MADISON, WI – State grant funds are available to help Wisconsin manufacturers improve performance, stimulate growth and respond to new challenges as the economy recovers from the recession.

“Unfortunately it won’t be back to business as usual for Wisconsin manufacturers,” said Mike Klonsinski, executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), a nonprofit consulting organization that helps manufacturers grow and succeed. “The changes that were occurring before the recession-high volatility, spikes in demand and hyper-competition-are accelerating in the post-recession economy. To win new customers and market share in this global environment, manufacturers must have the best possible systems and processes in place to be highly innovative, lean and agile,” Klonsinski said.

“Wisconsin manufacturers who adopt Next Generation Manufacturing principles can improve their competitiveness, win a greater share of global markets, and react quickly to market opportunities,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Richard J. Leinenkugel.

The Next Generation Manufacturing grants, authorized by the Department of Commerce, are targeted to small and midsize manufacturers with less than 500 employees. Grants of $5,000 to $6,500 pay up to 50% of project costs for services delivered by WMEP. The remaining project costs are paid by the company. Eligible projects are:

Lean Transformation:
  • Up to $5,000 per company is available for Enterprise Business Transformation projects, which include a comprehensive assessment of a company’s operations, identification of key competitive priorities and an action plan to achieve them. This lean transformation approach improves performance across all facets of the business enterprise and generates significant financial results.

    Business Growth:
  • Up to $6,500 per company is available to help manufacturers implement Eureka! Winning Ways, a nationally recognized system for rapidly generating and testing new product ideas.

    A significant share of the funding already has been pledged for projects. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis; interested manufacturers should contact Lee Swindall of WMEP at (608) 807-8548.