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Entries for June 2019


(Janesville, WI) Jim Dayton, Gazette

Janesville’s second year hosting a leg of the 11-day Tour of America’s Dairyland was an undisputed success, organizers said Tuesday evening. In fact, the success was record-setting. Race co-chair John Westphal said the $25,000 worth of primes—cash rewards for winning given laps—was a single-day record for USA Cycling.


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(Janesville, WI) A subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Zilber Property Group (ZPG) will increase its real estate holdings in the city with the development of a 303,000 SF speculative building, which will be located in the Beloit Ave. Industrial Corridor. Construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion slated for Q4 2019 / Q1 2020. The property will be available for single or multi-tenants; and it will have the flexibility to accommodate end users representing manufacturing and logistics-related operations.

ZPG is the commercial real estate investment and development arm of Zilber Ltd., a 70+ year old, privately-held diversified commercial, industrial and residential real estate development and asset company that operates nationally. With a healthy real estate portfolio of industrial properties in Wisconsin and Illinois, this project represents the second ZPG investment into the Janesville-Beloit MSA.

Project engineering was provided by Pinnacle Engineering GroupZimmerman Architectural Studios provided the project's architectural services. Construction services will be provided by the Riley Construction Company.  

To facilitate the project, the City of Janesville approved a Tax Increment Financing package.

According to James Otterstein, Rock County Economic Development Manager, "The ability to leverage additional space, coupled with the significant transportation infrastructure investments that have been completed and/or committed to the area, enhances and strengthens the competitiveness of the Janesville-Beloit MSA."

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(Rock County, WI) 

Today, more than 125 individuals gathered at Blackhawk Technical College’s Central Campus to kick-off the 2019 Rock Internship program. Thirty-eight incoming high school seniors, from eight districts, and over 20 employers were recognized during the event. In addition to these festivities, interns participated in employment onboarding activities and a professional development workshop.

The 2019 Rock Internship Program provides a structured six-week, paid earning-and-learning opportunity. A competitive application process, which was augmented by a series of interviews, was used to identify and then match-up interns with their host worksites. Student Academic & Career Plans (ACPs), which serve as the foundational element of the Inspire Rock County initiative, and consultation with school district personnel served as additional match-making resources, as well. 

Over the course of the program’s six weeks, interns will have an opportunity to immerse themselves into a meaningful career pathway experience. In addition to gaining first-hand, career-based exposure, interns will also have opportunities to: develop or improve communication, critical thinking, leadership and teamwork skills; facilitate important networking connections; and sharpen their interviewing, job searching and resume building experiences.

The Rock Internship Program is a collaborative effort between Blackhawk Technical College (BTC), Rock County 5.0 and the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (SWWDB). Additional support for the 2019 program has been provided by the Janesville Foundation, as well.

The following group of employers are participating in the program by sponsoring one or more interns: Angus Young Associates, Beloit Snappers, Beloit Health System, Best Events, Blackhawk Technical College, City/Town of Beloit Fire Departments, Diamond Assets, Forward Janesville, Frito-Lay, Kerry, HealthNet, Johnson Financial Group, Mercy Health Corporation, North American Tool, R.H. Batterman, Rock County, Rock Energy Systems, SASid and SC Aviation.

Rock County 5.0 is a public / private economic development initiative focused on repositioning and revitalizing Rock County’s economy. The initiative’s efforts, which are dedicated toward identifying and nurturing economic opportunities, accelerating growth and growing local assets, include the following strategic focus areas: Business Retention & Expansion, Business & Investment Attraction, Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Real Estate Positioning and Workforce Profiling. For additional Rock County 5.0 information, visit

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(Rock County, WI) 

A report highlighting the use of the County’s web-based career preparation and readiness platform, powered by Career Cruising, was released today. The Spring 2019 Inspire Rock County Report provides a snapshot of the activity, engagement, and trends associated with this workforce development tool.


Since the merger of the Inspire Rock County and the Inspire Madison Region databases in fall 2017, students have access to approximately 1,500 company profiles and more than 1,830 career coaches. The upside of this expanded pool is twofold. First, the career coaching benches are much deeper; thereby, offering more direct expertise for students to leverage. Secondly, more profiles equate to more businesses within a stone’s throw that students can incorporate into their future career-based learning experiences. While job shadowing requests may not always be logistically feasible during the traditional academic year, having advance knowledge about future internship and/or employment opportunities are excellent nuggets to incorporate into an Academic and Career Plan (ACP).


