp. on Monday said it is not in violation of state law in its elimination of 105 jobs at its call center at 1117 Deming Way. Nashville, Tenn.-based Sitel sent a notification letter to the state dated May 2 stating that the cuts would be effective June 1. Under state law, employers with 50 or more employees must give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing. However, the law includes an exception for unforeseen business circumstances, said Jerry Smith of the state Department of Workforce Development. And Sitel spokesman Amit Shankardass said Sitel’s situation met that exception with the sudden loss of a wireless company account.
Skilled trades most in demand: Manpower survey shows largest needs are in Europe… Skilled manual trades like carpentry, plumbing and welding top the 2008 list of most difficult positions to fill on a global scale, with sales representatives coming in second, the 2008 survey from Manpower said. The trades and sales posts switched places in the third annual survey on the topic from the leader in the employment services industry. Manpower surveyed nearly 43,000 employers across 32 countries and territories to determine the extent to which talent shortages are affecting today’s labor markets. The information is put to a host of uses.
Harley museum’s debut set: July 12 will be opening day for anticipated major tourist attraction… The Harley-orange concrete is still being poured, but Harley-Davidson Inc. has set the opening date for its motorcycle museum as July 12, the same weekend as Milwaukee’s Bastille Days festival. Museum tickets will go on sale starting May 20 at www.h-dmuseum.com/tickets. Most opening-weekend tickets will be sold in advance online. They’re not available for the week of Aug. 28-31, Harley’s 105th anniversary celebration. Harley hopes the 130,000-square-foot museum at 6th and Canal streets will be one of Milwaukee’s biggest tourism attractions, much like Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Atlanta’s Coca-Cola Museum.
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– TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant
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BIOTECH (back to top)
– GOP group wants curbs on ethanol production
– LU molecular biologist awarded Fulbright fellowship
– Musicnotes sales up 30 percent this year
MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– GM’s vendors in Janesville start to feel pain
– Kempf, Dutcher seeking UAW Local 95 top spot
SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Door County natives make finals in business plan contest
– Mueller Gallery moves to Main Street shops in Egg Harbor
– Survey: Men twice as likely to start a new business as women
INVESTING (back to top)
– Stocks end day down
– Another view sought in Younkers deal
– City reaches agreement to acquire Racine Steel Castings site
– Spring fieldwork lagging behind
– State Cheese Production Rose During March
– Crop Report: A Whole Lot of Nothing Accomplished So Farm
TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Airlines slow down flights to save on fuel
– Barrett, aldermen oppose I-94 expansion plan
– High-flying designs
– Budget fix fuels more road worries
RETAIL (back to top)
– Valley retailers offer promotions to stretch stimulus cash
– New Stevens Point brew raises a few eyebrows
– Residents group fights Wal-Mart in Muskego
– Boston Store signs on Victor Alfaro
– City may share ownership with South Pier developers
REGULATION (back to top)
– Racine company settles with OSHA in trench death case
– Kohl seeks more funds for food programs
– Report: Create “wheel tax” to bail out transit
– Holy schnike! Wisconsin Historical Museum remembers Chris Farley with exhibit
– Internet called key weapon in luring tourists
UTILITIES (back to top)
– Utility cutoffs increase this year
– West Bend could oppose Washington County’s proposed water infiltration rate requirements
HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Mercy expansion approved
– Wal-Mart to sell 90-day prescriptions for $10
FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Integrity Mutual elects four board directors
MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Fox Valley Tech announces new president
– Firm seeks loan for relocation
– 2008 CEO turnover rate leading 2007’s
– Journal Communications shrinks board by one seat
BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Arlen Boardman: Ethanol may not be the viable option we once thought
– Dana Kohlbeck column: Creating a presence online can help refine personal brand
National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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