STATEMENT FROM MMAC:
“We share President Biden’s goal of increasing the rate of vaccination among our eligible population. The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective, and they are the best path for dealing with this pandemic. Many Milwaukee region employers, public-facing venues and educational institutions have implemented vaccination requirements. However, there are significant regulatory, logistical and human resource issues that accompany this mandate on businesses, not to mention the financial burden of potential fines. We will continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, but this mandate shifts the burden of convincing people to get vaccinated almost entirely to our business community.“
Hispanic Heritage Month ended Oct. 15, but the size and impact of the growing Hispanic demographic really require year long attention and investment.
So what do you need to know to help inform your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts? Watch a replay of a recent informational briefing with the Hispanic Collaborative, an MMAC affiliate. This event provided an update on the latest 2020 Census data highlighting Hispanic workforce numbers, and suggested ways you can invest in and support this important segment of the labor force.
A copy of the event presentation also is available:
To learn more about the Hispanic Collaborative, visit its website.
Download a copy of Dr. John Raymond's presentation during the October edition of MMAC's monthly webinar series:
Replays of MMAC webinars can be found on our YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is launching a new initiative to promote startups and entrepreneurship in the Milwaukee Region.
Goals for the new initiative include:
“The Milwaukee Region has experienced considerable success in corporate expansion and attraction over the past 15 years, thanks in large part to the outstanding efforts of the Milwaukee 7 Development Partnership,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “Startups and entrepreneurship are an equally important part of regional economic development, but the successes we’ve seen in this area are not as widely known. Through this new initiative, which is guided by input from the Milwaukee startup community over the past several months, MMAC hopes to play a larger role in amplifying Milwaukee’s existing startup success stories, finding new ways to strengthen our region’s startup muscles and ultimately attract even more founders and funders to our region.”
This initiative is in partnership with MMAC Board Member Chris Abele, the managing director of CSA Partners and former Milwaukee County executive. It was driven by a working group of founders and funders who want to raise the profile of what’s working in the Milwaukee Region and the assets we have, while also surfacing new ways for the region to grow its startup and entrepreneurship landscape. The new initiative is being resourced with more than $500,000 to get it off the ground.
“Milwaukee has an active startup scene, with the potential for massive growth,” Abele said. “But people may not be aware of some of the success stories that started here or the value proposition Milwaukee offers to entrepreneurs and investors. Through this initiative, we hope to raise awareness of everything that is possible here. As is the case with many things here in Milwaukee, we have a much better story to tell than the one we’re actually telling right now.”
As part of this initiative, MMAC has launched a website dedicated to educating the Milwaukee community on startup and entrepreneurship activity in Milwaukee. The MKE Startup News website is live at https://mkestartup.news/.
MMAC also has hired Anna Lardinois in a newly created role, startup storyteller. She will produce content for the site, serve as a connector within the Milwaukee startup and entrepreneurship community and assist members of the media who are writing about startups and entrepreneurship in our region. Lardinois is a local author and historian who previously served as the narrator at the Pfister Hotel.
As this initiative evolves, other planned projects include:
Sheehy and Abele will further discuss the launch of this initiative on the MMAC’s Business of Metro MKE webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. This webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is required and available online.
Seeking new avenues to build enthusiasm and interest in technology careers within the next generation of the Milwaukee Region’s work force, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is announcing a partnership with the MKEsports Alliance.
Formed in 2020, the MKEsports Alliance’s mission is to grow the culture and connectivity of the regional esports groups, gamers, businesses and community partners. Through these efforts, the alliance also hopes to advance metro Milwaukee’s standing as a national leader in this space, poised for future infrastructure and development.
Short for electronic sports, esports refers to competitive video gaming watched by spectators – both online and, when possible, in person. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the worldwide sports and entertainment economy.
“Any worldwide industry that’s on track to produce a billion dollars-plus in revenue and captures millions of eyeballs should grab our attention as a region,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “While the sports may be virtual, the benefits are tangible: Developing an engaged and enthusiastic esports community will help grow the Milwaukee Region as a place that welcomes the next generation of talented tech professionals to put down roots and grow their careers.”
