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Wisconsin’s economic future

Future Wisconsin Project logo

Future Wisconsin Project logoIn early 2022, the Wisconsin Manufacturing Chamber Foundation (WMC) released a long-term strategic plan. The report identified why the state faces a workforce shortage, how Wisconsin contends with both a “skills gap” and a “people gap,” and pursued potential solutions to grow the working age population.  

To address the workforce need, the state must take aggressive action to attract and retain talent. A recent Wisconsin Employer Survey found that nearly three-quarters of businesses support a taxpayer-funded talent attraction campaign aimed at drawing more people into Wisconsin. As a result, lawmakers in Wisconsin have already taken the first step. The 2021-2023 Wisconsin State Budget requires the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to expend at least $3 million from its state appropriations for talent attraction and retention initiatives.  

Proposal: Eliminate the personal income tax 

Marketing and attraction efforts are not nearly enough to meet the workforce demand of current and future businesses. WMC argues that the state’s current tax environment deters working age professionals from coming to Wisconsin. A recent analysis by Redfin, a national real estate brokerage firm, shows that between 2013 and 2020, Americans have shifted population away from high tax states toward lower tax states. Data from the U.S. Census supports this.  

To compete, WMC has proposed lawmakers eliminate the personal income tax in Wisconsin to help attract workers. In return, the state would increase the sales and use tax from 5% to 8%. This increase would be in line with other Midwest states. Agricultural and manufacturing companies in Wisconsin often receive sales and use tax exemptions for products utilized in manufacturing. 

Regardless of which approach the state implements, Wisconsin is getting aggressive with its efforts to attract and retain workers and fill the people gap. The state’s ability to bring in talent will have a direct impact on the state’s ability to attract, expand and retain business.  

To read the full report, visit Wisconsin 2035: A Vision for Wisconsin’s Economic Future. 

Business Facilities Magazine selects Alliant Energy as one of the top utilities of 2022

2022 Business Facilities Top Utility seal

2022 Business Facilities Top Utility sealThanks to partners like you, Business Facilities magazine has acknowledged Alliant Energy as a “Top Utility” in its February issue. Each year the publication salutes the top utilities across the country, recognizing excellence among electric and gas utilities with respect to projects, programs and service initiatives.  

In 2021, we partnered with our community and state economic development professionals to help drive growth across our Iowa and Wisconsin service area. Here’s a snapshot of what we accomplished together:  

  • 58 industrial and warehouse projects. 
  • Over $2 billion in new capital investment. 
  • 4,444 new jobs. 

“We are proud to be honored as a top utility and we share this achievement with the over 1,300 communities we serve,” said John Larsen, chair, president and CEO of Alliant Energy. “These projects were brought to life through partnerships. They were successful because they were collaborative. Economic development opportunities are just another way we serve our customers and build stronger communities.”  

We are proud to share this award with all our community economic development partners. We realize that our success is directly linked to the strength of our associate organizations and the communities they represent. 

We also appreciate all our site selection partners we worked with this past year. Put simply, this acknowledgement would not be possible without you. We certainly do not do this work alone. Thank you for partnering with us. 

Transitioning to a clean energy future

sun shining on solar panels

We continue to move forward with our energy mix goals through several exciting community partnerships. Our goal is to eliminate all coal from our generation fleet by 2040 and achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity we generate by 2050. 

Learn about two of our most recent projects that help advance our sustainability and energy goals.  

Iowa State University participates in Alliant Energy® Customer Hosted Renewables program 

The Iowa Board of Regents approved a request from Iowa State University to proceed with the development of the solar farm and enter into a lease agreement with Alliant Energy. The solar farm, in development as a part of our Customer Hosted Renewables Program, enables customers with available land to host solar facilities and receive lease payments and renewable energy credits. Alliant Energy will design, construct, own, operate and maintain the solar farm. 

“This new collaboration is the latest in our long-standing partnership with Alliant Energy to prepare our communities, state and nation for the future of energy and power,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “The public-private partnership represented in the new solar farm will be a significant step in making progress on our mutual renewable energy and sustainability goals.” Learn how this project fits into the University’s five-year plan for sustainability in operations. 

Microgrid project set for Richland County, Wisconsin 

Village of Boaz residents in Richland County, Wisconsin, will soon see enhanced energy reliability as part of our new community-based microgrid system. The small-scale utility grid includes an “islanding” capability and dedicated power source that allows us to supply energy to the community in the event of an outage or service disruption on the central power grid.

