Yes, this has been a horrible year and we can’t wait for it to be over.
But there actually were some good things that happened in 2020. So, here in our last issue of BizTimes Milwaukee for this year, I want to highlight some of them.
2020 is the year of the essential worker, especially health care workers. The cover package of this publication highlights some local essential workers, including a couple of health care workers, and this issue also includes our list of Notable Heroes in Health Care. Be sure to check out both features. We all should be so grateful for essential workers, but especially the frontline health care workers who put the health of themselves, and their family members, at risk every day to treat those with COVID-19 and fight the pandemic head-on.
One of the most exciting local business stories in 2020 is the continued growth of Milwaukee Tool. The company’s extraordinary growth continues and this year it moved forward with plans for a new corporate campus in Menomonee Falls, in addition to its existing Brookfield headquarters, and announced plans for a new manufacturing facility in West Bend. In our last issue of the year, we traditionally pick the top area companies and leaders for our annual “Best in Business” and we named Milwaukee Tool our corporation of the year. Check out our report on the company and our other picks for the Best in Business of 2020.
Milwaukee Tool wasn’t the only company advancing big growth plans this year. Two others of note include GE Healthcare and Geneva Supply.
GE Healthcare this year announced plans to invest $50 million in its West Milwaukee facility and bring more than 1,500 jobs to that facility and its Wauwatosa location. Although most of the jobs will be moved from Waukesha, the company’s planned investment is a big win for the region as GE has faced financial challenges in recent years. The company has been working to cut costs and reduce its debt, but clearly will maintain Wisconsin as an important base of operations. The investment into the West Milwaukee plant, built in 1947, would represent one of the largest one-time investments in a U.S. GE Healthcare site.
Meanwhile, Geneva Supply continues its impressive growth. The Delavan-based company, one of the fastest growing businesses in southeastern Wisconsin, has purchased the former American Girl Doll facility in western Kenosha County for its Chicago-area operations.
The 385,000-square-foot facility in the town of Randall has been vacant for almost two years. Geneva Supply, a third-party logistics provider specializing in e-commerce, plans to employ more than 100 people at the facility.
Check out BizTimes.com on Dec. 31 for my annual look at the biggest local business stories of the year. Yes, I’ll cover all of the bad stuff of 2020 but I’ll also hit the highlights including these stories, and some others. n