MMAC will look for opportunities to involve the Milwaukee Region’s business community in the esports community. This partnership aligns with MMAC’s broader talent development and retention goals and initiatives.
“A growing number of regions nationally, very similar in size and demographic to Milwaukee, are investing heavily into the development of their esports ecosystem,” said Brandon Tschacher, Founder of the Alliance. “These potential investments include brick-and-mortar facilities, large-scale events and tournaments, all the way up to passing supportive tax incentives from city and state legislature. Engaging our business community through the MMAC, alongside supportive partners in areas such as education, tourism and local government, is going to be pivotal to capturing this once in a generation opportunity.”
According to an estimate from Business Insider Intelligence, total esports viewership is expected to grow at a 9 percent compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023.
Deloitte estimates that investments in the esports industry totaled $4.5 billion in 2018, up from $490 million the year before.
The Milwaukee Region currently features an esports team sponsored by the Milwaukee Bucks, along with developing esports initiatives at our higher education institutions and private efforts. According to the alliance, Wisconsin benefits from more than $330 million added to the local economy thanks to the growing video game industry’s impact on the state.
The alliance’s name is pronounced “Milwaukee esports alliance.” For additional information, visit mkeesports.com
About the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
For more than 150 years, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has been serving area businesses as a private, not-for-profit organization. Today we represent approximately 1,800 member businesses with 300,000 employees in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties and beyond. Our mission is to improve metro Milwaukee as a place to invest capital, grow business and create jobs. mmac.org
If your company is already a member of MMAC, thank you for your investment in growing your business and building the Milwaukee Region. If your company is not yet a member, but is interested in exploring the benefits of joining, please contact our membership team.
In the Sept. 14 edition of MMAC's monthly webinar, Business of Metro MKE, we heard from the following guests:
• Dr. Benjamin Weston, MCW Associate Professor and Medical Director at the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management
• Kari Atkinson, Vice President of Employee Rewards and Experience, ManpowerGroup
• Mark Goldstein, President, Goldstein Law Group
Video replays of MMAC webinars are available on our YouTube channel.
Dr. Raymond had a scheduling conflict, but did provide this update:
On Sept. 9, President Biden announced the Administration’s “Path Out of the Pandemic” plan. It may be weeks before our business community receives specific details from the federal government on the general policies that were announced. In many respects, there are more questions than answers. The following is an overview of what we know right now about the plan and how it may affect your business. We'd especially like to thank MMAC member Michael Best & Friedrich LLP for sharing their initial takeaways, many of which are incorporated here.
Members also are welcome to attend MMAC’s Business of Metro MKE webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to noon. In that program, experts from public health, human resources and law will discuss efforts to contain the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, what a return to the office looks like in this environment, and what we know about the new Biden administration plan. If you are already registered for the series, we’ll see you on Tuesday. If not, register for free on MMAC.org.
MMAC shared the following statement Thursday evening:
Our businesses, and you as business leaders, have already borne a significant and unprecedented burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to helping you, your companies and your employees navigate these obligations.
Through a Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), employers with 100 or more employees must ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any unvaccinated workers to produce weekly negative test results before coming to work.
The Administration’s plan also includes the following obligations:
When will OSHA release its rule implementing the President’s requirements? And when will it go into effect?
Currently, the plan does not estimate when it will be released or when it goes into effect, or how long employers will have to prepare. We hope that more guidance addressing employer concerns will be available in the coming days or weeks.
Who will be responsible for payment of weekly testing of unvaccinated employees?
The plan does not address who must pay for additional costs of testing unvaccinated employees on a weekly basis, including the time to get the negative test results.
Who is responsible for the PTO the plan is requiring for employees who get vaccinated?
The plan does not address who is financially responsible for the PTO, nor does it indicate whether the PTO requirement will be in addition to any employer-provided PTO benefit.
Will the vaccination requirement apply to remote workers and remote employees?
The plan lacks clarity whether remote workers will be required to get vaccinated, but the “before coming to work” language suggests that vaccination requirements may not apply to remote workers.
