Milwaukee lures another Spanish manufacturer to town

The Spanish firm Sic Lazaro, a producer of industrial counterweights, is establishing its first manufacturing operation in North America on Milwaukee’s far north side.

The company will occupy a 138,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 7044-7100 N. Teutonia Ave.

Sic Lazaro expects to open in fall 2011 and hire about 30 employees within a year.

Privately held Sic Lazaro targeted Wisconsin as a location because of the state’s manufacturing heritage and base. “We think Milwaukee is an excellent location for manufacturing and an ideal place from which to serve the U.S. market,” said Cliff Ratza, who will manage the company’s Milwaukee plant. “We appreciate the help of the M7 and the City of Milwaukee in providing resources and assistance as we evaluated potential locales.”

Lazaro is the third Spanish manufacturer that M7 has worked with in the past year to locate in the region. The others are wind energy firm Ingeteam, which is opening its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley, and train manufacturer Talgo, located on Milwaukee’s north side at the former Tower Automotive plant.

M7 officials say they are luring European manufacturers because of the region’s strong base of manufacturing companies, suppliers and skilled workers, including a high percentage of engineers. Wisconsin ranks first nationally for concentration of manufacturing employment, and Milwaukee ranks second regionally. The region’s proximity to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is another selling point for European companies.

As part of our global attraction strategy, M7 representatives and Racine County and City of Milwaukee economic development professionals recently attended the Hannover Messe trade show in Germany, one of the largest industrial shows in the world with more than 200,000 attendees.

Milwaukee 7 was part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Invest in America booth at the Hannover Messe trade show in Germany.

More than 30 prescheduled one-on-one meetings with European manufacturers were organized to sell the region’s manufacturing expertise in automation, power, energy and electrical components, which aligns well with Europe’s advanced manufacturing sector. The trade show also served as a base for visits to a number of neighboring regions and countries.

M7 executive director Pat O’Brien said the trip was a valuable step in the region’s foreign direct investment strategy.

“We’re getting the word out about the region, companies are impressed with our manufacturing attributes and we’re adding more European projects to our pipeline,” O’Brien said.

The Milwaukee 7 investment campaign has just surpassed $6.4 million. New investors include: Bank Mutual; Consolidated Construction Company; DeltaHawk Engines; GenMet; Patrick Horne; Northwestern Mutual; and Quarles & Brady LLP.

For more information, contact Jim Wall, M7 vice president of investor relations, at (414) 287-4119 or To see the full list of current investors, click here.


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