WisBusiness interview: Financial support, local backing helped Janesville land $85 million factory

The $9 million aid package Janesville offered SHINE Medical Technologies last month was a big reason why the company chose Rock County for its factory.

But not the only one, says Greg Piefer, the Milwaukee native who is SHINE’s founder and CEO.

Piefer, who earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from UW-Madison, negotiated with several states for sites to build SHINE’s medical isotope plant.

“At the end of the day, there were economic incentives offered by all the states and communities we looked at,” he says. “Wisconsin was competitive. And obviously, this had special meaning for me, coming from Wisconsin, a state that has a workforce of incredibly talented and hardworking people.”

In the end, the decision came down to three cities in the Badger State: Janesville, Stevens Point and Chippewa Falls, all of which he says offered good deals.

Though one of SHINE’s major backers is from Stevens Point, Janesville won out because of the financial support and because leaders there “expressed a tremendous amount of support which made us feel really welcome, and that was a big deal,” Piefer says.

Moreover, he says the site where the plant will be located is extremely stable geologically and has a low water table.

“All those things added up to the strongest story for Janesville,” he says. “And that’s how we ended up there.”

Read more about SHINE in a new WisBusiness interview