ecognized around the world for producing winning football teams, Green Bay, Wisconsin, is becoming known on the world stage for something other than football — defense manufacturing production. With its strong manufacturing base and proximity to major defense-related companies, the city is well positioned to become a key player in the defense contracting supply-chain.
Green Bay is the manufacturing hub of northeast Wisconsin."Nearly one-quarter (24%) of the jobs in Green Bay region are in the manufacturing sector, exceeding both the state of Wisconsin (19%) and the U.S. (11%)," said Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt. "The backbone of our local economy has always been manufacturing," Schmitt explained.
"When one thinks about Wisconsin, they think of dairy products and the Green Bay Packers," said Greg Flisram, Director of Economic Development for the City of Green Bay. "While these may be part of our image, Wisconsin has the second highest percentage of workers employed in manufacturing in the United Stated and produces some of the world's highest value products, like Harley Davidson Motorcycles and Bucyrus/Caterpillar mining equipment," explained Flisram.The state is also an emerging leader in automation, control systems and battery technology and is home to such leading-edge companies such as Rockwell Automation and Johnson Controls, Inc.
Northeastern Wisconsin, anchored by the City of Green Bay, has long been a hub of shipbuilding, aviation and specialty manufacturing. Area companies currently holding major defense contracts include Marinette Marine for littoral combat ships and Oshkosh Corporation for medium tactical vehicles. Marinette Marine requires over 200 suppliers, while Oshkosh Corp. uses over 1,400. With Green Bay located between the two cities, the area is the perfect choice for those looking to enter the defense contracting supply chain.
Green Bay has a highly skilled manufacturing workforce of over 40,000. The city's diverse and stable economy, excellent education system (including 10 post-secondary institutions), vast outdoor recreational opportunities, spectacular natural scenery, low crime rates, low cost of living and entrepreneurial spirit has long made the area an attractive place to live and do business.
To learn more about Green Bay and how your business can benefit from locating there, visit www.green-bay.org, or call 920-448-3397.
rom Fayettenam to FayetteNOW." The words scrolling across the start of a new marketing video for the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina are a bit jarring.
Proud locals cringe at the old war reference that suggested, in days long past, Fayetteville wasn't exactly the greatest landing spot in all the world. Unsavory businesses littered the downtown landscape and checked the path up to the gates of Fort Bragg. But that soldier-heavy town of the 1960s and 1970s was a far different place than today.
Oh, sure, the soldiers are still there — in large numbers in fact — but Fayetteville's transformation into a modern-day, family-friendly business hub has been impressive. It was so impressive, that the thriving business climate and transformation into one of the most economic stable markets in the country played a key part in landing the city the proud distinction of All-America City in 2011.
Fayetteville's unique blend of military and civilian population helped the area navigate through the nation's economic woes somewhat easier than most places. While military installations around the country saw declines in population because of the Base Realignment and Closure process, Fayetteville actually benefited. A key cog in the BRAC process was moving the Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command from their homes in Atlanta, into the 631,000 square foot new facility on Fort Bragg.
The influx of soldiers and civilians associated with BRAC has been a boon to the local economy and promises to be so for the foreseeable future.Fayetteville was somewhat sheltered from the economic downturns plaguing the nation since 2008, actually increasing significantly the per-capita income and benefits of local workers, and enjoying a healthy real-estate market as other parts of the nation lamented stagnating housing construction and sales.
"These two commands that have relocated to Fort Bragg have reaffirmed the economic strength of the military in this area," said Fayetteville mayor Tony Chavonne. "Even if the national defense budget is reduced, it's likely that the rapid-deployment and special operations assets of Fort Bragg will continue to see significant military budget support in the future."
Long the bedrock of the local economy, with an economic impact of about $10 billion in 2010, Fort Bragg's presence supports the notion that defense is a somewhat recession-proof industry. The improving economic structure, along with an overall culture change helped Fayetteville land the coveted All-America City honor in 2011.
That improved culture and change in philosophy is already paying dividends.
Nationally-known defense contractor Booz Allen brought a much larger presence to Fayetteville in the summer of 2010. The company will bring some 300 employees into the market, many of which are coming from the Atlanta-area as part of the move.
"Our firm had the option of locating literally anywhere to support our work with FORSCOM and USARC," William Butler, the Booz Allen executive heading the relocation effort from Fort McPherson to Fayetteville said at the time. "We chose Fayetteville and Cumberland County for two reasons — one, the community worked hard to assist us in our search for a viable location, and also we found that the community's economic development partnership with the city and county allowed for a seamless process by which to make our decision."
Located quite literally at the midway point between Maine and Miami, Fayetteville has embraced its role not only as the center of the East Coast, but also as the center of the defense industry. Major players in the industry are already on the scene in Fayetteville. Joining Booz-Allen-Hamilton are L3 Communications, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, Sierra Nevada, Tactical Support Equipment, Drash, and others. Currently, no fewer than three military business parks are being populated, one of which is adjacent to the All American Freeway with direct access to Fort Bragg, with the Partnership for Defense Innovation's DSTA (Defense Security Technology Accelerator) the anchor tenant. Patriot Park, being developed by the anchor occupant, The Logistics Co., anticipates military business neighbors soon, now that FORSCOM has completed the move to Fort Bragg.
All the change in the area has people taking notice. The Milken Institute ranked Fayetteville number 18 in its Best Performing Large City in the nation last year. It was a jump from 31st the year before and 144 places higher than 2003. Milken had Fayetteville ranked third in the country for one-year job growth and sixth for one-year wage and salary increases.
"This type of recognition from outside sources is great for the city of Fayetteville and the entire county," said Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce. "It's time that people see Fayetteville as a major player in the economic development of the state."
Business Week magazine has consistently ranked the area in the top 20 building markets in the country. Good Morning America called it the best performing housing market in the nation. And the Bureau for Economic Analysis showed a GDP Growth of 6.8 percent, versus just 2.4 percent for the nation as a whole. The Daily Beast called Fayetteville the number one market in the country for recent college graduates.
With all those accolades pouring in, it was easy to see how the city won its third All-America City honor.
Today, the main street in Fayetteville's downtown is tree-lined, with inviting boutiques, bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants welcoming passersby.An independent art house theater, the Cameo, shows foreign and independent films and the community's Arts Council occupies a handsome structure that was once a post office and later, a library.Live theater, a symphony orchestra, several annual festivals, and a vibrant community of visual and performing artists all contribute to Fayetteville's "fun factor." Furthermore, the presence of two universities (Methodist University and Fayetteville State University) and the innovative and effective Fayetteville Technical Community College make it possible to be life-long learners in Fayetteville. Add to this the fascinating blend of people from all over the world who come to Fayetteville — many of whom stay for a lifetime — and you've got a diverse, vibrant community that is a great place to live and to do business.
Gone is the Fayettenam of old. Fayetteville has fully embraced being FayetteNOW.