Will the vaccination requirement apply to federal employees, and to contractors and subcontractors that do business with the federal government?
The President has signed an Executive Order to require all federal executive branch workers to be vaccinated, “subject to exceptions required by law.” The President also signed an Executive Order directing that this standard be extended to employees of many contractors and subcontractors that do business with the federal government. These orders do not, as we read them, allow for employees to remain unvaccinated by providing a weekly negative test result.
How will the vaccination requirement affect schools?
The plan does not require teachers, staff, or students to be vaccinated. Nor does it require schools or school districts to adopt vaccination or testing requirements. However, the plan calls for governors to require vaccinations for teachers and school staff. Additionally, the plan calls for the Department of Education to make additional funding available to school districts for implementing COVID safety measures.
Will existing mask rules stay in place?
The plan calls for continued strong mask requirements to help slow and contain the spread of the virus and COVID-19 transmission keeping in place mask mandates at the federal level. President Biden’s executive order, “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel,” directed applicable agencies to take action to require mask-wearing in airports and on certain modes of public transportation, including on many airplanes, trains, maritime vessels, and intercity bus services.
TSA has extended its implementing orders for air and ground travel through Jan. 18, 2022, and the President’s plan will double fines for those who are not in compliance. The President’s plan will also ensure that masking requirements remain in place on the other modes of transportation as the country continues to battle COVID-19.
Also, President Biden’s executive order, “Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing,” requires masks and specific physical distancing requirements in federal buildings, on federal lands, on military bases and other overseas locations consistent with CDC guidance. President Biden’s plan will ensure that these requirements remain in place as the nation continues to battle COVID-19.
Again, thank you to Michael Best for sharing their perspective.
Your partner in challenging times
We will continue to share details on these new policies as they emerge. MMAC is here to help businesses and business leaders through this challenge and whatever comes next.
If your business is already a member of MMAC, thank you for your investment. Our work would not be possible without you. If your company is not yet a member, our team would love the opportunity to speak with you.
STATEMENT FROM MMAC:
“We share President Biden’s goal of increasing the rate of vaccination among our eligible population. The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective, and they are the best path for our society to finally reach the end of this pandemic. Many Milwaukee Region employers already have chosen to require their employees to get vaccinated. Many public-facing venues have required the same of their customers. The same is true at some of our colleges and universities. However, we are concerned that this new federal requirement for any business with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations or regular testing of their entire workforce is a blunt instrument that will create a significant regulatory and logistical burden for businesses. We will continue to monitor this policy as it become more fully developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, including the possibility of subjecting businesses to financial penalties for the actions of employees who do not comply with requirements. In the meantime, we will continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.”
MMAC's Tim Sheehy and M7's Jim Paetsch - perspectives on Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee's leadership transition
The White House announced that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will be nominated as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg.
STATEMENT FROM MMAC PRESIDENT TIM SHEEHY
"We congratulate Mayor Barrett on his upcoming ambassadorial appointment, and thank him for all he’s done on behalf of Milwaukee. Mayor Barrett has been a consistent champion for economic development here, and we wish him all the best in his new role. We look forward to continuing our work to improve metro Milwaukee as a place to invest capital, grow business and create jobs with the respected leader of the Common Council, Cavalier Johnson, in his new role as Acting Mayor."
STATEMENT FROM JIM PAETSCH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MILWAUKEE 7 REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP
“We congratulate Mayor Barrett, who was a valued founding partner of the Milwaukee 7. Mayor Barrett was an early champion of regionalism, and he recognized that what was good for the region was good for Milwaukee. He put economic development among his highest priorities and on his watch, Milwaukee drew in a significant amount of investment and job creation. We wish Mayor Barrett all the best in his next chapter and look forward to working with Acting Mayor Johnson, who shares our commitment to economic development.”
MILWAUKEE – To recognize some of our region’s most inspiring business stories, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is announcing 15 finalists for the 2021 Focus on the Future awards.
Winners in each of five categories will be revealed at the Focus on the Future awards luncheon on Friday, Sept. 24 at the Italian Community Center. An additional group of companies is being recognized as honorable mentions.
