A Diverse Economy

Waukesha County is known for its robust and diverse economy, with businesses representing a variety of industries. Certain industries stand out for their large number of firms, concentrated workforce, and highly-developed supply chains. Below are some of our key industry clusters in Waukesha County.

Corporate Headquarters

We are proud our county is home to the corporate headquarters of highly-recognizable, name brand companies like Milwaukee Tool, Kohl's, Generac, and Quad. These corporate behemoths have chosen to continue to grow and invest in our county due to our business-friendly communities, stellar tax environment, robust infrastructure, and second-to-none workforce.

Waukesha County has also historically been a haven for family-owned businesses across all industries. Companies like VJS Construction, MSI General, Sussex IM, Superior Crane, and Bradley Corporation have flourished in Waukesha County over multiple generations of family leadership.

Our county is also a hub for employee stock ownership (ESOP) companies. This model can lead to greater buy-in and productivity from employees. Companies such as Sentry Equipment in Oconomowoc, The Wagner Companies in Butler, Wenthe-Davidson Engineering and IEWC in New Berlin, and The Howard Group and QPS Employment Group in Brookfield have adopted this model. Additionally, Pewaukee-based OwnersEdge is an ESOP holding company that helps businesses through the ESOP process.

Generac logo

Advanced Manufacturing & Automation

Waukesha County is THE place where cool things are made - and where the systems and machines that make the cool things are made! Our businesses have a long history of developing and manufacturing innovative products, as well as the state-of-the-art machinery used to manufacture those products. These are not your grandfather’s manufacturing operations – these plants are highly sophisticated and automated, and their employees are highly-trained.

GE HealthCare, a global leader in medical imaging and information technologies, patient monitoring systems and healthcare services, has its largest operations in Waukesha and is a driver of a robust medical device supply chain throughout the county and state. GE HealthCare recently spun off from GE and celebrated its NASDAQ listing with a Founders Day event at its Waukesha campus.

Milwaukee Tool and Generac are consumer products companies with headquarters and significant manufacturing operations in Waukesha County. Similar to GE HealthCare, the presence of these corporate giants here in our county has led to the development of sophisticated local and statewide supply chains serving their production of tools and generators.

Waukesha County is also at the forefront of the automation revolution. Our manufacturers are constantly innovating to be more efficient and effective in their production and addressing nationwide labor shortages by incorporating automation solutions. Metal-Era, Frentzel Products, and Sentry Equipment are just a few of our manufacturers who have integrated automation and robotics into their processes.

Our businesses also have expertise in developing the systems and equipment to implement automation solutions. Companies like Gross Automation and Midwest Engineered Systems design and build automation equipment and robotics. Additionally, our business community has developed significant capabilities in artificial intelligence, with companies like EmbedTek incorporating machine learning and AI into its IoT platforms.

Food & Beverage

Wisconsin's strong agricultural base is a historic driver of the robust food and beverage manufacturing cluster in Waukesha County. In fact, the name "Waukesha" is often considered synonymous with this industry, thanks to the ubiquity of Waukesha Cherry-Burrell pumps in food, dairy, and beverage processing plants all over the world.

Our businesses manufacture a variety of food and beverage products. DreamPak in New Berlin produces water enhancers, instant meals and coffee creamers. Midwest Custom Bottling in Pewaukee is a one-stop-shop for developing, brewing, bottling, and distributing distilled spirits. Denali Ingredients in New Berlin supplies food manufacturers with a broad line of quality ingredients, including enhancements for ice cream, and has expert food scientists to help with product innovation and support.

Many companies in Waukesha County support the food and beverage industry by manufacturing innovative packaging and labeling products. Glenroy, Inc. located in Menomonee Falls, offers sustainable flexible packaging and stand-up pouches. KDV Label in Waukesha and CL&D Graphics with locations in Oconomowoc and Hartland are just a few of the local companies designing and manufacturing customized labels for the food and beverage (and broader consumer products) industries.

Other companies in our county manufacture systems to support the food and beverage industry. Zero Zone, Inc., located in Waukesha, is a leading manufacturer of refrigerated display cases and refrigeration systems for food and beverage retail. Hydro-Thermal Corporation is also at the forefront of food and beverage manufacturing innovation with their direct steam injection heating solutions.

Energy, Power & Controls

Waukesha County businesses play a major role in a significant regional and statewide cluster of energy, power and controls companies. Known as the Smart Energy Hub, this cluster includes world-class energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed generation, control technologies, and energy storage companies and university research. Within Waukesha County, companies operating in this space include Generac Power Systems, Eaton, ABB, INNIO, Prolec GE,  and Leonardo DRS. Learn more about the energy, power and controls (EPC) industry in Wisconsin by downloading the Wisconsin EPC profile.

Looking to expand your business in Waukesha County?