Wisconsin governor announces details for sustainable manufacturing program

RP news wires

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle on April 20 announced the 50 companies that will participate in the Sustainable Manufacturing Pilot program. The state is investing $1.75 million through the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help small and mid-sized manufacturers use sustainable practices to save money and gain a competitive edge. Governor Doyle made the announcement at the Manufacturing Matters Conference in Milwaukee.

“Today, I am proud to announce the 50 companies that will pilot this project and chart the future of manufacturing in Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “We know that investing in more efficient manufacturing is the best way to help our manufacturers thrive. Through this pilot program, we will create model companies and clear paths to success for small and mid-sized manufacturers looking to make sustainable investments.”

In his State of the State Address in January, Governor Doyle announced the Wisconsin Green to Gold Fund. By streamlining existing state resources, the state is creating a new $100 million revolving loan fund for manufacturers to reduce their energy costs. As part of that effort, the profitable sustainability initiative helps small and mid-sized manufacturers plan and implement sustainable practices.

The goal of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership is to create clean energy jobs in manufacturing, and help manufacturers invest in more efficient processes that minimize their impact on the environment, reduce their use of energy and natural resources, are safer for employees and consumers and – most importantly – improve their bottom line.

The 50 small and mid-sized companies in this partnership represent a diverse cross section of the state’s manufacturers. Over the next year, the 50 companies will receive assistance to cover up-front planning costs to assess and create plans to implement sustainable improvements to their businesses.

Last November, Governor Doyle called for his Administration to meet with key manufacturers at a sustainable manufacturing roundtable. The sustainability manufacturing pilot program is a direct result of those meetings. The program builds on the Governor’s work over the past seven years to prepare Wisconsin manufacturers to succeed, and today, Wisconsin leads the nation in the percentage of workers in manufacturing.

To view the list of full list of pilot companies, visit: http://commerce.wi.gov/NEWS/releases/2010/066-Profitability-Sustainability-Initiative.pdf

Since taking office in 2003, Governor Doyle has worked aggressively to create and retain jobs in Wisconsin. Because of Governor Doyle’s leadership, Wisconsin now has some of the most powerful economic development tools in the country – from new tax credits to help manufacturers create and retain jobs, to new tools to help investors create start-ups, to new incentives to spur research and development. As a result of these tax credits, numerous companies have expanded or moved operations from other states to Wisconsin – including Republic Airways in Milwaukee, Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, and Oshkosh Corporation – creating thousands of new jobs in communities throughout the state.

Governor Doyle has laid out plans to continue building the state’s economy and create jobs, including passing the CORE Jobs Act to build on the Governor’s successful economic development tax credits and strengthen programs for manufacturing, research and development, and worker training. The governor has also called for passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act to create 16,000 jobs in the emerging clean energy economy and is establishing the Wisconsin Green to Gold Fund to help manufacturers reduce energy costs and create and retain jobs.

Governor Doyle has also worked to improve Wisconsin’s tax ranking and business climate. Today, Wisconsin ranks 30th in business taxes – well below the national average. 

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