Four area companies win Governor’s Export Achievement Awards

Four southeastern Wisconsin companies recently received Governor’s Export Achievement Awards from Gov. Scott Walker.

The area companies that received the awards are: Waukesha-based GE Healthcare, Waukesha-based Hydro-Thermal Corp., Menomonee Falls-based Bradley Corp. and Racine-based InSinkErator.

Walker presented the awards at the 47th Annual Wisconsin International Trade Conference held earlier this month in Milwaukee.

“These Wisconsin companies serve as excellent examples of how to succeed in international markets,” said Walker. “I am proud to highlight these firms that are proving that Wisconsin can succeed and prosper despite the ups and downs of the global economy.”

GE Healthcare has five manufacturing facilities and a major distribution center in southeast Wisconsin. The company employs more than 5,900 people in the state, and is one of the largest exporters in Wisconsin. Of the $2.2 billion worth of medical and scientific Instruments exported from Wisconsin in 2010, $1.5 billion came from GE Healthcare. The company shipped to more than 100 countries from Wisconsin. During the past five years, GE Healthcare’s exports from Wisconsin have grown 25 percent. In the last year, exports to Brazil were up 46 percent, to China 67 percent and to Switzerland 137 percent.

Hydro-Thermal produces direct steam injection heaters that are used to heat liquids and viscous slurries in pulp and paper, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, mining, and biofuel production applications. The firm made its initial foray into international markets in 1997. The company now has a network of 26 distributors working in 45 countries. Export sales are 27 percent of the company’s total sales. Of the company’s 64 employees, 59 live in Wisconsin.

Bradley Corp. manufactures plumbing fixtures and washroom accessories. The company employs 550 people at its corporate offices in Menomonee Falls and a production facility in Milwaukee. The firm has been exporting for 30 years, but a renewed push over the last three years has expanded its distribution network so that Bradley products can now be found in 113 countries.

InSinkErator, a division of Emerson Electric Co., is the world’s largest manufacturer of food waste disposers and steaming hot water taps. The company employs over 950 people in Racine. Its export sales have been up more than 30 percent in the global markets in 2010 and sales continue to grow in 2011 at a double digit rate. Exports now account for 11.5 percent of the firm’s total sales.

Other winners of the Governor’s Export Achievement Awards this year are: Middleton-based Standard Imaging Inc., Wausau-based The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, Baraboo-based Accelerated Genetics and Antigo-based Kretz Lumber Co. Inc.

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