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Governor Walker proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin and Friday, October 6 as Manufacturing Day (proclamation).

In celebration of this proclamation, here is a brief overview of manufacturing industry’s impact on the Wisconsin economy:


  • Last year, Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry accounted for more than 18 percent of its gross domestic product and contributed over $56 billion to the state’s economic growth (Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development).
  • Manufactured goods account for 84 percent of all Wisconsin exports, with $55 billion of output demonstrating a healthy worldwide demand for products and technologies originating in the state (U.S. Census Bureau data as reported by Global Trade Information Services, Bureau of Economic Analysis).
  • Mature markets as well as developing economies across the globe benefit from the proven expertise Wisconsin companies have developed and successfully applied both domestically and internationally.


  • In 2016, the industry employed more than 461,000 Wisconsinites (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
  • The state’s manufacturing job concentration is 84 percent above the national average (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, Annual 2014 Employment).
  • Over the last four years, $381 million was dedicated to statewide workforce development to ensure the next generation of Wisconsin Works is qualified and ready to work (Office of Governor Walker, 2017).
  • According to monthly jobs estimates Wisconsin has created 37,600 manufacturing jobs since Governor Walker took office through August.  Wisconsin is top ten in the nation for manufacturing jobs created since taking office (US BLS CES December 2010 to August 2017).
  • The average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin is $55,500 per year, $10,000 per year higher than the average pay for Wisconsin private-sector workers (Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce).

Workforce Development

  • With more than 325,000 students, the highly ranked technical college system that shapes Wisconsin’s workforce is also supporting expanding businesses throughout the state (Wisconsin Technical College System Fact Book). This technical training helps close talent gaps in high-demand fields across a broad range of industries, including manufacturing.
  • The University of Wisconsin System supports the researchers, companies and policy-makers across the state that are working together to develop solutions to the world’s challenges. Wisconsin ranks ninth in the nation for the percentage of graduates with STEM degrees and UW-Madison was ranked by the Brookings Institution as the top U.S. metro area for STEM graduates.

Business Climate & Tax Policies

  • According to Chief Executive Magazine, Wisconsin is a top 10 state for business – up from 41st place in 2010.
  • Wisconsin’s unemployment rate hit a 17-year low this year and the state also reached the highest level of employment in history (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Wisconsin offers a series of tax policies that promote expansion, including:
  • Wisconsin is also continuing its tort reform efforts to improve the litigation climate with sensible civil liability law updates, which reduce the fiscal burden on Wisconsin companies.

2017-19 Budget

  • Taxes
    • As these proposed reductions take effect and existing reductions continue, Wisconsinites will receive $8 billion in cumulative tax cuts over eight years ending in fiscal year 2018-19.
    • During the six years ending with fiscal year 2016-17, taxes have been cut by more than $4.7 billion.
    • Wisconsin deletes onerous taxes, by exempting businesses from $74 million in taxes on machinery equipment.
  • Workforce Development
    • Wisconsin Technical Colleges will receive $5 million to help train students to fill high need fields, such as manufacturing.
    • The budget increases University of Wisconsin System funding by more than $110 million.
      • UW System in-state undergraduates will be protected from tuition increases for the sixth year in a row through our continued freeze for another two years. The freeze has saved the average student $6,311 over the last four years.
    • Need-based financial assistance will rise to the highest levels in state history.
    • We are seeking to require able-bodied adults in the state's main Medicaid program Badgercare, as well as able-bodied parents on food stamps with school aged children, to be working or receiving job training for 80 hours per month.
    • The benefit cliff for child care subsidies was eliminated to remove barriers which are disincentives for working families to earn a raise or accept a promotion.
    • $11.5 million is allocated to Wisconsin Fast Forward training grants to provide hands-on training and job experience.
    • Fab Lab technical assistance and incentive grants receive $1.4 million in funding to provide students with the experience they need to be successful.
    • The budget provides $2 million to Windows to Work and Vocational Training programs for ex-offenders.
  • Infrastructure
    • Investments in broadband increase by $35.5 million over the biennium. A permanent Broadband Expansion Grant program will also be created to continue our efforts to extend broadband into underserved areas of the state.
    • The budget provides $86.9 million for local governments to repair roads, bridges, and potholes – the largest funding increase in 20 years.
    • It ensures major projects such as I-39/90, USH 10-441, and Verona Road remain on schedule, enacted significant increases in safety and maintenance, and provided the lowest levels of bonding since 2001-03 without raising the gas tax.

Manufacturing Companies in Wisconsin

  • Ariens
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Foxconn (coming soon)
  • Generac
  • Haribo (coming soon)
  • Harley Davidson
  • Kohler
  • Krones
  • Marinette Marine Corporation
  • Mercury Marine
  • Oshkosh Corporation
  • Quad Graphics
  • Rockwell Automation