6. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

A.   Analysis of Labor Force and Economic Base

 

While some information on the labor force and economic base of the Town of Menasha is collected and disseminated through the U.S. Census Bureau, most labor force and economic base information is collected at the county or metropolitan statistical area. In this case, the counties are Winnebago and Outagamie and the metropolitan statistical area is the Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties. As 2000 U.S. Census Bureau data becomes available, the tables using 1990 data will be updated and the analysis revised.

 

Table 37 confirms the national trend of the increasing importance of the service sector in the economy is also occurring in the Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah MSA. In 1990, non-durable manufacturing and services were in a virtual tie, with each other representing about 20% of total employment. In 2000, services increased to 23%, while non-durable manufacturing decreased to 17.6%. Manufacturing overall saw a decrease in its share of total employment. Given the growth in retail development during the 1990’s, particularly in the area of the Fox River Mall and on the southeast side of Appleton, it surprising that the employment statistics for the retail trade SIC group does not reflect this. Equally surprising is the lack of growth in the finance, insurance and real estate SIC group given the growth in weekly average wages (see below).

 

TABLE 37

EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY, 1990 and 2000

Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah Metropolitan Statistical Area

 

1990

2000

% Change 1990-2000

No.

% of Total

No.

% of Total

Goods Producing

61,837

38.4

73,488

35.5

18.8

Service Producing

99,022

61.6

133,267

64.5

34.6

By SIC Group

 

 

 

 

 

Construction

7,569

4.7

13,027

6.3

72.1

Manufacturing – Durable

22,121

13.8

24,113

11.7

9.0

Manufacturing – Non-Durable

32,146

20.0

36,348

17.6

13.1

Trans. & Public Utilities

6,168

3.8

9,463

4.6

53.4

Wholesale Trade

6,637

4.1

9,039

4.4

36.2

Retail Trade

27,955

17.4

34,532

16.7

23.5

Finance, Ins. And Real Estate

7,621

4.7

9,088

4.4

19.3

Services

32,886

20.4

47,883

23.2

45.6

Public Administration

17,755

11.0

23,261

11.3

31.0

Total Non-Farm Employment

160,859

 

206,755

 

28.5

Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

 

The trends and changes in the MSA are also reflected in the statistics for Winnebago County in which the Town of Menasha is located (see Table 38).

 

TABLE 38

EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY, 1990 and 2000

Winnebago County

 

1990

2000

% Change 1990-2000

No.

% of Total

No.

% of Total

Construction

2,121

3.2

3,803

4.3

79.3

Manufacturing – Durable

10,289

15.4

11,933

13.5

16.0

Manufacturing – Non-Durable

16,687

24.9

20,555

23.2

23.2

Trans. & Public Utilities

2,485

3.7

3,714

4.2

49.5

Wholesale Trade

2,084

3.1

3,301

3.7

58.4

Retail Trade

10,775

16.1

12,977

14.6

20.4

Finance, Ins. And Real Estate

2,352

3.5

2,575

2.9

9.5

Services

12,027

18.0

19,120

21.6

59.0

Public Administration

8,124

12.1

10,740

12.1

32.2

Total Non-Farm Employment

66,944

 

88,718

 

32.5

Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

 

Table 39 shows that the economy in the MSA performed well during the 1990’s as an increase in the total labor force was accompanied by a decrease in the unemployment rate to historical lows by 2000. Within the last 24 months, the unemployment rate has risen but is still near what is generally considered to be a good rate. Most of the job losses have occurred in the manufacturing sector.

 

TABLE 39

LABOR FORCE, 1990, 2000 and December 2001

Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah Metropolitan Statistical Area

 

Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah MSA

State of Wisconsin

1990

2000

Dec 2001

1990

2000

Dec 2001

Labor Force

188,609

223,422

230,518

2,581,079

2,934,931

303,5224

Employed

181,530

217,642

222,366

2,466,597

2,831,162

290,8678

Unemployed

7,079

5,780

8,152

114,483

103,769

12,6546

Unemployment Rate

3.8

2.6

3.5

4.4

3.5

4.2

Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

 

Employment opportunities for the residents of the Town of Menasha are in close proximity, as shown in Table 40. Almost half (48.9%) of the residents work at a location that is less than 15 minutes from where they live, and another 40% work within 30 minutes of their home.

