Engineering our aviation and agricultural future
Longtime readers of this newsletter know I chair the Manufacturing Committee for the Aerospace States Assocation. We are really proud of Wisconsin's aerospace and aviation cluster, with over 200 businesses across the state that participate in this industry, including over 140 suppliers for aerospace giant Boeing. You also know that I am very interested in gettings students, especially female students, to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. So it was a great joy for me to present an ASA Scholarship to Emily, a sophomore engineering student at the University of Wisconsin. She was one of two winners in the entire country, and we're very proud that she's chosen to pursue her passion for engineering at UW-Madison.
I met another group of students on Thursday who are also interested in the future of aviation, but for entirely different reasons. Western Technical College in La Crosse partners with St. Joseph Equipment and the Miller Family Farm in Bangor to train students on 21st century agricultural technology, including ag-support drones. They let me take a spin in a huge Case combine, and the students watched our progress on an iPad back at the farm buildings via a live-feed from the drone above. How cool is that? It was a beautiful fall day, and an encouraging sign that Wisconsin remains on the cutting edge of ag tech. You can check it out for yourself here.
Next week my focus on aerospace continues as I head to Los Angeles for the Aerospace States' first Foreign Direct Investment Symposium. I'm partnering with our Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to serve as the pitch guy for our 200-strong aerospace cluster. We'll be continuing relationships first started on my travels abroad or at our annual EAA gathering in Oshkosh. We've got a lot of companies operating in this growing industry, and I'm excited for the opportunity to sell their success to investors and buyers from around the globe.
On the issues
As a former journalist myself, I'm utterly convinced of the important role that the Fourth Estate plays in keeping our government transparent and our elected officials accountable. I'm always interested in opportunities to talk with journalists like Mike Gousha who are interested in the substantive policy issues facing our state and nation, rather than the gotcha or horse-race coverage that sometimes characterizes political news. We had a good discussion at Marquette Law School on a wide range of topics, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk about the value the Lt. Governor's office provides to the taxpayers each and every day.
Another 80 jobs in horicon
On Thursday I joined my friend State Senator Scott Fitzgerald and other community leaders in Horicon for a big announcement: John Deere is adding a 400,000 square-foot expansion on to its existing facility, which will create 80 new full-time jobs at the facility next year. The $43 million investment by the ag equipment giant is another sign that our economy is growing. We talk often about our manufacturing and agriculture tax credit: John Deere is the best of both worlds by manufacturing agricultural equipment!
Small business academy
Is "business owner" your future job title? If so, register today for our 2nd annual Small Business Academy! This special FREE half-day morning event is geared toward aspiring minority entrepreneurs who want to turn their "light bulb" idea into a small business reality. This event is FREE, but seating is limited--so reserve your spot today!