Monday, November 30, 2009

Wisconsin Technical College Creates Insurance Education Program (

Madison, Wis. - Madison Area Technical College has launched an Insurance Certificate Program to respond the needs of the growing insurance industry in that state.

Wisconsin has the 6th largest concentration of insurers in the nation employing over 65,000 people statewide and that number is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

The Insurance Certificate Program utilizes accelerated learning to provide students with a basic understanding of the insurance industry and its products to enable entrance into the workforce, according to the announcement from Madison Area Technical College. About 50 percent of each course is completed outside of class. Combining the advantages of automated delivery and in-class interactive sessions provides a program geared to the adult learner that works. Led by an Advisory Committee of insurance industry professionals, the program offers practical skills and seeks to build a bridge between students and the industry. Graduates from the certificate program will be prepared to seek jobs in customer service, underwriting assistance, claims assistance, and sales.

The series of courses is also a great addition for those with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree who would like a specific focus in insurance.

The insurance certificate combines pre-licensing education with a core curriculum and some national designation studies to offer a diversified knowledge base.

Students can focus in Property & Casualty or Life & Health. Many of the programs are also filed for continuing education credit to meet the on-going educational needs of the insurance community.

BLOGGER'S NOTE: This is a great example of tailoring our educational and training resources to help retain and grow a major employment sector here in our area. Kudos to MATC for taking the initiative to start this program!

Madison Area Technical College Course Information:

Downtown Sun Prairie Ladies Night Out - Thursday Dec. 3rd

Enjoy a fun-filled evening of sales, workshops, demos, food and more at over 25 businesses in the Downtown area! Visit businesses from 5:30 to 7:30 PM and finish with a wrap-up party at the Cannery Grill (315 E. Linnerud Dr.) at 8:00 PM. Begin your evening and pick-up a punch card at Prairie Flowers & Gifts (202 W. Main St.) to be eligible for door prizes to be given away at the wrap up party!

The first 100 ladies will get a reusable shopping bag filled with coupons and special items.

Participating businesses include:
  • Prairie Flowers and Gifts
  • Herreman's Supper Club
  • City Hall Pets and Gifts
  • Pit Stop Pub
  • Sun Prairie Historical Museum
  • La Tolteca
  • Christine K Designs
  • Forever Yours Jewelry
  • J.J. Stitches
  • Clothes Minded
  • Atlantis Taverna
  • Eddie's Alehouse
  • Cannery Wine & Spirits
  • RU Wired?
  • A Day in the Country
  • MCV Salon
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Beans-n-Cream Coffeehouse
  • Associated Bank (Copps East)
  • Market Street Diner
  • SNAP! Fitness

Let's go your best to support your local economy and shop 'til you drop!

Effective Place Branding (Burghard Group)

Some good reading for anyone interested in what branding is and why communities need to be involved in it...

Strengthening Brand America

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wave Wind Selected to Support Amayo II Wind Turbine Project in Nicaragua (Press Release)

Wave Wind, LLC, a leading wind energy service provider, has been selected by Suzlon Energy Limited, one of the world's leading wind turbine suppliers, to erect 11 2.1 MW Suzlon wind turbines for Amayo II, the second phase of a 63 MW wind energy project in Nicaragua. The $55 million project, which is being developed by Consorcio EĆ³lico Amayo S.A. (Amayo S.A.), an international wind project development consortium, is the second project Wave Wind has supported in Central America.

Wave Wind is scheduled to begin construction of the wind turbines by mid-December 2009. The goal is to have Amayo II fully operational by February 2010.

Congratulations to Wave Wind on another great project, and another example of the International reach of the wind energy sector. We look forward to helping to introduce Suzlon to Wisconsin.

Wave Wind is located just south of Sun Prairie on CTH TT.

EDC Hosts Fall Networking Event for Economic Development Groups

25 represenatives from a variety of organizations that work on economic development in the City of Sun Prairie met for informal networking at Cannery Grill on Thursday Nov. 18th. In addition to the Mayor and several council members, represenatives from the planning commission, community development authority (CDA), business improvement district (BID, chamber of commerce, industrial development coporation (SPIDC), the tourism commission, and the economic development council (EDC) all attended.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such an event has been held with all these groups in attendance!

