During National Economic Development Week this week, the Waukesha County Center for Growth celebrated its one year anniversary with a ribbon cutting and open house.In May of 2016, Waukesha County, the Waukesha County Business Alliance, the City of Waukesha and the University of WisconsinSmall Business Development Center (SBDC) signed a partnership agreement to create the Waukesha County Center for Growth. The Center for Growth serves as the central point of contact for businesses looking to grow in Waukesha County.The Center for Growth works to create a vibrant economy where businesses and citizens thrive. Tim Casey began work as Director of Economic Development in September of 2016. Karen Taylor began work as the Business Outreach Specialist in November of 2016 through a partnership with SBDC and Robyn Ludtke started as the Talent & Education Manager in February of 2017.Since then, the Center for Growth has brought companies like W.M. Sprinkman and First Choice Ingredients into Waukesha County.W.M. Sprinkman moved to Waukesha County in December of 2016. W.M. Sprinkman manufactures processing equipment for the dairy, food, beverage and craft brewing industries and employs 60 people, with plans to add additional positions in the coming years.First Choice Ingredients, a concentrated dairy flavorings manufacturer headquartered in Germantown, acquired an 83,000-square foot facility in Menomonee Falls to help with their expansion efforts in March of 2017. First Choice Ingredients currently employs 110 people and have committed to hiring a minimum of 20 new employees at the new facility in the next three years.“There’s a lot of potential for businesses in Waukesha County and we’re proud to be able to help drive economic growth locally,” said Tim Casey, director of economic development for the Waukesha County Center for Growth. “With our pro-business climate, family-friendly culture and abundant natural resources, Waukesha County sells itself as a great place to do business.”The Center for Growth also assists with workforce development efforts, assists with accessing financing for projects and managing the approvals process and provides no-cost consulting services for small businesses. These efforts are making Waukesha County a better place to work, play and live.Municipalities currently participating in the effort include the City of Waukesha, City of Brookfield, City of Oconomowoc, Village of Big Bend, Village of Dousman, Village of Hartland, Village of Menomonee Falls, Village of Mukwonago, Village of Pewaukee, Village of Sussex and Town of Lisbon.Board members for the Center for Growth include Nate Zastrow, First Bank Financial Centre; Dale Shaver, Waukesha County; Suzanne Kelley, Waukesha County Business Alliance; Cheryl Aschenbrener, Sikich LLP; Greg Bauer, BMO Harris Bank; Tom Finco, American Transmission Company; Gus Hernandez, Johnson Financial Group; Jay Mack, Town Bank; Barry McNulty, We Energies; Mike Payne, R&R Insurance Services, Inc.; and Kevin Lahner, City of Waukesha.
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