“At Alliant Energy, we constantly look for ways to improve reliability and deploy cutting edge technical solutions to our customers,” said Mike Bremel, director of engineering and customer solutions. “This innovative project is one of several research pilot projects Alliant Energy will implement as we develop our renewable energy portfolio and energy storage solutions.”

To learn more about this exciting project read our news article: Project will improve reliability for Village of Boaz customers and advance Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint. 

Second consecutive year: Alliant Energy named to Newsweek’s America’s Most Responsible Companies list

Newsweek best places to work 2022 logo

Newsweek best places to work 2022 logo

As in 2021, Alliant Energy has been named to Newsweek’s 2022 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. This prestigious list is presented by Newsweekand Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry-ranking provider.  

Ranked as a top 30 company overall in the social category, Alliant Energy was recognized for its strong devotion to good causes and support of diversity in its workforce. Newsweek’s ranking also acknowledges Alliant Energy’s environmental efforts and its efforts centered on creating a better tomorrow. This includes accelerating their transition to generating cleaner energy, as outlined in the company’s Clean Energy Blueprint, and working toward achieving many goals, including net-zero emissions for the energy it generates. 

Pharma company locates in Midwest

DNA

DNAArrowhead Pharmaceuticals, a California-based pharmaceutical company that makes genetic treatments for hard-to-treat diseases, has announced plans to build a $250 million manufacturing campus in the Verona Technology Park, just outside of Madison, Wisconsin.

The expansion will bring about 250 jobs to the region. Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals has a research and development location in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as locations in San Diego and Pasadena, California. Arrowhead will join pharmaceutical giant MiliporeSigma in the technology park.

“The pharmaceutical, medical equipment industry in Wisconsin continues to grow,” said Coleman Peiffer, Alliant Energy’s senior business attraction manager. “The region’s talent and education system are ideal to support bio-health, high-tech companies.”

According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin exported $2 billion in medical and scientific instruments in 2020. Nearly 1,700 bio-health patents were awarded to Wisconsin entities from 2015-2019.

Learn more about how we work with the diverse and fast-growing bioscience sector.

Iowa manufacturer to make electric battery tray side panels

charging electric car

charging electric carWilliamsburg Manufacturing, a division of leading global automotive supplier Magna International, will create 521 jobs in Williamsburg Iowa by 2026 as part of a $46 million expansion project. At the forefront of a new technological revolution, the Williamsburg operation will install material handling equipment and welding robots to allow the plant to manufacture electric battery tray side panels.

Williamsburg Manufacturing will also continue to make aluminum and high-strength steel bumpers, aluminum radiator supports, under-hood and underbody reinforcements, frame and roof rails, and engine cradles.

You can find parent company Magna International’s products in most vehicles today. They have 347 manufacturing operations on five continents and in 28 countries. The company has over 154,000 employees worldwide.

Learn more about how we work with original equipment manufacturers.

Alliant Energy 2021 industrial growth in review

Industrial growth is paramount to the communities we serve. Economic development is vital to our success.  Load growth helps us manage costs for all our customers.   

As of December 1, we successfully assisted in major expansions for existing customers and recruited new companies this year throughout our Iowa and Wisconsin markets.   

  • 58 industrial projects across our service area. 
    • 20 new manufacturing operations. 
    • 38 expansions of existing industry. 
  • Over $1.53 billion in new capital investment.   
  • Nearly 4,100 new jobs in the communities we serve.   

Below are two key industries that have realized growth in the region:  

  • Ten original equipment manufacturers (primarily metal equipment producers) expanded in the region. Notable expansions included construction and agriculture equipment manufacturers Vermeer Corporation, ALMACO and Weiler Inc.  
  • Nine food processing and ingredients companies expanded here. Familiar brands include General Mills, Tyson Fresh Meats, ADM, Saputo Cheese and Kerry Ingredients. 

Wisconsin incentives: Business Development Tax Credit helps enhance cash flow

Wisconsin icon

Wisconsin iconWisconsin’s Business Development Tax Credit Program provides businesses located in or relocating to the state with refundable tax credits. This supports local job creation, capital investment, training and corporate headquarters location or retention. These credits can reduce income/franchise tax liability or provide a refund. Businesses then have more cash flow to expand a project’s scope, accelerate a project’s timeline or enhance payroll.

When combined with the state’s manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, which reduces the 7.9% tax rate to 0.4%, the refundable tax credit is almost completely refunded due to Wisconsin’s low corporate tax rate.

Per state statute, companies can earn:

  • 10% tax credit on new jobs (based on payroll).
  • Or, 5% on real property and 3% on personal property.

In competitive scenarios when a project considers multiple states, or when the project includes a corporate headquarter, projects can earn credits on both jobs and capital expenditures.

