WEDC: Wisconsin positioned for growth in aerospace and aviation business

Contact: Tom Thieding, 608-210-6767

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OSHKOSH, July 27, 2012 – Announcements in the last year by Kestrel Aircraft and Morgan Aircraft to manufacture planes in Wisconsin show how Wisconsin is advancing its aerospace and aviation business, according to Paul Jadin, CEO/Secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

“Wisconsin has some unique assets for the aerospace and aviation industry than can spur business development in the state, mainly through supply chain, engineering and research partnerships,” Jadin said during a business forum at the Experimental Aircraft Association.

“Wisconsin businesses are already important players in the aerospace and aviation industry in the areas of original equipment manufacturing, energy, research and engineering,” Jadin said. “I believe Wisconsin can be an important player in the supply chain for aerospace and aviation businesses around the world.”

Early this last year, Kestrel Aircraft announced it would move its headquarters from Brunswick, Maine, to Superior, creating 600 jobs by 2016 through production of single-engine turboprop plans. Morgan Aircraft has committed to investing $105 million by 2015 for Phase 1 aircraft development, and establishing a world headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing facility in the Town of Sheboygan Falls at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport.

Jadin said one of Wisconsin’s advantages is using its manufacturing and technical skills for the aerospace supply chain. For example, he said more than 140 suppliers in Wisconsin work with Boeing. He pointed to Astronautics Corporation of America in Milwaukee, which has more than 150,000 aircraft using equipment, electronics and systems made by them.

Jadin said some companies have taken advantage of global opportunities, like EMTEQ in New Berlin, a manufacturer and assembler of aircraft lighting, wiring and harnesses. EMTEQ was a winner of the Governor’s Export Award, and has seen international export sales increase from $15 million to $19 million in the last two years.

Virent, Inc. in Madison has developed a viable renewable jet fuel, also part of the growth opportunities in the aerospace sector, according to Jadin.

“Engineering and research programs through UW-Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Madison, Platteville and Stout are finding answers to satellite weather data, aerospace clothing, rocket fuels, conductivity and materials,” Jadin added.

Jadin believes the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation can be a partner in developing certified supply chain providers, in addition to its larger business development investment strategy.

Jadin and Governor Scott Walker both attended the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh to promote Wisconsin.

About Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

As the state’s lead economic development organization, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation nurtures business growth and job creation in Wisconsin by providing leadership, bold thinking and creative investment strategies. Learn more at