 

 

 

TABLE 40

TRAVEL TIMES, 1990

Town of Menasha and Neighboring Jurisdictions

 

Town of Menasha

Town of Grand Chute

Town of Greenville

City of Menasha

City of Neenah

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Less than 15 minutes

3,723

48.9

4,379

54.5

672

30.5

3,250

45.2

6,390

57.2

15 to 29 minutes

3,088

40.5

2,757

34.3

1,074

48.7

3,192

44.4

3,731

33.4

30 to 44 minutes

366

4.8

432

5.4

148

6.7

375

5.2

545

4.9

45 to 59 minutes

116

1.5

135

1.7

26

1.2

105

1.5

125

1.1

60 minutes or more

194

2.5

113

1.4

120

5.4

128

1.8

157

1.4

Worked at home

133

1.7

215

2.7

164

7.4

139

1.9

220

2.0

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

 

All industries in Winnebago County saw real growth in average weekly wages (adjusted for inflation) during the ten-year period from 1990 to 2000. The finance, insurance and real estate sector had an increase of 91.2%, greatly outdistancing public administration, which had the second highest increase of 38.2%. This reflects the strong economy the Fox Cities experienced in the 1990’s, the significant increase in the cost of homes, particularly new construction, and the 401(k) investment surge. The two largest sectors in terms of employment, non-durable manufacturing and services, increased by 22.5% and 10.5%, respectively, well below the average of all industries of 50.4%.

 

TABLE 41

WAGES BY INDUSTRY, 1990 and 2000

Winnebago County

 

1990

2000

% Change 1990 Adjusted to 2000

Average Weekly Wages

1990 in

2000 Dollars

Average Weekly Wages

Construction

$530.70

$699.20

$745.13

6.6

Manufacturing – Durable

$498.97

$657.40

$689.98

5.0

Manufacturing – Non-Durable

$635.10

$836.75

$1,024.78

22.5

Trans. & Public Utilities

$441.79

$582.06

$617.51

6.1

Wholesale Trade

$441.23

$581.33

$772.44

32.9

Retail Trade

$170.47

$224.60

$260.01

15.8

Finance, Ins. and Real Estate

$383.93

$505.83

$966.91

91.2

Services

$314.08

$413.80

$457.31

10.5

Public Administration

$452.27

$595.87

$823.21

38.2

ALL INDUSTRIES

$433.31

$570.89

$858.82

50.4

Source: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

 

 

 

 

 

While average weekly wages in all industries saw real growth, Table 42 shows that some occupations have, in fact, experienced a real loss (adjusted for inflation) in the average hourly wage rate. The occupations with the highest gains are in computers and electronics, while the highest losses are in production jobs in the manufacturing sector. It is important to note that gains and losses can occur within different occupations within the same industry. For example, manufacturing firms employ computer operators and programmers (wage gain) and assemblers and material handlers (wage loss).

 

TABLE 42

WAGES BY OCCUPATION, 1997 - 2002

Fox Cities (all years) and Green Bay (2002)

 

 

1997

 

1998/1999

 

2000

 

2002

1997 in

2002 Dollars

Gain or (Loss)

Accounting Clerks

$8.80

$10.22

 $12.10

$12.23

$9.71

$2.52

Assembler, Class A

$13.40

$16.05

 $13.46

$12.30

$14.79

($2.49)

