MaryBeth Matzek: Wisconsin manufacturers bullish on future

This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.

It’s a good time to be in manufacturing.

That’s the conclusion of Buckley Brinkman, executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, based on the data and what he’s hearing from manufacturers. Not only are manufacturers seeing a continued increase in sales, they are also adding workers, space and new equipment.

According to the 2015 Wisconsin Manufacturers Register, state manufacturers added 5,796 jobs from July 2013 to July 2014, a 1 percent increase. It’s the third straight year that manufacturers added jobs. Meanwhile the September Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing reported that 60 percent of manufacturers in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois expect continued growth and positive conditions over the next six months. That’s up from the 40 percent who felt that way in August.

“The people I talk to are very positive about manufacturing and the numbers are positive,” Brinkman says. “We’re far enough away from the Great Recession that it’s no longer hanging over people’s heads and they are moving forward.”

Since 2009, 40,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in Wisconsin, Brinkman says. “We’re obviously still not back to where we were in the past, but we have made big strides.”

Read the full column for more