MADISON, WI-The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) has announced that projects it completed with state manufacturers generated an economic impact of $164 million-most of it from increased and retained sales. WMEP is a private, nonprofit consulting organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. The FY 2009 economic impact is based on data provided by 176 WMEP-assisted companies and compiled by an independent firm.

“These are solid results during a very difficult economy,” says Michael Klonsinski, executive director of WMEP. “These numbers underscore the gains that can be achieved with proactive measures to improve business performance. The manufacturers represented in this data are better positioned to survive the recession and take advantage of business opportunities once the recovery begins.”

WMEP-assisted companies reported:

  • $118 million in increased/retained sales
  • $17 million in cost savings
  • $29 million in investment, including new plant and equipment
  • 798 created/retained jobs

    In addition, an analysis of the data projects an $8 million tax revenue benefit to the state of Wisconsin as a result of increased/retained sales.

    “We’re not working any harder but we are working smarter,” says Kurt Wollenberg, vice president of Freedom-based Performance Welding Inc., who estimates the company has saved nearly $250,000 from lean improvements. The firm also has expanded its capacity to handle new business as a result of better space use and increased efficiency, he said.

    Other firms reporting notable positive impact as a result of WMEP services include: American Laser Products Inc., Middleton; Centerline Machine Inc., Waupaca; Dalco Metals Inc., Walworth; Design Specialties Inc., Milwaukee; G&G Machine Inc., Kaukauna; Lindquist Machine Corp., Green Bay; Mid-States Aluminum Corp., Fond du Lac; Reliable Plating Works Inc., Milwaukee; Terso Solutions Inc., Fitchburg; and Trilary Inc., Waunakee.

    During the past five years, WMEP-assisted manufacturers reported impact of nearly $1 billion-$977 million-with 7,965 jobs created/retained. WMEP provided services to 676 state manufacturers last year.

    WMEP’s impact data is compiled by an independent firm for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Manufacturers are surveyed six months after the completion of a project facilitated by WMEP. WMEP is an affiliate of NIST MEP, a national network of 59 centers that provide assistance to small and midsize manufacturers.

    For more information, call (87) 856-8588 or visit