Download a copy of the slides from the July edition of the MMAC Business of Metro MKE webinar series. This episode featured guest host Jim Paetsch, Executive Director of the Milwaukee 7 Development Partnership, along with Milwaukee City Development Commissioner Lafayette Crump and Todd Battle, President of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, also gave a regional health update.
Replays of this and other webinar episodes are available on MMAC’s YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce recognizes the foundational role a democracy plays in supporting a free-market economy. As such, we affirm these principles:
To continue its work to advance economic development efforts in the seven counties of Southeastern Wisconsin, the Milwaukee 7 Regional Partnership is reorganizing its leadership roles. These changes become effective July 1.
As a result of this reorganization:
O’Brien was named the inaugural Executive Director of M7 after it was created in 2005 to bring together the seven counties of Southeastern Wisconsin to collaborate and advance economic development efforts in the region. O’Brien also previously served on a part-time basis as leader of MDC, an MMAC affiliate focused on catalytic real estate development with $37 million in assets. O’Brien will now focus on this role on a full-time basis.
“During Pat’s tenure, M7 has matured from a fledgling concept to a fully grown regional economic development partnership,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “M7 has worked on talent development programs, international trade, entrepreneurship, and region building with its local, state, and federal partners. On behalf of everyone in the Milwaukee Region’s economic development and business communities, we thank Pat for his important work in making this vision a reality.”
Paetsch also has been with M7 since it launched in 2005, previously serving as Vice President of Corporate Expansion and Attraction. During that time, M7 has recorded 113 attraction and expansion project wins, adding a total of 24,000 pledged jobs, $1.3 billion in annual payroll and $3.2 billion in capital investment.
“Jim is a dynamic leader who has become the driving force for our region’s corporate attraction and expansion efforts,” Sheehy said. “His promotion to Senior VP and Executive Director is in recognition of these terrific efforts. Jim has a proven track record of collaborating to deliver results, including major projects such as Haribo, Milwaukee Tool, Komatsu Mining, Nexus, and Ingeteam, to name just a few of more than 100. Jim will also oversee the role M7 plays in economic development. This promotion and new role will allow for continued coordination with our local and state partners, while delivering best-in-class attention to our development prospects. We congratulate Jim on this well-deserved acknowledgement of his efforts.”
In her newly created role, Olberding will integrate economic development programing across M7 and MMAC to support members, investors, and regional and state partners. She brings a breadth of experience to the organization, most recently as President of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce in Iowa. She has an MBA from the University of Iowa.
“We’re proud to welcome Lynn to the team, and excited for her to get started,” Sheehy said. “As we emerge from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and refocus on the M7 Prosperity 2025 campaign, Lynn will lead the strategy development of this critical effort to ensure the future prosperity of the Milwaukee Region.”
About the Milwaukee 7 Regional Partnership
The Milwaukee 7 is the regional economic development partnership of the seven Southeastern Wisconsin counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.
Launched in 2005 by founding partners MMAC, the City of Milwaukee and the Greater Milwaukee Committee, M7 is dedicated to bringing the Milwaukee Region’s business and economic development community together to grow, expand and attract businesses and develop talented employees. mke7.com
About the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
For more than 150 years, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) has been serving area businesses as a private, not-for-profit organization. Today we represent approximately 1,800 member businesses with 300,000 employees in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties and beyond. Our mission is to improve metro Milwaukee as a place to invest capital, grow business and create jobs. mmac.org
In this episode of MMAC’s Business of Metro MKE webinar, we heard from Milwaukee Tool Group President Steve Richman and Dr. Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
A replay of the event will be available on MMAC’s YouTube channel shortly after it concludes.
To download a copy of Dr. Raymond’s presentation, click here:
Today, the City of Milwaukee announced that it would lift most COVID-19 restrictions on businesses beginning June 15.
