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Centergy News
Updates from your regional economic development alliance
April, 2010- Vol 1, Issue 2
In This Issue
Development of a Regional Manufacturing Consortium underway
2009 Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding still available
Alternative Energy Project Update
2010 Centergy Summit
Date Set For May 11
Centergy is hosting its annual summit Tuesday, May 11 at Sentry Insurance Theater@1800. 

Check out the Centergy Web site HERE for your Summit invitation and agenda details.

In 2006 North Star Economics was commissioned to perform an assessment on the Centergy region. This study formed the basis for our 2009 and 2010 Plans of Action. Due to the fact that the economic landscape has changed so drastically in the last 24 months, North Star is in the process of the following:

1. Reviewing key strategies and benchmarking project implementation.
2. Identifying changes in the regional and US economy and factors that will have a significant influence in our future
3. Assessing region-to-region economic activity
4. Identifying emerging opportunities

The results of this work will be delivered at the summit. In addition, the new Centergy brand will be unveiled, along with sector strategy updates.

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Centergy thanks the 2010 Summit sponsors!

Meet the Centergy
Board of Directors
Centergy is blessed to have a strong, diverse board of directors from both the public and private sectors.

Meet them HERE.
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Barb FleisnerCentergy Collaborates with Many Organizations

The likelihood of success in implementing regional strategies is increased when collaborating with well established organizations, aligning individual initiatives, and leveraging regional assets and resources.

This month we will feature the working relationship Centergy has with the four chambers, all that house an economic development division. The chambers include: The Heart of Wisconsin Business Alliance, the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Portage County Business Council, and the Wausau Region Chamber. 

The chambers in Central Wisconsin provide the locally-based, rapid-response project management and early recognition of entrepreneurial activity.  They possess a strong knowledge of the local business mix and culture of the community.  Centergy provides the critical mass and a unified voice, while attracting investment and talent to a larger geographical area.  Both types of organizations fill a role in stimulating measurable economic development in Central Wisconsin.

Click HERE for an in-depth look at the many individual values Centergy and the Central Wisconsin Chambers offer toward economic growth and stability here in our region.

Best regards,

Barb Fleisner
Barb Fleisner
Executive Director
Centergy Update: Spotlight on the Manufacturing Sector
Board Meeting Update
Fifteen manufacturing companies from Marathon, Portage and Wood Counties convened on April 15 to discuss the future of a Centergy-led Central Wisconsin Manufacturing Consortium. An overwhelming majority of those in attendance were enthusiastic about the prospect of such an alliance. Manufacturers cited the following as needs that could be met with the formal institution of a regional consortium specific to Central Wisconsin's manufacturing sector.

Business to Business connections - growing the Central WI manufacturing supply chain.
Enhance the image of manufacturing to increase the size of available workers.
Advance 'next generation' manufacturing concepts.
Advocate for legislative support.

If you are a manufacturing company that would like to be included in future discussions as this alliance becomes more formally organized, please contact Barb Fleisner at the Centergy office.
Funding STILL Available for Green Growth in Manufacturing and Agricultural Industries
Centergy would like to remind area manufacturers and agricultural producers that $55 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is STILL AVAILABLE for the taking right here in Central Wisconsin. This funding will expire in December 2010, and project approvals must be confirmed by the end of June 2010.

For more information about projects that may qualify, click HERE. Or, for a quick overview of available funding, click HERE, and then click on the 'What's New' tab.

If you think your project might qualify for funding assistance, complete the form found HERE, and email as an attachment to Companies' projects will be promptly evaluated, and those that appear to meet initial eligibility guidelines and preliminary underwriting thresholds will be invited to submit a complete application for review.
Alternative energy project update: Rural Alternative Energy & Education Center
Alternative Fuels GraphicOrganizations Involved: UW Madison Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, MACCI, MSTC, NTC, General Electric, Mullins Cheese, Focus on Energy, Pabst Engineering, and the USDA-ARS and the USDA-NRCS.

Overview: In early 2008 the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Energy Council decided that the implementation of localized renewable energy generation was critical to continued economic growth in the region. A decision was made to construct a Rural Alternative Energy Education Center, where research entities and private sector businesses could come together to develop skills at using renewable energy generation technology specifically fit for rural and agricultural production applications.

Prior to the council's decision, a team of researchers had already begun discussing the development of a small scale methane digester for a waste-to-energy application on area dairy farms. The uniqueness of the digester research lies specifically on the variable of application size. The economic viability of methane digestion technology currently requires large-scale application (1500 plus herd). The majority of Wisconsin dairy herds range from 100-500 head of cattle. Using a digester and funding provided by Pabst Engineering out of Onalaska, UW researchers are developing methane digestion technology economically advantageous to dairy farms with smaller herds.

The Chamber's Energy Council approached the UW Marshfield Agricultural Research Station as a building site for this concept, and since then a strong partnership has evolved. The long-term goal of the project includes utilizing the digester and Center as training tools for farmers and students in the region.

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