Economic Development

The City of Manitowoc’s main priority under my administration is Economic Development. This includes working with current businesses, aggressively seeking grant dollars for growth, looking for new opportunities, maintaining communication with current businesses, and an open line of communication with City Hall for our businesses.

We have a plethora of businesses that are doing very well and adding jobs:

Forefront Dermatology anticipates adding 300 jobs in Manitowoc over the next 5 years

Skana Aluminum continues to do well and is planning major investments into their facility in the near future. This has been a huge success story since I was first elected in 2009. A few days after Anheuser Busch announced they were closing down, I met with the owner of Skana who wanted to purchase the old Koenig and Vits plants (former mirror plant) and start the rolling mill back up. Today, they have 150 employees (double what koenig and vits had) that start at minimum $15/hour.

Tramontana just purchased the old Orion manufacturing plant (formerly Mirro) for continued expansion

R2H (similar to Red Arrow Products) is building a facility in the Industrial Park at this very moment. They plan on creating 25 jobs

Kaysun added 30 jobs throughout 2015-2016

Federal Mogul will be investing millions of dollars into their facility over the next few years

Tender Reflections just opened in Manitowoc with 30 skilled nursing jobs

Orion continues to have positive outlooks for growth and just announced 30 new jobs: Orion to add 30 Manitowoc jobs

Broadwind Towers continues to receive major contracts for work: Manitowoc, Texas factories to make more wind towers

Northern Labs and Broadwind continue to see growth and expansion

Kerry/Red Arrow Announces Plans to Invest in Manitowoc:

Work continues on the Manitowoc River: Manitowoc business gets $3M for harbor work

  1. When first elected, I made a conscious effort to visit as many local businesses as possible. I continue to do this with every opportunity I get.
    1. From this came the Annual Mayor’s Business Roundtable which typically gets 100 people/businesses in attendance. This is an opportunity for City Hall to come to you. I require each Department Head to attend so business leaders can speak directly to my staff.
  2. In 2015 we created the Community Development Department (formerly Planning Department) and hired Nic Sparacio to lead our efforts on economic development for the city. If you talk to any business owner they will tell you that Nic is open to listening to their concerns and aggressively finds ways to help.
  3. Throughout the years it has been my goal to find synergies amongst the various groups we have that deal with economic development. Most notably the Chamber, Progress Lakeshore, and the Manitowoc Area Visitor and Convention Bureau. These conversations continue and I look forward to making a concerted effort to join forces under one brand for our community.
  4. The Mid-Cities Mall and former Elks Club site has great potential for growth and development. We are currently working on a site plan for the entire area which will be announced in 2017. My staff and I meet regularly with the owners of all these properties.
  5. MPU water and electric rates have decreased since I was first elected in 2009. This is one of our greatest assets and a huge perk for businesses to locate here.
  6. In 2013 we created a policy to allow land to be sold in the industrial park for free if a business locates there and creates X number of jobs. A few businesses have already taken advantage of this program.
  7. The city has an excellent record of providing low interest revolving loan funds to businesses for growth. There are a plethora of businesses that have taken advantage of this already.
  8. We have aggressively sought Federal and State grants over the past 8 years and we continue to look for additional areas to find grant funding to offset local costs.
    1. $2 million in Harbor Assistance dollars for the Carferry dock replacement
    2. $1 million EPA revolving loan fund grant
    3. $250,000 for the Schuette Building
    4. $113,000 from WEDC for Mirro assessment work
    5. $800,000 in EPA assessment grants
    6. $700,000 in principal forgiveness for upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Facility
  9. In 2017 we increased our public transportation routes to include the Industrial Park (requests from businesses to do so) and Silver Lake College. View that article here: Silver Lake College to get bus service Jan. 3