Bookkeepers

$10.00

$11.04

 $11.27

$12.08

$11.03

$1.05

Cleaner/Custodian/Janitor

$7.50

$7.99

 $ 8.72

$9.22

$8.28

$0.94

Computer Operators

$10.60

$12.40

 $13.07

$16.14

$11.70

$4.44

Computer Programmers

$14.67

$15.98

 $17.63

$20.90

$16.19

$4.71

Computer Systems Analysts

$19.76

$20.08

 $23.34

$23.75

$21.80

$1.95

Data Entry Operators

$8.32

$8.50

 $ 9.69

$9.46

$9.18

$0.28

Electronics Technicians

$11.00

$14.19

 $17.15

$21.16

$12.14

$9.02

File Clerks

$7.42

$7.49

 $ 8.89

$8.73

$8.19

$0.54

Fork Lift Truck Operators

$11.91

$12.26

 $12.44

$12.22

$13.14

($0.92)

Machine Opts. & Tender

$8.75

$14.77

 $12.86

$14.19

$9.65

$4.54

Machine Set up Operator

$13.99

$10.93

$12.84

$15.82

$15.44

$0.38

Mail Clerk

$7.70

$8.31

$8.89

$9.85

$8.50

$1.35

Maintenance Electricians

$15.81

$17.92

$16.79

$20.57

$17.44

$3.13

Maintenance Mechanics

$14.81

$16.46

$15.61

$16.14

$16.34

($0.20)

Material Handlers

$12.69

$8.41

$9.59

$11.98

$14.00

($2.02)

Millwrights

$16.05

$15.65

$17.23

$17.69

$17.71

($0.02)

Payroll Clerks

$9.52

$11.05

$12.37

$14.16

$10.50

$3.66

Prod. Planners/Schedulers

$15.05

$17.26

$18.86

$18.05

$16.61

$1.44

Recep./Switchbrd Operators

$8.00

$11.03

$9.80

$10.24

$8.83

$1.41

Secretaries

$9.23

$11.52

$11.67

$12.50

$10.18

$2.32

Truck Driver (Heavy)

$11.00

$11.74

$14.32

$13.77

$12.14

$1.63

Warehouse Workers

$7.02

$10.66

$10.93

$11.72

$7.75

$3.97

Word Processors

$8.70

$9.25

$10.06

$10.98

$9.60

$1.38

Source: Fox Cities Chamber (1997-2000) and Fox Cities/Green Bay Chamber (2002) Wage Surveys

 

In February of 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Extension released the results of an analysis of the labor market in the Fox Valley. The study was completed in response to the issue of the labor shortage being experienced by firms throughout the Fox River Valley. Both employees and employers were surveyed and/or interviewed. Two of the major findings from the study were the need to encourage high school graduates to pursue technical college instead of a four year college and to become more aggressive in pursuing workers from other nations by improving the recruitment and assimilation processes. Both findings have implications on housing and transit issues, as housing convenient to employment opportunities will be sought by recent high school graduates and immigrants to the area.

 

More information on the study is available at:

 

www.foxcities-marketing.org/business_res/labor_summary/index.html

 

B.   Types of New Businesses Desired

 

1.     The Economic Structure of the Fox Valley

 

In 2001 the University of Wisconsin-Extension released a report prepared for the Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership entitled, “The Economic Structure of the Fox Valley: A Study of Economic Opportunity.” The intent of the study was to, “. . . identify potential areas of economic growth and development for the region.” The information and findings may be used by policy makers and economic development practitioners in setting strategy in pursuing and supporting business growth.

 

The study acknowledges that the paper and allied products industry has been the primary economic driver in the Fox Cities. While paper will continue to play a major role in the health of the economy, other industries appear to have the potential to make a larger contribution, particularly in the service sector. The study suggests that manufacturing in general will not be a growth sector and that jobs in manufacturing will not meet the $12 to $19 per hour wage rate targeted by the Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership. In contrast, the study concluded that selected service sector occupations projected to grow significantly at the national level would pay in the targeted wage rate. These types of occupations include computer, legal and health related services.

 

As was noted earlier, caution must be taken in assuming that low growth and low paying jobs are representative of manufacturing firms while high paying and high growth occupations are representative of the service sector.

