THE AGENDA: Legislative update
by Steve Baas - Senior VP of Government Affairs
The state legislature’s budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance completed its work last week, and the budget heads to the full legislature for approval next week. Some highlights of the committee’s work as it pertains to MMAC’s public policy agenda are included:
By Todd McLees - Founder & Managing Partner, Pendio Group
I had the good fortune to spend time with hundreds of Wisconsin companies in 2018. One of my key takeaways from those experiences is that while we all know that technological innovations are changing the world, we don’t necessarily grasp how fast it is happening.
Leonardo DRS Inc. is building a new manufacturing facility and offices in Menomonee Falls to accommodate its growing Naval Power Systems line of business -- a project expected to create up to 220 jobs in southeast Wisconsin.
The company will invest $56 million in a new best-in-class engineering and manufacturing facility to serve as the focal point for most of its business development and production activities.
The facility, expected to open in 2020, will house the design, test and manufacturing facilities for naval and marine power distribution, power conversion, motor controls, drives and automation/control equipment for the U.S. Navy, commercial and international customers.
In an interview with the Milwaukee BizTimes, MMAC president Tim Sheehy said the Milwaukee 7 economic development partnership exhausted all possibilities for the company in Milwaukee before considering other options. The company also was exploring options outside Wisconsin.
>>View full edition from December 13, 2019 MMAC Insider
Divided government was the big winner both locally and nationally in the midterm elections.
by Steve Baas, Senior VP of Governmental Affairs
On the national front, Democrats claimed a narrow majority in the House of Representatives while Republicans expanded their majority in the US Senate. Since 1900, there have only been two midterm elections where the party in the White House did not lose seats in the Congress. This year was no exception, though the Republicans’ net loss of roughly 25 seats in Congress actually outperformed most recent presidents’ first term midterms - President Reagan (-26); Clinton (- 63); George W. Bush added seats in 2002 the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks but lost 36 in the 2006 midterm; Obama (-69). Meanwhile, the status quo held in our Wisconsin congressional delegation, with all incumbents winning comfortably and Republican candidate Brian Steil winning the open seat being vacated by Paul Ryan.
Below are the proposed candidates for the MMAC Board of Directors. To view their bios and the current directors up for re-election, click here. Members should watch their inboxes for the MMAC proxy to vote on the nominees.
It's been almost 19 years since metro Milwaukee last registered an annual average employment high. In that period, we have gone through two national recessions -- one mild and one deep. At the present pace of growth, the metro area should reach a new all-time high in 2018, averaging an estimated 875,300, somewhat higher than the year 2000 average of 874,700.
Likewise, the metro area unemployment rate should reach a historical low. At the present pace, the local unemployment rate should average an estimated 3% in 2018, below the record 3.2% average rate posted in 1999. While the historical record only goes from 1990 to present for this series, a review of unrevised data from earlier years suggest that the annual rate has not been lower since sometime before 1970. >>Read more of this eNewsletter
What does MMAC mean to your business? In addition to helping you network, strengthen your company and improve the business climate, we can also save you money!
by MMAC President Tim Sheehy
As employers we want a region that is globally competitive, producing high-value jobs that sustain a vibrant quality of life for all. So, the dangers of a barbell economy are real. An economy weighted on one end with growing prosperity and on the other with growing disparity, is not one that will sustain its health or vibrancy.
The demand for talent is clear and present. The danger is the region’s working age population will grow at less than 1% over the next 20 years. Metro Milwaukee is experiencing unprecedented employment. Sixty-one percent of employers are projected to increase hiring according to our second quarter survey, and wage gains are at a 17-year high. On the flip side, 29% of the city’s residents (169,000) are living on incomes below $25,000.
Milwaukee Tool is expanding again in Brookfield, with plans to build a $32 million R&D facility - a project expected to create 350 new jobs.
The company has purchased a 3.5-acre site near its current facility that will house an advanced manufacturing research and development facility and office space. The 114,500-square foot, multi-story building is expected to be completed by late 2019.The company plans to create 350 jobs at the facility over the next five years - primarily engineering and software positions with an annual average salary of $75,000.
The June 28 ceremonial groundbreaking for Foxconn's future 22-million-square-foot manufacturing and research campus included (from l to r): Governor Scott Walker, President Donald Trump, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, and House Speaker Paul Ryan in Mount Pleasant.
The team effort to win the project included the MMAC and Milwaukee 7 Economic Development Partnership (M7) together with key partners at state and federal levels. It is the largest economic development win in Wisconsin's history. The campus is expected to employ 13,000 workers, making Foxconn the largest private-sector employer in the state.
Also in this issue of the MMAC Insider eNewsletter:
Record number of construction-related firms make the list