University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center Wins Regional Impact Award

University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center Wins Regional Impact Award Main Photo

6 Nov 2023


The University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (UW-Stout MOC) won Momentum West’s Regional Impact Award in 2022 for its impact, delivering comprehensive solutions to Wisconsin’s small to medium-sized manufacturers through consulting, training, and workforce development.

“The UW-Stout MOC has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing success for the past 27 years,” said Steve Jahn, Executive Director of Momentum West. “The MOC serves 33 counties in Northwest/West Central Wisconsin and has provided manufacturers with their expertise that has resulted in increased sales, return on investment , cost reductions, and job creation. The team at the UW-Stout MOC is instrumental in helping small to medium-sized manufacturers thrive in Wisconsin.”

“We are proud to help small and medium-sized manufacturers in Wisconsin succeed,” said Aaron Bialzik, Director of UW-Stout MOC. “In our experience, these manufacturers are the driving economic force in their communities. The work that we engage in helps increase the quality of life of Wisconsinites and showcases why Wisconsin is a leader in manufacturing. These small and medium manufacturers comprise a larger portion of the manufacturing supply chain.”

UW-Stout MOC’s Delivers Results for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing in 33 Counties Throughout Northwest/West Central Wisconsin

The UW-Stout MOC is part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network™, a public-private partnership that advances U.S. manufacturing. MEP Centers are located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and draw on the talents of over 1,400 trusted advisors and experts to assist small and midsize manufacturers.

The Manufacturing Outreach Center is uniquely situated to utilize the resources of UW-Stout, as the region’s only polytechnic university, to provide direct technical assistance for manufacturers in Wisconsin. Some examples include operations and management, plastics engineering, packaging, prototyping, supply chain management, and advanced manufacturing/smart automation. The UW-Stout MOC has nine field staff ready to meet manufacturers where they are to provide on-site technical assistance, ensuring Wisconsin manufacturing success.

In 2022, MOC clients reported the following regional impacts directly related to the services they received including:

  • $62.4M New & Retained Sales
  • $28.9M Total Investment (Employee, Plant, Technology)
  • $6.5M Cost Savings
  • 674 Jobs Created or Retained

Genesis Industries and Croix Valley Foods Benefitted from MOC Expertise

Genesis Industries, located in Elmwood, WI, embarked on a Transformational Productivity Initiative to address operational challenges and enhance performance. The company, facing issues related to fragmented business units and resource allocation, sought solutions that included implementing the Business Operating System (BOS), leadership development, plant-wide training using simulations, and 5S methodology with warehouse layout improvements.

The results were notable, with improved communication and transparency, a remarkable sales increase exceeding 5% over two years, the preservation of 25 existing jobs, and the creation of 30 new positions. Additionally, the initiative delivered substantial cost savings of over $600,000 and entailed an investment exceeding $3.5 million, covering plant and equipment upgrades, workforce development, and new processes.

Croix Valley Foods, based in Hudson, WI, participated in the UW-Stout MOC ExporTech™ program. This national export assistance initiative aids companies in entering or expanding their presence in global markets. Delivered through a collaboration between the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, ExporTech™ offers a structured export strategy development process designed to expedite business growth.

Notably, it’s the sole national program where each participating company formulates a comprehensive export plan, which is subsequently reviewed and validated by a panel of experts upon completion, ensuring its effectiveness and alignment with global expansion objectives.

Momentum West Enhances Regional Support and Economic Growth

UW-Stout is located in the heart of the Momentum West 10-county region. Strong partnerships between UW-Stout, local Technical Colleges, and Momentum West are the strength of this rural region, allowing MOC to reach the many manufacturers in our area.

Learn more about the UW-Stout MOC, which provides direct technical assistance for manufacturers in Wisconsin.