West Central Wisconsin offers business the ingredients for growth.
The 10-county West Central Wisconsin region combines a standout quality of life, affordability and a diverse and dynamic economy.
Companies looking for proximity to the Twin Cities will benefit from the location advantage of West Central Wisconsin, and this region of nearly 500,000 residents offers housing and living costs well below the national average.
A diverse economy includes growing food and beverage, health care, information technology, logistics/ distribution, plastics and precision manufacturing sectors.
The region also benefits from a deep pool of highly skilled workers and major higher education assets, such as the University of Wisconsin System, which has campuses in Eau Claire, Menomonie and River Falls.
“Expanding companies looking to grow near the Twin Cities should consider locating in this region,â€ says Steve Jahn, executive director of Momentum West, the economic development organization for West Central Wisconsin. “We are close enough to enjoy all the amenities of the Twin Cities but far enough away to have room for growth.”
Besides the convenient location, the region offers a business-friendly environment and attractive incentives to companies.
“In addition, this part of Wisconsin has recreation and cultural assets that cover all the bases,â€ Jahn says.
One of the strongest economic sectors in West Central Wisconsin is technology-driven manufacturing, with a stable of thriving globally known companies such as 3M, Andersen Windows, Bosch, Cardinal Glass, NestlÃ© and Phillips-Medisize.
The region continues to attract new investments, such as Huffcutt Concrete LLC, which opened a $20 million facility in Lake Hallie in Chippewa County in 2019. The new 77,000-square-foot site houses a highly automated concrete wall panel production plant that leverages the latest in technology. The company expects to add 150 new jobs over the next five years.
Another business success story is United Dredging, a family-owned company in Ellsworth in Pierce County that recently established its headquarters in the city’s Fullerton Building. The company specializes in hauling large equipment to mining sites to bore and dredge through hard clay layers, ultimately reaching deep deposits and excavating them to the surface.
Company officials say they chose West Central Wisconsin for their headquarters because of the rural, open-country quality of life. In addition, many of United Dredging’s mining jobs are throughout the Midwest, and corporate executives have easy access to travel via Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.
‘Energy and Dedication’
Also expanded in the region is Valley Companies, a logistics firm based in Hudson in St. Croix County that has provided freight transport solutions for customers since 1935. The company, which expanded in Hudson in 2000 and 2005, has grown again. In 2019, Valley Companies built a new 30,000-square-foot corporate headquarters that includes four luxury condos on the top floor overlooking the St. Croix River.
“This is a result of the entire Valley Companies’ daily efforts, energy and dedication,â€ says Todd Gilbert, the company’s president and CEO. “Every time I look at our new address and see the word ‘Hudson,’ it fills me with great pride. That’s where VC started, and now, that’s where VC will continue to grow.”
If you’d like to learn more about West Central Wisconsin, check out the latest edition of West Central Wisconsin Economic Development.