(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 9 Sept. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— U.S. employers are projecting a continued decline in hiring intentions for the fourth quarter of the year, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

“The continuing softness in hiring activity comes as no surprise as weakening market conditions are causing many companies to carefully adjust their hiring in line with the demand for their product or service,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower.

Of the 14,000 employers surveyed in the U.S., 22 percent expect to increase their staff levels during the October — December period, while 13 percent expect to reduce their payrolls. Fifty-nine percent expect no change in hiring and 6 percent are undecided about their hiring plans.

Employers in the Northeast and Midwest anticipate weakening hiring conditions, while the South is moderately less optimistic compared to the third quarter. Employers in the West are slightly more optimistic about hiring plans in the upcoming quarter.

See the Manpower press release for more:

http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=135444

— The Canadian consul general in Chicago said Monday that Canadians are anxious about proclamations of energy independence and about how post-9/11 security measures affect border trade.

 

Georges Rioux, a veteran diplomat in his post since 2006, told a WisBusiness-Madison Magazine-Madison Club luncheon Monday that all the political talk about independence from foreign energy often causes Canadians to ask: “Do they want to stop importing oil from Canada?”

 

He noted that not only is Canada Wisconsin’s No. 1 trading partner but also that a lot of oil and natural gas pipelines run from Canada through Wisconsin and that state manufacturers of big machinery — such as Bucyrus International and P&H — are making money off of Canada’s oil industry. Wisconsin, he said, gets more that 50 percent of its oil imports from Canada.

 

He also said Canada has invested a lot of money in security since 9/11, but that sometimes unintended hurdles to cross-border trade result.

“Security should not trump prosperity,” he said.

  

— Gov. Jim Doyle announced Monday that Wisconsin agricultural exports have reached a record $975 million for the first half of 2008, a 13 percent increase over the first half of 2007.

Fueling that growth was 59 percent increase in dairy exports, up from $76 million in the first half of 2007 to $121 million in the first half of 2008. Dairy genetics exports grew by 35 percent to $31 million for the first half of the year. Exports of dried distillers grains and solubles, which are used as livestock feed, have grown 169 percent to $17 million.

See the release:

http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=135375

— Doyle made the announcement during a press conference at the 40th Annual U.S. Midwest–Japan Conference in Milwaukee.

The conference, which runs through today, is bringing together business and government leaders from the Midwest and Japan for sessions on technology, strategic partnerships, sustainable growth, global trade and investment and other activities.

Attendees on Monday heard from: Doyle, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and Govs. Kiyoshi Ueda and Akiko Domoto of Japan. Also speaking was Michael Beeman, deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, and Ichiro Fujisaki, ambassador of Japan to the United States.

Doyle said the conference isn’t intended to be a deal-making conference but is instead focused on building relationships and being a forum for an exchange of ideas.

See the WisBusiness story for more:

http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=135420

— Doyle is joining Kikkoman CEO and Chairman Yuzaburo Mogi to dedicate the Kikkoman USA Research and Development Laboratory today at 3 p.m. at the University Research Park in Madison.  The laboratory, the first of its kind in the United States, will host leading Kikkoman researchers to conduct basic food research in collaboration with UW scientists. 

— Bemis Manufacturing has advised the state it plans to close its Kelch Division manufacturing and distribution facility in Menomonee Falls. The closure means the permanent layoff of 137 workers between Nov. 7 and Feb. 28 of next year.

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WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com: “Diagnosing a Policy Fix to U.S. Health Care”

WisPolitics.com/WisBusiness.com is convening a half-day conference Friday, Sept. 19 at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall in Madison to bring together national, state and Canadian experts to discuss how health care providers, insurance companies and policy makers are addressing proposed health care changes this election year.

Highlighting the “Diagnosing a Policy Fix to U.S. Health Care” conference are: Dr. Ken Thorpe, executive director of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Greg Scandlen, a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute with deep experience in the insurance industry; and Antonia Maioni, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada who’s an expert on the U.S. and Canadian health care systems.

Other conference participants include: Dr. Doug Reding, vice president of the Marshfield Clinic and chair of the Clinic’s Government Relations Committee; Debra Whitman, staff director of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging; former State Department of Administration Secretary George Lightbourn, now with the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute; and state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, author of the “Healthy Wisconsin” universal health care plan.

The event is open to the public. Individual tickets cost $60 each. Tables are available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $450. Student discounts also are available. The ticket price includes two meals.

For ticket information, contact Jim Greer at 608-237-6296 and [email protected]

Initial sponsors for this event include the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), Marshfield Clinic/Security Health Plan, Dean/St. Mary’s and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. The government of Canada is an event partner.

