SCEDC: Grants available to help Wisconsin manufacturers prepare for recovery


Bill Rubin/Jacki Bradham

St. Croix EDC


Manufacturing Outreach Center Poised to Assist Local Manufacturers

State grant funds are available to help Wisconsin manufacturers improve performance, stimulate growth, and respond to new challenges as the economy recovers from the recession. “Wisconsin manufacturers who adopt Next Generation Manufacturing principles can improve their competitiveness, win a greater share of global markets, and react quickly to market opportunities,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Richard J. Leinenkugel.

The Next Generation Manufacturing grants, authorized by the Department of Commerce, are targeted to small and midsize manufacturers with less than 500 employees. Grants of $5,000 to $6,500 pay up to 50% of project costs for services delivered by the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (NWMOC). The remaining project costs are paid by the company. Eligible projects include:

Lean Transformation: Up to $5,000 per company is available for Enterprise Business Transformation projects, which include a comprehensive assessment of a company’s operations, identification of key competitive priorities and an action plan to achieve them. This lean transformation approach improves performance across all facets of the business enterprise and generates significant financial results.

Business Growth: Grants up to $6,500 per company are available for small to mid-sized manufacturers to implement Eureka! Winning Ways®, a nationally recognized and proven system that accelerates growth and generates ideas for new products and services.

A significant share of the funding already has been pledged for projects. Grants are offered on a first- come, first-serve basis. Project completion deadline is December 31, 2010. Interested manufacturers should call 1-866-880-2262 or 715-232-2397.

NWMOC Director Larry Blackledge said “With this assistance we will be able to help manufacturers prepare themselves for growth and profitability in the coming economic recovery.”

NWMOC provides services to small and mid-sized manufacturers in 33 counties in northern and western Wisconsin to help them compete in a global economy. Last year, through third-party independent surveying, NWMOC’s clients reported over $60 million in impacts, 201 jobs created, and 178 jobs retained as a result of NWMOC services. NWMOC, in partnership with CVTC, NTC, NATC, UW-Stout, WTC, and WITC, delivers the technical assistance and training needed to improve and grow manufacturing businesses.