 

At the time this report was prepared, the economy of the Fox Cities was in a recession and the projected decline in manufacturing was playing out in several of the communities in the Fox Cities. There were a number of announcements in the last half of 2001 and in the first several months of 2002 regarding temporary and permanent layoffs and plant closings. Most recently, American Tissue closed its facility in the Town of Menasha resulting in the loss of approximately 375 positions. Other closings include Gilbert Papers, Metso Minerals and Rich Products.

 

The Town of Menasha should carefully review the findings of the study. Most of the Top Ten firms in the Town fall into the “slow growth” category. A link to the complete study is available at:

 

town-menasha.com/economic.htm

 

2.     2002 Economic Outlook Report

 

In early 2002, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce released its “2002 Economic Outlook Report,” which reflected the results of a telephone survey of 200 large and small firms in the Fox Cities. The report found that, “In general, respondents to the 2002 Economic Outlook Survey were more guarded in their optimism than in previous years . . . . Still, business remains fairly upbeat regarding the Fox Cities with many companies expecting a full economic recovery as early as 2002.”

 

According to the report, employment in the Fox Cities has been virtually flat over the past two years (2000 and 2001). Projections for an increase in employment in the coming year are guarded, with less than 40% of the respondents expecting an increase in employment.

 

An increase in gross sales in 2001 was experienced by 55% of the firms, down from 61% in 2000 and 76% in 1999. Net profits followed the same pattern. The forecast for 2002 is positive, with 73% of the firms expecting an increase in both sales and profits.

 

A striking finding from the report is the dramatic decrease in a positive perception of the local economy. In the 2000 survey, 97% of the respondents said the economy of was good to excellent; in the 2002 survey, only 25% agreed with that assessment. On a more positive note, 97% of the respondents expect the local economy will be stable or grow in the coming year.

 

3.  Technology Zone Program

 

In December 2001, Governor Scott McCallum created a Technology Zone Program which provides tax credits to high technology firms as a means to stimulate the growth of Wisconsin’s high technology sector. The program calls for the designation of eight zones. Economic development representatives from several counties in northeastern Wisconsin, including Outagamie and Winnebago counties, have formed the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership (NEWREP) and are in the process of preparing an application for the designation of one of the eight zones.

 

The Kimberly Clark Research and Development Center on Winchester Road is identified as a "Tech Zone Area" in the NEWREP application for designation as a Technology Zone. If the application is approved, Kimberly Clark can receive up to $250,000 in nonrefundable tax credits for a project that involves high technology. Any jobs created or retained by the project must pay a minimum of $10.30 per hour.

 

The Town of Menasha also submitted the All-American Business Park and the McMahon Business Park as “Tech Zone Areas.”

 

4.  Town of Menasha Community Survey

 

A survey of Town residents was conducted in the Fall of 2002 by the Town of Menasha Community Development Department. The results showed support for the attraction of larger corporations (67% agreeing or strongly agreeing), the promotion of private industrial parks (62% agreeing or strongly agreeing), and an increase in commercial retail development, with 54% indicating there is a lack of it.

 

C.   Local Government’s Ability to Attract and Retain Business

 

1.     Location

 

The geographic location of a community is one of the most important factors in determining the ability of a local government to attract or retain business.  Traditionally, communities that were near natural resources used in the manufacturing of a product had an advantage over those that were not. Today, the definition of a natural resource has been broadened to describe the environment in which people choose to live. Many types of service firms are not dependent on access to raw, physical resources (or for that matter, their customers) and choose to locate in areas where natural resources such as lakes, rivers and woods create an attractive environment in which to live and work.

 

The economy of the Fox Cities and the Town of Menasha has followed this trend. Originally dependent on natural resources as raw materials, many firms are no longer dependent on them and choose to remain or locate here because of the excellent business and natural environment. There are challenges, however. Recent reports indicate that a “brain drain” is occurring in Wisconsin as the “brightest and best” graduates from universities and colleges in Wisconsin are leaving the state to pursue their careers. Economic development organizations at all levels in the state have begun or are planning campaigns to recruit Wisconsin graduates and/or natives back to Wisconsin.

