Business Retention & Expansion Program

Our Business Retention & Expansion Program starts with a 45-minute visit from our staff and is followed by a quick and customized response based on your unique business needs!

What is the Business Retention & Expansion Program?

The Business Retention & Expansion Program is a free service to area primary employers provided by the Fox Cities Regional Partnership. Its purpose is to identify needs, challenges and opportunities within your business and connect you with tangible solutions that remove barriers to growth and are critical to your long-term success. We can help in the areas of workforce, real estate, regulatory relief, marketing, financing, and other key issues and “growing pains.” It all begins with a brief in-person discussion about your company.

Who is involved?

We want to fully understand your company and the factors critical to your success.  To better address a wide array of areas impacting your business, Partnership staff will invite one of our local government partners from the municipality where your business is located, as well as any other relevant private/public/non-profit organizations based upon your request. Feel free to invite any members of your leadership team who could bring value to the discussion. All information shared, unless otherwise specified, will remain confidential. 

After the visit…

After gaining a full understanding of your company, we will connect you with available resources based upon your specific needs, and serve as an ongoing local contact for business support. We never charge for our services. Our organization is successful when you are! 

Connecting the dots…

Information gained through this company-focused program is used to make the Fox Cities an even better place to do business. While many of the needs and challenges that you bring up will be unique to your company, our BR&E visitation program also serves as an opportunity for the Fox Cities Regional Partnership to identify common themes across our region – i.e. high demand for/low supply of IT and Engineering entry-level talent – and leverage our resources and partnerships to address them.  We do this through innovative solution-based programs, such as Talent Upload 

  • "In Fall 2014, we approached the Fox Cities Regional Partnership with a challenge: a substantial need for trained concrete mixer drivers and no external technical training program in existence.  Within days, we were sitting down with leadership at Fox Valley Technical College, along with staff of the Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association (WRMCA), discussing the idea of developing a customized training program at Fox Valley Tech that would not only serve our company, but the entire Fox Cities region.  It worked!  The program has been created and we’re moving forward placing our new hires in it.  It is a continuously evolving project, but it is one that we know will help our industry greatly in the long run."

    Adam TegelmanDirector of Operations, MCC, Inc.
  • "The Fox Cities Regional Partnership reached out to Milk Products and requested an in-person visit to our facility in Chilton to talk about the company’s needs and challenges. I was able to identify a few during our initial discussion, and I quickly found out they were actually listening. From working with the Calumet Co. Highway Department to repair a damaged section of highway that passes right in front of our business, to providing us with resources and information on Canadian trade policies regulating our products and industry, the Regional Partnership has been a responsive source of knowledge for our company since we first made contact with their staff."

    Dave KuehnelPresident, Milk Products LLC
  • "I accepted the invitation to meet because I was curious, and what I found was a group of individuals representing the local government, a local business and the Partnership who listened and asked how they could help us grow our business.  It was a great experience which I would whole-heartedly recommend."
    Dick MerbachRegional Vice President, Faith Technologies
  • “Werner Electric broke ground on our brand new 200,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and regional distribution center in the Town of Grand Chute this past Spring. We are excited and proud of our growth in the Fox Cities. As company leadership was considering where to expand, we were looking at options locally as well as out of state. The Fox Cities Regional Partnership assisted Werner Electric and worked with the Town of Grand Chute in trying to keep us in the region by identifying real estate options; coordinating with WEDC for economic incentives; and bringing in other local partners whose support was necessary in the making of this project. The Regional Partnership’s focus on talent attraction is also a huge benefit to Werner Electric. Our company participated in their first Talent Upload program and will be doing so again this Fall. We appreciate this organization’s ongoing assistance as we keep expanding our footprint in Outagamie County.”

    Craig Wiedemeier--VP OperationsWerner Electric
  • “The Regional Partnership helped us by packaging the different local and statewide economic incentives available for growing companies like ours. It also provided us with economic and industry-specific wage data, which was valuable to the company as we continue to grow our local workforce. We look forward to the Regional Partnership’s continued support as we seek to hire and train more people in the near future.”