Attendees were treated to a presentation from Ms. Lisa Nelson from WalMart, who provided an overview on some of WalMart's corporate policies including their healthcare benefits, sustainable practices, and volunteer spirit. No information regarding WalMart's potential for expansion or relocation was available at the current time, but we look forward to working together to ensure the most viable alternative for their future in Sun Prairie.

Chamber Awards 2009 Community Business Leader Award to Glenn Fenske

Congratulations to Glenn Fenske for receiving the Sun Prairie Chamber's 2009 Community Business Leader award. If you see Glenn around town, remember to tell him that he's the man! (Those of you who attended the lunch will know what I mean.) It was no surprise when Glenn donated the $200 that comes with the award to the Sun Prairie Education Foundation--a cause for which he is a dedicated supporter.

Thanks to Chamber of Commerce for the invitation, and to everyone who attended the lunch and sat through the development update presentation from Planning Director Scott Kugler and myself (Neil Stechschulte, Economic Develoment Coordinator). Hope everyone enjoyed playing "Economic Engtanglement" and everyone learned a bit about what we're hoping to work towards in 2010 in our economic developement efforts.

If You Leave Sun Prairie Hungry, Its Your Own Fault!

New places to eat keep opening in Sun Prairie. Be sure to stop in for a bite, and welcome the following new restaurants to Sun Prairie!

Takumi Japanese Restaurant (OPEN)
1219 West Mainst
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
(608) 318-1588

Herreman's (Scheduled to Open in Nov. 2009!)
109 W. Main St.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Phone not yet listed.

Little Caesars Pizza (OPEN)
1326 W Main St.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Wave Wind Host Hyundai Heavy Industries on Business Development Tour (Press Release)

Wave Wind, LLC, a leading wind energy service provider, recently hosted Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), a global leader in industrial manufacturing, on a business development tour of Wisconsin. The tour, which was arranged by Wave Wind following its recent agreement to purchase six 1.65 MW wind turbines from HHI, featured a visit with Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, meetings with other leading Wisconsin businesses, and a survey of potential wind development sites in the state.

Wave Wind's partnership with HHI is evidence that Wisconsin's commitment to becoming a leading center for renewable energy manufacturing, services, and job creation is beginning to yield tangible benefits. Wave Wind viewed HHI's visit as an opportunity to support this commitment.

To that end, HHI's tour of Wisconsin included a meeting hosted by Governor Doyle during which the Governor promoted Wisconsin's physical, geographic, and human resources and reiterated his commitment to creating new, high-paying renewable energy jobs. It also included a tour of Wave Wind's operations and wind turbine storage facilities as well as a tour of potential wind development sites currently being evaluated by Wave Wind.

Wave Wind is located just south of Sun Prairie on Highway TT.

Grants available to Wisconsin manufacturers (WTN News)

The Department of Commerce has authorized Next Generation Manufacturing grants to help Wisconsin manufacturers improve performance, stimulate growth and respond to new challenges as the economy recovers from the recession.

The grants are targeted to small and midsize manufacturers with less than 500 employees. Grants of $5,000 to $6,500 pay up to 50% of project costs for services delivered by WMEP. The remaining project costs are paid by the company. A significant share of the funding already has been pledged for projects. Eligible projects are:Eligible projects include lean transformation initiatives, comprising a comprehensive assessment of a company's operations, identification of key competitive priorities and an action plan to achieve them, and a business-growth plan designed to help manufacturers rapidly generate and test new product ideas called Eureka Winning Ways.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival Featured in 2010 Cultural Affairs Calendar

Celebration is the theme of the 2010 Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission calendar, led off by Sherry Bahr’s exuberant “Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival Carnival Ride,” shown above. The calendar is available at more than a dozen locations throughout the County. Go to the commission’s website for a full listing of where you can pick one up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sun Prairie Highlights in Nov. 2009 In Business Magazine

Pick up this month's edition of "In Business Magazine" and you'll get a triple dose of how Sun Prairie is actively impacting our local and regional economy. Features include:

- Executive Profile: Bryan Renk, Executive Director of BioForward is a Sun Prairie native (p. 28)

- Business Dynamic Feature: Sun Prairie based Wave Wind LLC is one of the featured companies talking about pursuing federal stimulus money for renewable energy projects (p. 42)

- Health Care Feature: St. Mary's Sun Prairie Emergency Center is featured as a possible trend setting facility in Wisconsin (p. 54).

Who from Sun Prairie will be next in the Madison area business spotlight?