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Entries for July 2018

30

(Rock County, WI) According to the quarterly release of the Rock Ready Index, the economy of Janesville-Beloit MSA continues to show strong signs. Highlights from the Q2 report include the following:

The average annual unemployment rate for the county and state remained under four percent for the sixth quarter in a row, while nationally the rate hovered slightly above the four percent mark. Wisconsin, in particular, has the 7th lowest rate nationally. Job postings during the quarter remained equally strong again, as more than 30,000 employment openings were attributed to regional employers. While entry-level positions represent a sizable percentage of these openings, plenty of technical and management-level positions are in high demand throughout the region. For example, this quarter’s Management Occupations postings set a new record with nearly 1,400 job openings. Whether for entry or management level, employers and job seekers alike are reminded to add www.JobsInRockCounty.com to their posting and/or application dashboards.

Interested in buying or selling a house? Better have your checkbook stocked and the moving truck ready, because price points and transaction volumes remain strong throughout the Janesville-Beloit MSA. As a matter of fact, the Q2 2018 average sale price of $167,881 represented another new area benchmark. A depleted single-family housing stock, coupled with virtually very few multi-family options, has several communities throughout Rock County advancing this topic into an elevated public policy discussion. In addition to tackling the availability issue, policymakers are also confronted with housing affordability and product diversity challenges too. Rising construction material costs and a very lean supply of building trades personnel are contributing to the rental and buying environments, as well.

Although April’s sales & use tax collections were sluggish, May and June rallied to push the quarterly totals to more than $3.28 Million. If 2018’s collections continue to mirror prior years, there is a strong chance the year-end figure could flirt with reaching the $14 Million mark. While 2009 and 2010 generated lean collections, the area’s continual repositioning and revitalization efforts represent one of the primary forces keeping the local cash registers ringing. 

This quarter’s economic development pipeline was populated by large projects, as demonstrated by these aggregate impact figures: representing more than 2 Million SF; accounting for over 1,260 full-time jobs; and totaling $512,500,000 Million dollars of new capital investments. A diverse mixture of manufacturing related projects contributed heavily toward these quarterly figures, which closely resembled a similar trend from the same time period a year ago. The redevelopment activities at the former GM Janesville Assembly Plan, coupled with a recent speculative project announcement and the start of another related project, will boost the Janesville-Beloit MSA’s industrial site and building inventory.

Given the amount of development activities, this quarter’s project profile section highlights select commercial, industrial / warehousing and multi-family projects occurring throughout Rock County. Combined, these projects will keep the building trades community busy throughout the remainder of 2018 and well beyond 2019 too.

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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21

(Janesville, WI) Benjamin Pierce, Gazette

Katie Schildgen knows she wants to be a firefighter after interning with the Beloit Fire Department this summer. Emily Hanson, who interned with HealthNet of Rock County, a nonprofit health care provider, knows she doesn’t want to be a dentist.

The soon-to-be high school seniors gained those career insights through the new Rock Internship Program, which gives students a chance to work in their future careers—and in some cases, figure out which careers they shouldn’t choose.

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18

(Beloit, WI) Beloit Daily News

Beloit Memorial Hospital has received the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association's Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and the Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll award. 

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18

(Janesville, WI) John Barry, Gazette

The Janesville Country Club turns 125 next year. And what better way to help celebrate the occasion than by bringing women’s professional golf to the state’s oldest country club?

Tentatively titled the Janesville Golf Classic, the 54-hole tournament Aug. 4-6, 2019, will be one of 21 scheduled tour stops on the LPGA Symetra Tour next year.

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11

(Clinton, WI) Gazette Staff

Clinton High School, 112 Milwaukee Road, will hold a week-long Camp Invention program. The program promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. 

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10

(Madison, WI) Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

The Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Monday approved an overall 6.03% rate decrease for Worker's Compensation premiums for businesses, effective Oct. 1, 2018. This is the third consecutive year Worker's Compensation rates have declined, following an 8.46% decline in 2017, and a 3.19% decline in 2016. The latest reduction in premiums is expected to result in an annual savings of about $134 million for Wisconsin employers.

"This is just another indicator that Wisconsin's investments in its employees' occupational safety is paying off," Governor Scott Walker said. "Not only are employers seeing reduced premiums, but efforts to reduce workplace injuries help achieve a healthy labor force, resulting in a decline in rates for the third consecutive year."

Worker's Compensation rates are adjusted yearly by a committee of actuaries from the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau. The committee studies the prior losses (claims) of hundreds of categories and professions throughout the state's employment pool and submits a rate recommendation to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, which has final approval over the rates.

“A safe workplace results in a more productive and profitable one for employers," Commissioner of Insurance Ted Nickel said. "Employers are recognizing the relation between their employees' safety and the savings that ensue as premiums continue to decline."

These savings will allow Wisconsin businesses to continue to strengthen their profitability while at the same time ensuring a safe work environment, according to Department of Workforce Development Secretary Ray Allen.

"The Wisconsin business community has much to be proud of," Secretary Allen said. "With a record low unemployment rate of 2.8 percent and what is now a three-year decrease in Worker's Compensation rates, employers and employees alike are thriving. With a record number of people working right now, keeping our current employees safe and in the workforce is a major factor in keeping our labor force participation high."

Allen said the collaborative effort to promote safety also extends to the positive working relationship of the Worker's Compensation Advisory Council, which is made up of representatives from management and labor. The Council recommends changes to law to ensure it keeps up with today's industries and trends.

Questions about the development of the rates can be directed to the Wisconsin Compensation Ratings Bureau at 262-796-4540.

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03

(Beloit, WI) Austin Montgomery, Beloit Daily News            

Development and related construction is so hot in Beloit this summer the City already has surpassed last year’s total building permit value. As of July 1, Beloit has issued 623 building permits worth $26.19 million, easily exceeding the 2017 total of around the same period of 329 permits worth $5.9 million.

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5.0 UPDATES

For additional Rock County 5.0 information, click on the listings below and/or send an email to info@rockcounty5.com

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