See more: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=135065

 

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TOP STORIES
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Gehl to be bought by France’s Manitou: Gehl Co., a West Bend manufacturer of compact construction and agricultural equipment, has agreed to be acquired by France’s Manitou BF SA, a global producer of material handling equipment, in a deal valued at $450 million. Under the agreement, Manitou subsidiary, Tenedor Corp., will launch a tender offer for all Gehl shares at $30 per share, followed by a second-step, cash-out merger. The per-share purchase price reflects a 120 percent premium compared with Gehl’s closing price on Sept. 5. Gehl’s current management team, including chairman and CEO William Gehl, are expected to be retained.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily1.html

Leinenkugel optimistic about MillerCoors venture: Milwaukee’s civic elite have been lamenting that the city lost its bid for the headquarters of the MillerCoors LLC joint venture, which will be in Chicago rather than Miller Brewing Co.’s hometown. One official who refuses to see MillerCoors as a loss is Richard Leinenkugel, whom Gov. Jim Doyle appointed last week to run the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the state’s efforts to retain and expand businesses. “I fully understand why they did that as a neutral site,” said Leinenkugel, vice president of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., the 140-year-old brewery in Chippewa Falls. In 1988, Leinenkugel was sold to Miller Brewing, where it has operated as a largely independent subsidiary.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=792236

Wisconsin ag exports hit record: Wisconsin’s agricultural exports increased by 13 percent during the first six months of 2008, reaching a record $975 million. Gov. Jim Doyle made the announcement during the 2008 Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference at the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee. The state’s agricultural exports were driven by growing consumer demand in Canada, Mexico, Japan, China and Korea for dairy products, baking and brewing ingredients, foods and food preparations, beverages and hides, Doyle said.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily11.html

Mill devaluation request worries Port Edwards: More than two months after Montreal-based papermaker Domtar shut down its Port Edwards mill, local officials are concerned about a proposed 70 percent devaluation of the property. he company recently requested a $19.15 million reduction in its $27.4 million assessed value, a measure that would hurt local tax levies, Port Edwards Village Administrator Joe Terry said. “How exactly it’s going to balance out, we don’t know until the state Department of Revenue sets the value,” Terry said.
http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/WRT0101/809090619/1806&located=RSS

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Google, NBC Universal ink ad deal
http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/G/GOOGLE_NBC?SITE=WIMAD&SECTION=HOME

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Scientists point to forests for carbon storage solutions
http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/scientists-point-forests-carbon-storage-solutions-17329.html

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Exporting vital to FdL County businesses
http://www.fdlreporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/FON0101/809090407/1289&located=RSS

– Oshkosh to be featured in CNN, Fox News special report
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/OSH0101/809090369/1128&located=RSS

– UW economics department struggles to meet demand
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/304001

– Deloitte & Touché honors five Wisconsin companies
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=792235

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Ariens thrives on wintry weather, continues to grow
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/GPG03/809090587/1247

– Boosting brand’s relevance key to Harley’s international growth
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily10.html

– Nonprofit sues MillerCoors over alcoholic energy drink
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily7.html

LABOR (back to top)
– Survey shows hiring outlook bleak; Fox Cities experts paint different employment picture
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/APC03/809090475/1028

– Green Bay: More area employers expect to hire in fourth quarter
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/GPG03/809090589/1247

– Job outlook dim, report says
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=792229

– Garbage strike becoming a problem for customers
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=792262

INVESTING (back to top)
– Confessions of a Money Manager: Which party is better for the stock market?
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/303614

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Stevens Point: Hospital offices headed downtown; Saint Michael’s moves 40 positions to Executive Place
http://www.stevenspointjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/SPJ0101/809090607/1657&located=RSS

– Hortonville breaks ground on $1M fire station
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/APC0101/809090470/1979/WRT03

– Dane County: Local home building remains in doldrums
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/303947

– Mortgage firm navigates troubled housing market
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/smallb1.html?b=1220846400^1695788

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Theresa cheesemaker honored by governor
http://www.fdlreporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/FON0101/809090402/1289&located=RSS

– State’s agricultural exports up
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=792233

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Fewer travelers fly Midwest in August
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily4.html

RETAIL (back to top)
– Best Buy launches much-anticipated iPhone sales
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/303971

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Madison: Property owners fight site approval for new power plant
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/MNH0101/809090421/1732&located=RSS

– WP&L seeks rate increase
http://www.fdlreporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/FON0101/809090408/1289&located=RSS

– Warming to alternative heating
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080907/OSH03/809070323/1167

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Milwaukee health plan starts paying doctors a bonus
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/story6.html?b=1220846400^1695521

– Developers moving ahead on Milwaukee condos
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/story12.html?b=1220846400^1695694

– Sept. 11 workers say La Crosse firm hasn’t helped them
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=792261

FINANCIAL SERVICES (back to top)
– Green Bay: Janssen opens financial office
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/GPG03/809090591/1247

– M&I Bank to help humane society
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/GPG03/809090590/1247

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Seagrave names new CEO
http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/APC03/809090483/1028

– Brunswick names new CFO
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily12.html

– Centene names Husa to head Wisconsin subsidiary
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/09/08/daily8.html

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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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