Below is an example of how the BTC program can impact a project’s cash flow. If the project was a competitive project or included a company headquarter, the project could earn both the $250,000 job tax credit and $900,000 capital expenditure tax credit totaling $1.15 million in credits. (Note: All tax credits are subject to negotiation and approval with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.)

  • 50 new jobs paying $50,000 per year could earn $250,000 in tax credits based on jobs.
  • Or, capital expenditures totaling $20 million ($15 million real property and $5 million personal property) could receive up to $900,000 based on capital expenditures.

If the project was a competitive project or included a company headquarter, the project could earn both the $250,000 job tax credit and $900,000 capital expenditure tax credit totaling $1.15 million in credits.

Contact Coleman Peiffer, senior business attraction manager, or visit Wisconsin Department of Revenue to learn more.

 

Alliant Energy named a Top Utility in Economic Development

Site Selection Magazine 2021 Top Utilities logo

For third consecutive year Site Selection magazine recognizes the company’s contributions to business development and job creation

MADISON, Wis. – September 2, 2021 – For the third year in a row, Alliant Energy was named on Site Selection magazine’s Top Utility in Economic Development list. The annual list recognizes the company for its contributions to community development and job creation.

In its September issue, Site Selection credits Alliant Energy’s economic development team, in collaboration with local, regional and state partners in Iowa and Wisconsin, for delivering more than $906 million in new capital investment and more than 2,200 new jobs in 2020.

Alliant Energy is one of 20 companies nationally named to the list and the only one in Iowa. In all, there are 3,300 utility companies, including 900 electric cooperatives, in the United States.

“Alliant Energy is extremely proud to once again be honored as a top utility in economic development and we are honored to be among such strong industry peers,” said John Larsen, chair, president and CEO of Alliant Energy. “Guided by our purpose of serving customers and building stronger communities, our partnerships with the 1,300-plus communities we serve in Iowa and Wisconsin helped bring more than 30 new industrial and warehouse projects to life in the last year. Today, we share this award with them.”

Site Selection noticed Alliant Energy’s innovations in the absence of travel and on-site meetings. The company added interactive maps to its Alliant Energy economic development web page to allow site location consultants and real estate executives to tour Alliant Energy’s industrial sites virtually. The platform showcases certified sites across Iowa and Wisconsin and provides data on community assets, labor force, population, transportation routes, site costs and utility capacity including electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater and broadband.

“Working with Alliant Energy on developing interactive maps to showcase the Lincolnway Industrial Rail and Air Park in Clinton, Iowa has been essential to maintain close relationships with our region’s utility partners during the challenges of a global pandemic,” said Andy Sokolo

Site Selector also recognized Alliant Energy’s transition to renewable energy. Business customers have environmental demands and sustainability goals and seek to partner with companies like Alliant Energy, whose Clean Energy Blueprint guides its work to sustain the economic and environmental health of the communities it serves. Current Alliant Energy business customers like 3M, PepsiCo, Kerry Group, Mars, General Mills and many others have committed to moving their operations to 100% renewable electricity. Alliant Energy has embraced new technologies to help them achieve their goals and continues to adapt and become more resilient and reliable.vich, vice president of economic development with Clinton Regional Development Corporation. “Alliant Energy continues to support our economic development efforts as contributing members of a thriving community.”

Site Selection delivers expansion planning information to 45,000 site location consultants and executives of fast-growing firms and is considered the senior publication in the development field. The magazine bases its award ranking on a utility’s efforts to cultivate industrial business development, job creation and the populations it serves.

Large industrial warehouse and production space ready for new opportunities

inside of warehouse

Are you seeking an industrial production and warehouse site in the Midwest? This cost effective and clean warehouse, production, assembly or manufacturing property is new on the market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It offers 20,000 to 96,000 square feet of high or medium bay space for sale or lease. The building sits on a 34-acre lot, located just one half mile north of U.S. Highway 30, and within one mile of Interstate 380. It is served by rail. 

Building details include 44,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, 11 docks, four overhead doors and 130 automobile parking spaces. Other amenities include compressed air, a 2,000kilowatt generator, and 12,400highvoltage service with available 3,200amp panel. It has a shared break room, a conference room and a locker room with restroomsThere are currently three acresmore or lessof paved outdoor storage and additional trailer parking on site with room to expand to more or less than 10 acres. The building could be expanded up to an additional 150,000 square feetIt is available for possession within 30 days. Flexible lease terms are available. The sale price is $6,250,000. 

For additional information about the property, contact Mary Meisterling, Manager Business Support and Development Account Management at 319-558-7122 or marymeisterling@alliantenergy.com.