Read a statement from MMAC President Tim Sheehy:
"Today’s announcement is a huge positive step toward full economic recovery for our region. We appreciate the leadership of Commissioner Johnson and the team at the Milwaukee Health Department in helping businesses navigate through the constantly changing complexities of the COVID pandemic over the past 14 months. Being able to reach a point where the emphasis can shift away from government controls and safety mandates to increased business flexibility and individual responsibility is a validation of the hard work and sacrifice by so many individuals and businesses who made the tough choices necessary to slow the spread of COVID. We urge continued vigilance by the entire community to make the commonsense choices necessary to keep our region healthy and allow our economy to return to full strength."
For additional perspective, watch a video from our Senior VP of Governmental Affairs Steve Baas:
In the May 11 edition of MMAC's Business of Metro MKE webinar, we discussed what factors businesses should be considering as they plan to bring employees who have been working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic back to the office. Below, you can download presentations from this episode. Video replays will be available on MMAC's YouTube channel shortly after the live episode has concluded.
MMAC has launched an online application for the 2021 Focus on the Future awards.
These awards will highlight the Milwaukee Region’s most inspiring business stories, honoring organizations for their excellence in one of these five categories:
Additional information is available on MMAC.org including a link to the application. The application deadline is May 28. Members of the Milwaukee community also can nominate an employer worthy of consideration. Nonprofits and startups are eligible for award consideration. Small and mid-size businesses, and diverse-owned businesses, are encouraged to apply.
Winners and honorable mentions in each category will be honored at an award ceremony on Friday, Sept. 24. Specific event details are to be determined, but it is expected to be held in person at the Italian Community Center.
We thank our sponsor First Midwest Bank and media partner BizTimes Media for their support of this program.
Chamber invites attendees to “have a shot and a beer on us!”
To emphasize the pivotal role that COVID-19 vaccines play in the Milwaukee Region’s economic rebound, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is partnering with one of its member companies, Novir, to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to attendees at this week’s Madison Night in Milwaukee event.
The event, which will be held at the Saint Kate hotel on Thursday, May 6, is MMAC’s first major in-person event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Milwaukee-based Novir, an MMAC member company and leader in on-site COVID-19 testing and vaccination services, will provide free vaccinations, plus free antibody testing and antigen testing, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the event.
“Milwaukee’s economy is bouncing back already, and we’ll make even more economic progress as more and more of us get the robust, safe and scientifically proven protection that comes with vaccination,” said Steve Baas, MMAC Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs. “While this is not the first time you’ll hear someone in Milwaukee talk about having a ‘shot and a beer,’ we’re temporarily borrowing the phrase to help encourage everybody to get vaccinated and have a little fun in the process.”
Madison Night in Milwaukee is MMAC’s annual reception thanking state elected officials for all the work they do and showcasing the Milwaukee region and its companies. Working together, we are making the Southeast Wisconsin a world-class business location.
Last year’s event was cancelled because of the pandemic. This year’s safe, socially distanced event is designed to follow City of Milwaukee health and safety guidelines. Masks will be required when not eating or drinking.
Registration remains open for the event, although capacity is limited by City guidelines. Visit MMAC.org for details.
New poll: More than 70% of voters in Milwaukee, Waukesha Counties support modernizing I-94 East-West corridor
Area residents overwhelmingly support the modernization of the 60-year-old I-94 East-West Corridor with an added lane in each direction to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow and safety, according to a poll of Milwaukee and Waukesha voters released today.
Roughly three-quarters of those surveyed drive this vital stretch of Interstate between the Marquette and Zoo interchanges at least once a month, with 28 percent using it weekly. People who live along the 3.5-mile proposed project work area are most likely to use the corridor daily.
“The poll shows that people understand this section of the Interstate is old and reaching the end of its life,” said Terry McGowan, president/business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139 and member of the I-94 East-West Econ Connect coalition. “Doing nothing is not an option. Instead of a continual cycle of short-term fixes, like another resurfacing, which will lead to years of orange barrels and traffic diversions with no improvements in safety or increase in capacity, we need to move forward now to create jobs and rebuild the corridor to meet the region’s demands for the next 50-plus years.”
Read the full release here.
MMAC is hosting the latest edition of its monthly Business of Metro MKE webinar on Tuesday, April 13. A replay will be available on MMAC’s YouTube channel.
To download a copy of the presentation given by Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, click here: