#13 Wisconsin

6.95 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

7.95 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

7.52 out of 10 in Living Environment

Right to Work?

Attracting Big Investments

Wisconsin has been rising through the ranks of economic development with strong momentum, enhancing its business climate with tax reform and business-friendly incentives. German Gummy Bear manufacturer Haribo recently announced construction of its first North American plant in Pleasant Prairie. Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn announced in July that it would construct a $10 billion plant in southeast Wisconsin. The project, expected to be operational by 2020 and to create up to 13,000 jobs, was fueled by a package of incentives worth up to $3 billion for capital costs, workforce development and tax exemptions.

From the Governor

“This is a truly transformational step for our state, our people and our economy, and Wisconsin is ready. Through Foxconn’s historic $10 billion investment and the creation of 13,000 new family-supporting jobs, the most high-tech, cutting-edge technology in the world will be made in America, right here in Wisconsin.” —Gov. Scott Walker

Key Industries

Aerospace, BioScience, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, Water Technology

Key Companies

Lands’ End
Dollar General
ABC Supply
Ashley Furniture Industries
Schneider Electric
Kwik Trip

Key Contacts

Economic Development Corp.

Barb LaMue, VP
201 W Washington Ave
P.O. Box 1687
Madison, WI 53701
[email protected]

Mark Hogan, Secretary & CEO
(608) 210-6700
201 W Washington Ave
P.O. Box 1687
Madison, WI 53701
[email protected]

Key Incentives

Enterprise Zone Tax Credit: Offers refundable tax credits for companies undertaking major expansion projects or relocating major business operations from other states to Wisconsin.

Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit: Eliminates tax on income from manufacturing activity in Wisconsin. Credit amounts to 75%, resulting in an effective income tax rate of .4%.

Brownfields Grant Program: Offers grants to local governments and businesses for developing commercial and industrial sites that have been affected by environmental contamination.

Qualified New Business Venture Program (QNBV): Drives investment to innovate early-stage companies by allowing them to claim a 25% tax credit on the amount invested in a QNBV-certified business.


Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.: inwisconsin.com

Wisconsin Economic Development Association: weda.org

Forward Wisconsin: forwardwi.com

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce: mmac.org/economic-development1.html

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The Think-Make-Happen initiative is supported by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, partners and the public to drive interest in living, working and succeeding in the state.

Big Deals

  • Dollar General announced in September 2015 plans to build a $79 million, one-million-square- foot distribution center in Janesville and add 550 jobs.
  • German candy company Haribo announced in March 2017 it would locate its first manufacturing facility in North America in Pleasant Prairie. The company will invest $220 million and create 385 jobs.
  • Chinese technology company Foxconn announced it would open a $10 billion advanced manufacturing campus in southeastern Wisconsin and create 13,000 jobs. It will be the largest greenfield foreign direct investment in U.S. history.
  • Generac Power Systems announced in August 2017 it would construct a $73 million expansion at its global headquarters in Waukesha and add 400 new jobs.

Big Companies

10 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state, including:
Johnson Controls
Northwestern Mutual
American Family Insurance
Rockwell Automation

C-Suite Testimonials

“In the end, it became clear that Wisconsin was the best alternative for the long-term competitiveness of the company. It came down to Kenosha County and Wisconsin because of the favorable business climate and better long-term economics.” —Keith Smith, President, Vonco Products

“Wisconsin is a great place to grow our company. The state has world-class health systems and leading global healthcare technology companies and, above all, Wisconsin has great people…a business environment that attracts innovation and enterprise.” —Neal Long, CEO, ConsortiEXDynamic Recycling

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