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Entries for October 2018


(Rock County, WI) According to the quarterly release of the Rock Ready Index, the Janesville-Beloit MSA economic engine is performing very well. The following trends and observations from the Q3 2018 report include:

For the seventh quarter in a row, the average annual unemployment rate for the county and state remained under four percent. Nationally, this rate settled in at four percent. Wisconsin notched a pair of Top 10 national rankings during this period , including : the seventh highest labor force participation rates and the 10th lowest unemployment rates, respectively. Additional state-by-state comparisons ranked Wisconsin 2nd in the U.S. and #1 in the Midwest for the number of manufacturing jobs created. Construction related jobs gained recognition during this period, as well: Wisconsin ranked #15 nationally and 2nd in the Midwest. These trends played out regionally too, as production openings once again remained among the Top 5 job posting categories recorded. On average, approximately one-third of all job postings on have some type of manufacturing connectivity.

Aggressive and steep are two words that home buyers and sellers alike are using to characterize the Janesville-Beloit MSA housing market. Q3 2018 registered an average sale price of $173,523 and a median sale price of $160,000: both represent new pricing benchmarks. While transaction pricing and pace remains brisk, some (supply) relief is on the horizon as recent announcements have signaled that more housing starts are planned. For those interested in ditching the joys of home ownership, the pulse remains steady with respect to future multi-family developments. That said, community perceptions regarding location, scale and value of these types of projects create challenging environments that property owners and investors must overcome.  

Q3 was also a very robust period for the County’s sales & use tax collections. With over $3.8 Million collected, this figure represents the highest quarterly total ever recorded for the Janesville-Beloit MSA.  As a matter of fact, Q3 2018’s totals are about 5.5% higher than last year’s highest benchmark period of $3.6 Million. Moreover, the YTD total for 2018 is nearly identical to the 2008 year-end total of $10.39 Million. Absent some strange economic tsunami, the collections for calendar year 2018 are on pace to establish a new record.

This quarter’s economic development pipeline was once again populated by a diverse array of sizable projects, which combined for the following impacts: over 1.1 Million SF; 800 new full-time jobs; and more than $132.5 Million of proposed new capital investments. Projects presenting logistics and IT-related opportunities anchored Q3, while metal fabrication and other types of manufacturing segments rounded out the remaining pipeline’s investments. That said, a lean inventory of available, Class A industrial / warehousing space and a shrinking supply of large, build-to-suit sites remain a priority discussion topic.

Blackhawk Community Credit Union’s proposed downtown Janesville project, along the banks of the Rock River in an area that’s been branded as SOCO, is the Q3 2018 featured project. This $30 Million, 130,000 SF mixed-use project represents the largest private sector investment proposed for the city’s downtown since the ARISE plan was initiated. Speaking of ARISE, a number of celebrations featuring marque milestones and affiliated investments have been occurring throughout the year. Given the trajectory and strength of the area’s economy, additional announcements are anticipated.

The Rock Ready Index (RRI) is a quarterly economic development dashboard compiled and distributed by the Rock County Development Alliance. The RRI covers four topical areas: Workforce (Job Postings and Unemployment Rates), Real Estate (Residential, Commercial or Industrial) Trends, Sales (Tax Collection) Activities and a snapshot of the ED Pipeline's growth and/or investment opportunities. Each Index also includes a Project Profile section, which highlights project-specific news during a given quarter.

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(Janesville, WI) NaturPak Pet, a new venture of natural food manufacturer and co-packer IPM Foods, will be expanding its operations into a new 162,000 SF building that will be located in the Janesville’s STH 11 Business Park. The company will design, manufacture, package and distribute high-quality, natural wet pet food products. Construction is slated to be finished by mid-2019 and once the turn-key facility is fully-operational, staffing levels are projected to reach up to 100 +/- full-time positions. 

NaturPak Pet, which is already leveraging Janesville-based IPM Foods’ BPA-free Tetra Pak cartons, is positioned to capitalize on the premium pet food market. “As a leader in natural food products, with 35 years of experience with packaging container technology, we saw a huge opportunity to expand into the wet pet food market by providing nutrient-rich products and packaging services to pet food brand owners,” said IPM Foods co-owner Pawel Marciniak.

Badger Property Investments (BPI) is serving as the project’s developer, while Gilbank Construction is providing construction services. Architectural and engineering services were provided by Angus Young AssociatesBill Mears (Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Associates) represented the developer.

The City of Janesville facilitated this project by providing a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) package. 

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager, “Food processing and packaging is well represented throughout the Janesville-Beloit MSA and we are excited to add another company into this targeted industry cluster.”

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(Janesville, WI) Catherine Idzerda, Gazette

Olivia Combs was surprised by how much she didn’t know about manufacturing. Combs, 15, was among more than 1,200 Rock County students who toured Blackhawk Technical College’s Advanced Manufacturing Center on Thursday and Friday for Manufacturing Day, a national event designed to “inspire the next generation of manufacturers,” according to its website.


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(Janesville, WI) Jim Dayton, Gazette

SHINE Medical Technologies now has most of the permits necessary to begin construction at its south-side campus following approval Monday from the city plan commission.


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For additional Rock County 5.0 information, click on the listings below and/or send an email to

Q3 2011

Q2 2011

Q1 2011

Q4 2010

Q3 2010

Q2 2010

Q1 2010

Q4 2009