Sheboygan and Manitowoc are getting national recognition in Site Selection magazine for numerous corporate facility developments.
“The state of Wisconsin had a record year for economic development in 2017, and one of the reasons for that success is the growth that has taken place in the region,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
With 11 projects last year, the Sheboygan area is ranked 6th nationally for metro areas with populations under 200,000. That’s up 25 spots from its 2016 ranking.
Some of the major projects there include: the expansion of the Masters Gallery Foods in Oostburg, a $61 million project expected to create 150 jobs; the expansion of the Johnsonville corporate headquarters, a $16 million project expected to add about 100 jobs; and the expansion of the MilliporeSigma facility in Sheboygan Falls, a $64 million project expected to create 175 jobs.
The MilliporeSigma project was the 10th largest economic development project for the state in 2017.
Manitowoc, with eight corporate investment projects in 2017, was tied for 7th place for the top micropolitan areas in the country. A micropolitan area is defined as one or more adjacent counties that have at least one urban area with between 10,000 and 50,000 people living there.
The biggest projects for the Manitowoc area include: the expansion of Forefront Dermatology’s offices, a $1.1 million project with 241 expected jobs; a $2.5 million expansion of DOWCO’s facility with 37 expected jobs; and a $3 million expansion to Color Craft Graphic Arts, with 15 expected jobs.
Site Selection creates the annual rankings by focusing on corporate facility projects with the biggest impact on the state: corporate headquarters, manufacturing facilities, research and development spaces and logistics sites. Specific criteria for ranking includes capital investment, square footage and total job creation.
The magazine boasts a readership of over 45,000 including many corporate executives and real estate consultants.
“The recognition from Site Selection magazine highlights the ongoing trend in the I-43 corridor of Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties,” said Peter Wills, executive director of Progress Lakeshore, the economic development organization for the Manitowoc area. “The area has seen a resurgence in business expansion and attraction for businesses and people due to a highly skilled workforce, high quality of life, quality education and low cost of living. “
“Sheboygan County has experienced large employer expansions, and now the area seeks housing developments to complement our growing employment base,” added Dane Checolinski, director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.
According to a release, 59 companies agreed to locate or expand in Wisconsin last year with support from WEDC. Their projects are estimated to create or retain around 30,000 jobs, and more than $11.6 billion in capital investment is expected as a result of these projects.
–By Alex Moe