 

2.     Existing Economic Base

 

The Town of Menasha currently has a good economic base with strong representation in the manufacturing and service sectors. As was noted in the Issues and Opportunities Element, three of the “Top Ten” employers in the entire Fox Cities are located in the Town. They are Kimberly Clark, Pierce Manufacturing and SCA. Also noted earlier was that these firms are projected to be “slow growth” firms in the future. Town officials need to create relationships with these firms to identify concerns, which the Town may be able to address.

 

A link to a list of the manufacturers and principal employers in the Town is available at:

 

town-menasha.com/economic.htm

 

3.     Infrastructure

 

A number of improvements in the infrastructure of the Town of Menasha have been made recently, most notably in the construction of USH 10 and CTH CB. The transportation system continues to improve and there is sufficient utility capacity to accommodate economic growth. A capital improvement program can help to ensure that needed improvements to the infrastructure are identified.

 

4.     Regulatory Issues

 

The Town of Menasha seeks to strike a balance between the needs of business expanding or locating in the Town and the needs of the community. Zoning and building codes and the site plan review process help to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community is protected and maintained. The Community Development Department has successfully used their site plan review process to address development issues, resulting in win-win situations for the developer and the Town.

 

5.     Financial Programs

 

Towns in Wisconsin generally do not have access to the same type of financial programs that are available in villages and cities. The Town of Menasha recently demonstrated its creativity in developing a financing program for the Gateway Development. In this project, the Town paid for the installation of the public improvements based on a commitment from the developer to create a specific amount of tax base in the future. If new construction in Gateway Development does not generate that amount, the developer is responsible for making payments to the Town that equal the amount of revenue the Town would have received from the tax base specified in the development agreement.

 

There are a number of other financial programs available to the Town that will be described later.

 

D.  Sites for New or Expanded Businesses

 

The Town of Menasha has four privately owned industrial or business parks:

 

¨        McMahon Business Park (30 acres total, 19 acres available)

¨        All American Business Park (280 acres total, 10 acres available)

¨        Parkside West (40 acres total, 38 acres available)

¨        Gateway Development (60 acres available)

 

The locations of these parks are shown on Map 15. There are also a number of lots zoned for commercial and industrial use, primarily along American Drive, north and south of USH 10. More information on these properties is available at:

 

town-menasha.com/economic.htm

 

www.foxcities-marketing.org/business_res/ind_biz_parks.asp

 

www.gateway-development.com/welcome.html

 

The Town should consider identifying possible sites for the long-term development of an industrial or business park.


 

INSERT MAP 15 HERE

 


E.   Use of Brownfield Sites

 

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce defines brownfields as, “abandoned, idle or underused industrial or commercial facilities or sites, the expansion or redevelopment of which is adversely affected by actual or perceived environmental contamination.”

 

The database maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce does not list any brownfield sites in the Town of Menasha. More information on Wisconsin’s Brownfields program is available at:

 

www.commerce.state.wi.us/CD/CD-bfi.html

 

F.    Applicable County, Regional, and State Economic Development Programs

 

1.     State Programs

 

The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Commerce offers a number of programs in support of economic development. The programs are too numerous to list here. Some of the programs provide direct assistance to a business, others fund the business through the local community, while other programs provide direct assistance to a community. Information on these programs is available at:

 

www.commerce.state.wi.us/MT/MT-COM-2000.html

 

www.commerce.state.wi.us/MT/MT-COM-4200.html

 

The Department of Commerce has Area Development Managers located throughout the state to work with local communities and businesses in identifying the resources available from the state and other sources. William Lehman is the Area Development Manager for the Town of Menasha and is located in Fond du Lac.