    Rick Pfrang--General ManagerBernatello’s Foods/Orv’s Pizza
  • "Fox Valley Technical College is a long-time advocate of the Business Retention and Expansion program. The professional staff at the Fox Cities Regional Partnership are difference makers when organizations identify potential opportunities or obstacles that can impact  their operations. Through their vast resource network and understanding of the regional economy, the Fox Cities Regional Partnership can make the right connections or bring needed resources to the table that can move organizations forward.  Fox Valley Technical College is proud to contribute to the Partnership and its client organizations when talent development, operational process, and specialized skill solutions are required." 

    Dale WalkerDirector-Business and Industry Services, Fox Valley Technical College

Examples of Business Retention and Expansion challenges and solutions:

WORKFORCE ATTRACTION

Several primary employers in the region expressed concern around attracting entry-level IT/Computer Science and Engineering talent. Collaborated with 20 of those companies to launch Talent Upload, an immersive three-day talent recruitment program involving 70 college students from 15 campuses.

BUSINESS RETENTION

Provided demographic and economic data to local company debating to move entire operation to neighboring state, where they currently have a production facility. Highlighted the competitive advantages of doing business in our region and helped secure local financial incentives. This company continues to call the Fox Cities home.  

GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS

Growing company installed a new fire alarm system in their new building, which was considered an upgrade outside current State requirements (State policy requires meeting the minimum or the maximum standards and does not allow anything in between). Company was told they either had to remove all installed equipment or upgrade the entire facility to maximum standards at an estimated cost of $150,000-200,000. Contacted state officials on behalf of the company. Final outcome was that most of the installed equipment stayed in place and is being utilized.      

WORKFORCE IMPROVEMENT

Employer was dissatisfied with skills of available workers, even those who had completed local technical training. Facilitated connections with FVTC staff to collaborate on program development/improvements to produce better qualified candidates for open positions.

INCENTIVE ASSISTANCE

Corporate consolidation will bring additional jobs and equipment to existing Fox Cities location.  Coordinated with local government and WEDC to secure available incentives and financing to support expansion of facility and workforce.   

EXPORT ASSISTANCE

Company interested in exporting to Western Europe but was uncertain about the market. Provided company with information on market-specific business development strategies, in-country expertise, international market access grants and other technical resources available through WEDC.

WORKFORCE RETENTION

Company losing some top-level executives from local facility. Designed program to help executives, as well as trailing spouses, get connected to the community as a way to encourage new area talent to remain with the company.

MUNICIPAL ISSUES

Facilitated personal connections between company leaders and municipal staff to address an issue of timing of traffic lights that was creating a problem for company truck drivers.

WORKFORCE DIVERSIFICATION

Company is a federal contractor and is required to have a certain percentage of women, racial/ethnic minorities and veterans among labor force. Struggling to attain the required diversity, connected company to several Fox Cities agencies serving these minority populations. Company is currently advertising job openings through the agencies.   

GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS

Located within a residential neighborhood, facilitated connections to City, County and State officials to discuss creating an alternate truck route to the plant, limiting heavy truck traffic through downtown and the residential surroundings.

ENGAGING FUTURE WORKFORCE

Manufacturer is interested in engaging local high school students via on-site apprenticeship and internship opportunities. Connected them to Fox Cities Chamber’s YourFuture Fox Cities Program – a free service for area companies looking to engage our area’s future workforce through work-based experience.     

WASTE DISPOSAL ALTERNATIVES

Production results in scrap fabric that must be paid to landfill.  Shared alternative disposal technique that reduces cost and supports local charity.

TRANSPORTATION

A few companies were dissatisfied with customer service from railroad service provider. Issues included unpredictability of transit times; insufficient manpower to operate trains; insufficient equipment availability at point of origin; failure by crews to spot cars in proper location; and switching delays. Arranged one-on-one meetings between company leadership and railroad representatives to help mitigate concerns.