(WisBusiness) WED News Summary — 10 Dec. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The U.S. House could vote as early as today on a bill to bail out American automakers after the White House and Dem congressional leaders came to a tentative agreement on a package Tuesday night.

See more below in TOP STORIES

— The president of a Milwaukee-area auto dealers association urged Congress to approve a bailout of the Big Three automakers, saying “there wouldn’t be anything left” if the manufacturers succumbed to the national economic crisis.

Don Hansen, from the Auto Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee, joined Sheboygan labor leader Dan Graves and Kenosha City Administrator Frank Pacetti in a Tuesday conference call with reporters to draw attention to the automakers’ impact on local jobs.

“They really do drive a large part of the economy,” Hansen said. “I can’t even comprehend (bankruptcy). It would be disastrous.”

See more from the conference call: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=143241

— Bill Sepic, the new head of the Wisconsin Auto and Truck Dealers Association, says he is hopeful that Congress and the White House can reach agreement this week on a partial bailout bill.

Sepic, who has been on the job for less than a month, was in Washington D.C. on Monday to lobby members of the Wisconsin delegation and urge them to support the deal.

Sepic, whose last job was president of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce in Michigan, said Monday he believed Wisconsin’s congressional delegation would support the deal and that he didn’t know of any member planning to withhold support.

“We feel very good currently about the number of elected officials supporting or having indicated they would support this package,” he said.

See more from a WisBusiness interview with Sepic: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=143212

— WS Live has notified the state that it is planning to close a call center in Superior early next year. The Iowa-based company said the closure will result in 76 layoffs.

See the filing: http://www.wisbusiness.com/1008/081209wslive.pdf

— U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic announced that six people have agreed to plead guilty in connection with a scheme that resulted in the theft of “millions of dollars” from Racine-based SC Johnson.

Those charged include former employees of the SC Johnson transportation department plus the owners of several trucking companies. The plea agreements state that the head of the transportation department took kickbacks in return for approving inflated invoices for trucking services.

See the DOJ press release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/1008/081209SCJplea.pdf

— WisBusiness columnist Tom Burzinski says he’s been hearing a lot of talk about “cloud computing” recently. In his new column he explains the concept and looks at how it can help companies save time and money.

Read his new column: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=203



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Press Releases
· Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce: Cross Plains Business Association announces the official transition to the Cross Plains Area Chamber of Commerce
· Manpower Inc.: Manpower Employment Outlook Survey reveals majority of U.S. employers holding staff steady for Q1 2009
· Quarles & Brady: Receives Milwaukee Urban League’s Spirit of Diversity Award
· Wisconsin Independent Businesses: Expanding sales tax base “unthinkable”
· Wisconsin State Golf Association, Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin: 2009 Platinum Passport makes a great holiday gift for golf fans!

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


Bailout plan could soon face House vote: The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as Wednesday on a $15 billion plan to bail out and restructure U.S. automakers but the initiative may face Republican roadblocks in the Senate. The White House and congressional Democrats sought to quickly finalize an agreement in principle struck Tuesday night on conditions for providing $15 billion in low-interest loans to avert a threatened industry collapse if one or more of “The Big Three” U.S. automakers were to fail.

Fall of Big Three carmakers could mean 85,000 state jobs: Wisconsin business, municipal and labor leaders continued to call for help for the ailing auto industry Tuesday as Congress and the White House moved toward a $15 billion loan to the Big Three automakers. A vote on the “bridge loan” could come as soon as today.

Doyle: Bailout may not save Janesville plant: Without a bailout for the auto industry, there is no chance for the General Motors plant at Janesville to remain open, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday. Even with a bailout along the lines of one being discussed in Congress, Doyle said chances for the plant to keep producing vehicles are “very remote.”

Oshkosh Corp. gets $250M deal for 825 new Army vehicles: The defense-related division of Oshkosh Corp. has received a $250 million contract to provide 825 new military vehicles to the U.S. Army. Oshkosh Defense said Tuesday the contract calls for a specific class of heavy tactical vehicles. The trucks are used for transport and logistics, not combat operations.

HTI announces January layoffs: Minnesota-based Hutchinson Technology Inc., which maintains a manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, announced Tuesday it is reducing its workforce 20 to 25 percent – by more than 1,000 jobs – and is implementing a 5 percent pay reduction for all remaining employees.

BRP cutting production, sets layoffs: Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., a Canadian company that makes Evinrude outboard engines at a plant in Sturtevant, said Tuesday that it will reduce production by 20 percent and eliminate 550 white-collar jobs. The moves, driven by a global economic recession that’s also hitting the power sports industry, follow the layoff of 370 blue-collar employees in the third quarter by the Montreal manufacturer of the Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Evinrude brands of sports equipment. Another 430 blue-collar workers have received notices of temporary layoffs to occur in the fourth quarter.


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

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Greenville recycling firm wired for success

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Sajan opens New Delhi office

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Visit by NewPage president delayed

– Last GM-Janesville plant SUV to be raffled by United Way of North Rock County

– Magnetek to consider call for company sale

LABOR (back to top)
– Publisher hopes magazine helps women collaborate

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Holzman Furworks in Mequon to close in January

INVESTING (back to top)
– Vacation homes: An investment option?

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Housing starts still behind 2007 levels

– Economy aside, Collins remains hopeful on Park East

– Action on apartments delayed

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– State Dairy Herd Count Now Totals 13,478

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Six plead guilty to defrauding S.C. Johnson

RETAIL (back to top)
– Robust snowblower sales are only a snow’s throw away

REGULATION (back to top)
– City rejects Bolton House’s bid for UW Health building

– Auto dealers group sues state agency over credit union sales lot

TOURISM (back to top)
– Groomers prepare season’s first ski trails

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Lower heating costs forecast

– We Energies customers may save on natural gas, utility says

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Wausau Paper promotes executive

– Joy Global names CFO

– Prasse resigns from Wisconsin State Fair

– Torinus, ex-employees seek Journal Communications board spots

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Mike Ivey’s Business Beat: Will Big 3 sell out auto dealers to get bailout?

Media Partners
Small Business Times
Madison Magazine

National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–CNBC BUSINESS NEWS: http://www.cnbc.com
–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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