Manufacturing Odds & Ends

Nominations sought for Export Achievement Awards, Schlitz begins Milwaukee production, Germantown company opens factory in Jefferson

Nominations sought for Export Achievement Awards

Wisconsin companies that have successfully undertaken exporting initiatives are invited to enter the annual Governor’s Export Achievement Awards competition. The 2009 awards will be presented on May 12, 2009 at the 45th annual Wisconsin International Trade Conference in Milwaukee.

Each year, the Governor recognizes Wisconsin firms and organizations that have achieved extraordinary results in international markets or have contributed to Wisconsin’s ability to compete globally. The nomination deadline is 4:30 p.m. on April 10, 2009.

Nominations will be evaluated for innovation, effectiveness, and special effort in growing exports and enhancing employment, the economy, and the international prestige of Wisconsin. Nominations can be made by an employee of the firm or organization, or by a knowledgeable person from outside the organization.

Awards Categories include agricultural, manufacturing, service, high tech and export assistance provider.

For entry information, go to:, or contact Stanley Pfrang, Department of Commerce, 608/267-0739,

Schlitz begins Milwaukee production

Production of the Schlitz Classic 60s Formula beer has begun in Milwaukee.

Schlitz Brewing Co is a division of Pabst Brewing Co. of Woodridge, Ill.

Schlitz beer had been produced in Eden, N.C., but is now brewed by contract at the Miller/Coors brewery in Milwaukee, where specialized hopping equipment for the unique brewing cycle was purchased and installed.

A dedicated Schlitz technical services operation team has been established to develop initial formulations, regular testing and additional production steps to monitor the entire production cycle to ensure the beer is brewed to Schlitz’s requirements.

When asked how much Schlitz beer will be brewed in Milwaukee, company spokesman Mark Treichel said, "At this time, no projections are available. However, market demand has been strong and new markets continue to show interest in supporting Schlitz Gusto."

In addition to Milwaukee, Schlitz is now available for purchase in several markets, including, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, Iowa; Norfolk, Va.; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids and Detroit, Mich.; southern Illinois; central and northern Michigan; and Wausau, Eau Claire and La Crosse, Wis.

Schlitz received another marketing boost this week when the winning entry of the contest to name Milwaukee’s bottled water was "Brew City Brew," with the tagline of "The Water That Made the Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous." In its heyday, Schiltz was known as "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous." The water promotion was conducted by the Milwaukee Press Club and unveiled at the City of Milwaukee Birthday Party Tuesday night.

For more information about Schlitz beer, visit

Germantown company opens factory in Jefferson

Germantown-based ALC Inc., a lift chair manufacturer, recently opened a new manufacturing facility in an 8,000-square-foot space at 333 S. Seifert St. in the Jefferson Area Business Center in Jefferson and launched a new generation of its Action Lift Chair line of medical furniture. 

By opening the new factory in Jefferson County, the company says it is "committed to the American worker" and chose to "forego foreign imports and invest in America." The company’s 16,000-square-foot Germantown facility is its only other factory.

Dan Smeltzer, ALC’s chief executive officer says that higher production costs at an American factory are justified by the higher quality and greater control over its production. 

“In our search for a factory site, we were pleased to learn of the well-trained upholstered furniture workers in Jefferson left behind by the century-old Schweiger Furniture company that closed in 2004,” said Smeltzer. “ALC is an innovator, and one must have full involvement to innovate successfully.” 

Badger Bank, a regional full-service bank, provided funding to create the factory.

“We investigated several options internationally and domestically, including mergers, acquisitions, and contract manufacturers," said Lucien Campolo, ALC’s chief financial officer and director of sales. "In the end, we came full circle to establishing our own American factory. The financing was right, the trained employees were available, the wage rate was affordable, and many dealers were very interested in a high quality, American-made lift chair. The economy may be uncertain, but things will not change until we commit to rebuilding America. It’s good for business and investors have noticed.”


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