Speaking of ACP’s, the number of students and/or young adults using this platform to map out their future continues to rise. Of the 15,000+ student ACP’s that are captured by the software platform throughout the academic year, more than 9,700 of those portfolios have at least one saved career. Not surprisingly, three of the top five career clusters commanding the most student interest during any given month included: Arts, A/V Technology & Communications; Education & Training; Heath Science; and Science, Technology, Engineering & Math. Specific career interests within those clusters, such as veterinarian, video game developer, and zoologists are among the most frequently saved career choices. Each month, approximately 6,000 of those ACP’s have formally identified a higher education institution to pursue after graduating from high school.


Although student and instructor logins were not as robust as the previous academic year, nearly 105,000 logins were recorded. Meanwhile career-related page views numbered about 275,000, which was an 18% increase from last year’s totals. While the number of message board posts for this academic year trended lower than originally forecasted, these levels were solid and pushed the aggregate messaging figure past the 7,400 mark. The steady stream of inclement weather experienced during this past winter, as well as the accelerated catch-up activities resulting from those missed instructional days, definitely had an impact.


In terms of career-based learning experiences, the number of engagements and participants recorded during the academic year was extremely active. For example, the events held and/or sponsored by the school districts of Beloit, Janesville and Milton numbered more than 815. Combined, these activities reached nearly 1,875 students and accounted for more than 10,000 donated hours by area businesses and/or volunteers. Each of these measurements were higher than last year, with gains ranging from the four percent level to as high as 38%. While a pair of headline events, notably the October 2018 Manufacturing Day and the April 2019 Healthcare Day, contributed toward these numbers there was definitely a strong supply of engagement opportunities occurring throughout the year.

In addition, strong student interest in the 2019 Rock Internship Program nearly doubled the number of rising high school seniors that are participating in this six-week, paid earn-and-learn experience. As a matter of fact, these interns will participate in an onboarding and signing event next week before reporting to their assigned internship placements shortly thereafter.


For more information about career preparation and readiness in Rock County, please visit and/or connect 

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(Madison, WI) David Callender, WEDC

Wisconsin has been designated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the first Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone in the nation, focusing on National Guard and reserve members’ spouses, state officials announced today.

Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones (MSEEZs) are an initiative of the Chamber Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes program, with a goal of reducing the economic impact of military spouse unemployment and underemployment on military families. The zones promote collaboration among local and national employers, educational institutions and community resources; build robust employment networks for military spouses; and develop workforces in communities across the U.S.

“We’re pleased that Wisconsin has been designated as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone, and especially proud we’re the first such zone to focus on the unique challenges facing spouses of members of the National Guard and reserves,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “We look forward to collaborating with businesses, educational institutions and community groups to better serve the families of our local heroes.”

“It’s well known that in today’s economy the competition for talent is significant and many Wisconsin employers are experiencing a shortage of workers,” said DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman. “A program like MSEEZ is part of a workforce solution for our economy by welcoming a dedicated, innovative, and experienced contingent of professionals to our great state.”

The chamber’s designation of Wisconsin as the first National Guard- and reserve-focused MSEEZ follows a community engagement event hosted by the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce in February attended by military spouses, local elected officials, private sector employers and state agency partners.

The February event led to the formation of a Wisconsin MSEEZ Executive Committee, which identified four core focus areas. These four areas will serve as the foundation for building a comprehensive strategy to enhance and improve employment opportunities for Wisconsin’s military spouses.

The four pillars are:

  • hiring;
  • training;
  • advocacy and awareness; and
  • education and entrepreneurship.

Hiring Our Heroes has been a key partner for Wisconsin’s nation-leading veteran talent attraction initiative. Equally as important as attracting new talent to the state is retaining and engaging with the existing military spouse talent that already calls Wisconsin home.

The MSEEZ program complements the work underway to attract transitioning service members and their spouses to Wisconsin by supporting a more robust Military Spouse Professional Network and raising the visibility of opportunities for employers to tap into this underutilized talent pipeline.

Military spouses are often overlooked as candidates because their resumes frequently contain gaps in employment or have multiple short-term positions due to the military’s inherent requirement for frequent relocations.

Through strategies developed under the four pillars, the Wisconsin MSEEZ will shine a light on reducing these barriers to employment while fostering connections between employers and military spouses seeking career opportunities, developing local solutions to a national problem.

The Wisconsin MSEEZ will be co-chaired by Rebecca Deschane, talent initiatives director with WEDC and the University of Wisconsin System, and Steven Janke, Marine Corps veteran. The subcommittee chairs of the four pillars are Carolyn Moe of Logistics Health Inc., Greg Peltier of the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, Leigh Searl, of America’s Career Force and Deb Thompson of Stimmi LLC.

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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