Partnering to support Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector

Presented by Project Equity and The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP)

Recorded on October 6, 2020

Project Equity collaborated with The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) to present business retention options and help advisors and supporters of Wisconsin manufacturing companies learn more about employee ownership. Wisconsin is one of the strongest manufacturing regions in the country and has thousands of manufacturing businesses that have been in business for over 20 years.

Presenters Evan Edwards, Emily Bergstrom and Tony Mathews discussed employee ownership as an option for manufacturing businesses that are considering selling or planning ownership succession.

Employee ownership provides many benefits for the selling owner, the employees, and the community, including the selling owner receiving a good sale price and having control of the process, the employees earning higher wages and retaining their jobs longer, and preserving the business legacy in the community.

These Wisconsin employee-owned manufacturing companies were featured in this webinar, including:

  • Helwig Carbon Products, Inc. – a carbon brush manufacturer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that became employee-owned in 2015
  • Hatco Corporation – a food service equipment manufacturer in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin that transitioned to employee ownership in 2007
  • Mayville Engineering Company – a contract manufacturer in Mayville, Wisconsin that was one of the early adopters, having become employee-owned in 1985

Project Equity discussed the need for business succession services in Wisconsin, sharing proprietary data from our recent study that focuses in on Milwaukee, Wisconsin that estimated:

  • 2,700 Milwaukee manufacturing businesses are over 20 years old
  • These businesses account for $29B of revenue
  • They employ over 64,000 workers

Speakers shared specific details about ESOP structures (employee stock ownership plans), as well as how to determine which manufacturing companies would be good candidates for employee ownership.

How it works

Understand the steps to transition your business

Learn from others

See how others transitioned and how the financing worked

How Project Equity can help

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