 

2.     Regional Programs

 

a.     East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

 

The East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission prepares an Overall Economic Development Program (OEDP) covering the ten counties in its region. The most recent update was completed in 2001.

 

The document contains a review of the Commission’s economic development efforts, an overview of the region’s economy and the development strategy for the region. The development strategy includes goals, objectives and strategies and a ranking of economic development investment projects submitted by communities in the region.

 

The Town of Menasha did not submit any economic development investment projects for inclusion in the OEDP. The Menasha Action Council and the City of Menasha submitted the Menasha Business Development Center, which consists of the redevelopment of a 30,000 square foot vacant commercial building into an entrepreneurial center and business incubator.

 

b.     Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership

 

The Town is an active participant in the Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership. According to the Partnership’s website, it is, “. . . a business attraction organization comprised of the municipalities, organizations and utilities interested in the economic growth of the Fox Cities area. Its mission, along with that of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is to foster the Fox Cities' economic development by creating and implementing marketing programs that promote the area as an attractive location for business and industry.”

 

3.     Winnebago County

 

Winnebago County offers the Per Capita Funding Program, an annual grant program administered by the County’s Industrial Development Board. Founded in 1975 by the Winnebago County Board, the program has distributed over $1 million to local communities in Winnebago County since its inception. The Town of Menasha has applied for and received funds from the program for its economic development efforts in business retention and attraction.

 

The County also offers a revolving loan fund program. More information on both programs is available at:

 

www.winnebagobusiness.com/html/countyIncen.cfm

 

 


G.  Economic Development Vision

 

It is the year 2020 in the Town of Menasha. You have successfully created the ideal and desired local economy for the community. Describe it.

 

What do you want to preserve in your local economy?

What do you want to change in your local economy?

What do you want to create in your community?

 

 


H.  Economic Development Goals, Objectives and Policies

 

1.     Goal

 

To diversify and strengthen the Town of Menasha's local economy.

 

2.     Objectives

 

a.     Support the development of a high quality business park and community commercial center in the Town.

 

b.     Retain and expand existing commercial establishments and industries in the Town of Menasha.

 

c.      Take maximum advantage of the economic development potential the Town enjoys given its proximity to a regional airport, major rail lines, and the regional highway network.

 

d.     Improve the visual quality of existing commercial and industrial establishments in the Town of Menasha to enhance the "image of the town" to visitors, residents and potential new investors.

 

e.     Diversify the local economic base so that it keeps pace with the realities of a rapidly changing world economy and does not become threatened by economic down turns in various sectors of the industrial economic base (e.g. paper industry).

 

f.       Better utilize the waterfront as an economic development amenity by working with neighboring units of government to develop a vision plan for the region's water resources.

 

g.     Determine through the land use planning process the highest and best use of vacant or under-utilized properties within the Town.

 

h.     Recruit new industries to the Town by aggressively marketing the Town's unique locational attributes, skilled labor force and full range of municipal services.

 

i.       Amend the Town/Winnebago County Zoning Ordinance and Map or develop a separate Town zoning ordinance and map if possible to ensure a high quality business environment by guiding new businesses to pre-planned areas that are well-served by municipal services and the regional transportation system.

 

j.       Provide Town shoppers with adequate services and facilities such as safe and convenient parking areas; comfortable, visually attractive and well-lit sidewalks in commercial areas; safe crossings across major streets; and logical, convenient transit routes that connect residential areas with shopping districts and employment centers.

 

k.     Diversify the mixture of commercial and service uses in the Town to meet unmet market niches and better serve existing neighborhoods.

 

l.       Encourage the use of innovative regional economic development strategies and tax base sharing tools in the Fox Cities region.

 

m.  Encourage intergovernmental cooperation and coordination in the area of economic development.

 

n.     Encourage the creation of a business association that will support the Town of Menasha.

 

3.     Policies

 

NONE AT THIS TIME

 

 


I.     Economic Development Plan

 

1.     Retention and Expansion

 

 

 

2.     Attraction

 

 

 

3.     Entrepreneurship