Midwest Energy Research Consortium: Economic Development Administration announces $1.67 Million for M-WERC

Contact: Joshua Morby, (414) 791-9120 joshmorby@jramadvisers.com

MILWAUKEE – The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will help drive economic growth in Wisconsin with the investment of $1.67 Million in the Midwest Energy Research Consortium’s Energy Innovation Advanced Training & Development Center. 

“M-WERC and its member companies are leading the way on energy, technology innovation and manufacturing to grow our Made in Wisconsin economy,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “I was pleased to support this economic development grant funding to help M-WERC expand its workforce, train the next generation of workers and continue building new, innovative technologies right here in Milwaukee.”

The investment (including a $835K grant from EDA) will be used to purchase state of the art training and development equipment for the M-WERC Center. 
“On behalf of our many partners and supports, I’d like to express our excitement about what this opportunity means for M-WERC, Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin,” said Alan Perlstein CEO of M-WERC. “We are grateful to the EDA and the US Department of Commerce in enabling procurement of this state-of-the-art development and training hardware.” 

This unique equipment will assist M-WERC’s Extreme Power Conversion development programs and enable tomorrow’s line workers, test technicians and power engineers to be trained in M-WERC’s facility on 27th and Hope Street in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor.Locating development and training programs in disinvested neighborhoods where unemployed is greater than 11% serves an engine for community development as well as economic development.

M-WERC worked on this effort in collaboration with academic partners UW- Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the Innovative Educational Solutions Institute as well as corporate partners Eaton, Astronautics, Leonardo DRS and Faith Technologies. The equipment will be used to train electrical assembly workers and technicians and set the stage for an additional onsite electrical line worker training facility. 

“We’re excited about our ability to meet the critical workforce needs of our members as Milwaukee’s aging workforce begins to retire,” said Dan Ebert, Executive Director of M-WERC. “We already have commitments from our members to hire the first 100 graduates as soon as we can get them trained.”

“M-WERC’s location near Century City builds on the synergies of workforce development efforts already underway in the city. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Maximus are already located in our building. We’re excited to take advantage of the neighborhoods available workforce.”

Upon completion, the equipment and testing facility will provide a new (currently unavailable) resource to train engineers working with medium voltage as a tool to develop state of the art wide bandgap semiconductors.

“Today’s announcement aligns perfectly with our vision for promoting and driving technology based innovation for Wisconsin’s energy power and control sector,” said Ebert.  “We look forward to opening the facility in phases beginning in 2020.”

About the Midwest Energy Research ConsortiumM-WERC was founded in 2009 by three universities and four industrial companies to focus on conducting collaborative and transformative energy related seed research. It has grown to more than 90 members with an annual budget of more than $1 million. M-WERC is dedicated to making the Midwest region the leader in energy power and controls. For more information visit M-WERC.org or follow us on Twitter at @MWERC.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.