Wisconsin Governor announces agenda to modernize industry

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has announced a plan to increase Wisconsin manufacturing efficiency by focusing on efficiency and lean manufacturing principles.

The plan, called Next Generation Manufacturing, targets $85 million in existing and new tax credits to leverage $1.6 billion in private investment that will create 5,000 new jobs and train 4,000 workers.

"To remain competitive, our manufacturers must continue to become leaner and more efficient," Doyle said. "This plan will build on our success, helping Wisconsin manufacturers modernize and access the support they need to compete in the global economy."

The plan is part of the next phase of Governor Doyle's Grow Wisconsin agenda. Continued foreign demand for high quality manufactured goods, combined with a weak dollar, should continue to provide opportunities for Wisconsin manufacturers to export products and maintain its status as a world leader, Doyle said.

As part of the plan, the state will provide $1.2 million to support Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnerships to expand the number of state manufacturers working to implement lean manufacturing principles. The funding will bring original equipment manufacturers, labor unions, and technical colleges together to assist small and mid-sized manufacturers adopt lean manufacturing principles.

The state also will invest $750,000 and leverage $500,000 from the federal government to assist more than 100 small and mid-sized manufacturers across Wisconsin that have never used lean manufacturing techniques. The funds will also target companies committed to diversifying their products, opening new markets for Wisconsin manufacturers.

Doyle also pledged to work with lawmakers to streamline five different economic developmental programs into one comprehensive, consolidated tax credit that is targeted to help Wisconsin manufacturers train workers, create jobs, and invest in the future.

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