Thank you to Jim Paetsch, Vice President of Milwaukee 7 for sitting down with CARW and providing an update on what M7 has been working on and what it’s planning moving forward. It was a great conversation and we loved hearing about all of the projects that M7 is working on to bring to our region. It is evident that your dedication and focus is a great asset to SE Wisconsin.
Here are a number of take aways from the presentation.
- M7 is the regional economic development entity for the 7 county region in SE Wisconsin. Regionalism is a very important part of economic development; these counties work together to have strength in numbers ,yet are not too big that they don’t have the impact we need. For example, projects that are important in SE Wisconsin don’t have a large impact on communities in northern WI.
- Jim and his team oversee corporate development and expansion. This includes working with companies who are already located in WI and seeking those companies who are ‘locationally active’ (looking to grow and move) and they sell them on our region. It is important to focus on the assets that SE Wisconsin has and focus on companies whose needs align with our assets. Wisconsinites and those looking to move here need to believe in Wisconsin. M7 is focused on what assets SE Wisconsin has and that brings these businesses to the region. You don’t get the economy you want, you get the economy you deserve.
- SE Wisconsin region is strongest in these four areas, Electrical Component Manufacturing, Mechanical Production, Food & Beverage & Financial & Corporate Services.
- M7 has two strategic priorities moving forward. The first is looking to invest in a competitive intelligence software that will help generate locationally active companies that match with SE Wisconsin assets. This essentially produces a qualified lead as compared to cold calling. The second is broadening their outreach into Illinois. Illinois’ current state of their economy, and the tumult in the state makes Wisconsin an easy sell as the proximity is very close and the appealing aspect of Illinois can also be accessed in SE Wisconsin.
- Having the required talent is what pushes a region over the edge when it comes to a competitive advantage. You can have a host of other assets, but if you don’t have the talent you will not win the deal.
- Since 2005 they’ve successfully closed 109 projects. Bringing in 23K jobs, $1.3 billion in payroll and $2.1 billion in investment.
- In the last 5 years, M7 has brought in 10,500 jobs (32% higher than the goal). The average wage for those jobs was $60,500 (which is 20% over the average wage in the region), and a capital investment of $1.9 billion dollars.
- 24 of the 46 projects were attraction projects bringing in new deals to the region.
- New deals include Haribo, Komatsu, Milwaukee Electric Tool, and Nexus Pharmaceuticals. Haribo and Nexus alone has brought in $600 M spend in the region.
- 2020 – Year in review:
- In 2008, Jim felt like the world was ending; so many projects went away and never came back. 2020 felt much more like a COVID pause. There were a number of deals that were put on pause; however, out of the 25 different projects that are currently in the pipeline, only 1 deal was lost.
- 2019 projects continued as planned, there was no pause in construction and no scaling down of the projects. These companies are still bullish on SE Wisconsin.