Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Faith Technologies Wins National Safety Award (Press Release)

Faith Technologies proudly accepted the Construction Safety Excellence Grand Award from Associated General Contractors of America on behalf of the nearly 1,500 employees that made winning this award possible. The CSEA Grand Award is widely recognized as the premiere safety award within the construction industry.

The full service electrical and specialty systems contractor was chosen from 22 CSEA first place winners as the best of the best in construction safety excellence. Faith Technologies also won first place in its CSEA category for Specialty Contractors with over one million work hours without a lost time incident.

Faith Technologies (Town and Country Electric) offers a range of services including industrial, commercial, residential, specialty systems, instrumentation & controls and design services from their location in the Sun Prairie Business Park. They also provide renewable energy solutions and elite service plans (ESP) from Sun Prairie. Faith Technologies has 15 offices in five states.

Monday, March 22, 2010

THRIVE Helps Connect the Dots (Wisconsin State Journal Editorial)

Investment capital is the fuel needed to drive our local economy forward. And especially in tough economic times, that infusion of capital can be critical to weathering an economic storm. That's why Thrive, a nonprofit economic development organization based in Madison but serving the eight-county Capital Region, has made improving access to capital a top priority in its three-year strategic plan.

New DNR Initiative Focuses on Recent Plant Closings, Economic Recovery Webinar

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is launching a new effort - the Wisconsin Plant Recovery Initiative (WPRI) - to help communities expedite the environmental cleanup and revitalization of businesses that have recently closed their doors. Many companies have shut down manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities in the midst of the recent economic downturn. Some of these facilities will have real or perceived environmental contamination, which can discourage new owners from purchasing and redeveloping the property.

Under the Plant Recovery Initiative, the WDNR's Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program wants to speed up the return of these facilities to productive use and encourage economic revitalization by offering a variety of cleanup and redevelopment tools. One of the most important tools is $1 million in WPRI Assessment Monies (WAM), available to local governments to help conduct environmental assessments at closed or closing facilities.

Sign Up for the Informational Webinar: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

A webinar to inform our community and private partners more about the Plant Recovery Initiative and assessment funds will be held Tuesday, March 23, at 1:30pm. It will be held via Microsoft Live Meeting, and requires the free Live Meeting client to see and hear the webinar. For more information on the webinar, contact Eric Ballas with the RR Program at (

Friday, March 19, 2010

Free Carl's Cake This Weekend at Market Street Diner (

Free slices of cake will be served at a kick-off party for Carl's Cake Club. The baker and cater, based out of the Market Street Diner, offers a variety of round and sheet cakes available in a variety of classic and custom flavors, not to mention cupcakes and made-to-order creations for special occasions. Club members can get more free cake on their birthdays, and need only to present an ID and purchase two entrees at the diner to join. Market Street Diner and Bakery, 110 Market St., Sun Prairie, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 825-3377 for more info.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Information on City TIF Districts Avaiable Online

The City of Sun Prairie Office of Economic Development has posted an overview of existing TIF Districts, maps, programs and guidelines. The document entitled "Current Development Opportunities in Existing Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) Districts" is available by clicking here or by visiting the Economic Development Department at

Questions should be sent to nstechschulte[at] or by calling (608) 825-0894.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SPWL Launches Energy-Saving Initiatives for Business Customers (Sun Prairie Star)

Local businesses are key targets for an energy-saving initiative being launched recently by Sun Prairie Water and Light and its power supplier, WPPI Energy.

Sun Prairie Water and Light and WPPI Energy offer programs, technical assistance and financial incentives to help businesses operate more efficiently, and now the utilities are ramping up efforts to encourage customers to participate.

Zach Brandon to Speak at March 18 Chamber Luncheon (Sun Prairie Star)

Zach Brandon, from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, will discuss business attraction and retention at the state level during the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce’s March 18 noon membership luncheon at The Cannery Grill, 315 E. Linnerud Drive.

For more information or to make reservations, call the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce at 837-4547.

Click here to read the full article at the Sun Prairie Star.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

State-of-the-art sports facility is a boon for Sun Prairie High School (Capital Times)

[Blogger's Note: The article was written by Jim Polzin, and the photo above was taken by Michelle Stocker]

The massive field house inside Sun Prairie’s new high school, which is scheduled to open in the fall, is a facility that can serve a great number of purposes.

As athletic director Jim McClowry is quick to point out, its primary benefit is that of a spacious classroom for physical education students that eliminates overcrowding and gives teachers myriad options of activities to include in the curriculum.

There’s also the obvious advantage to the school district’s student-athletes, who will have a breathtaking venue to call home.

But there’s an ancillary benefit to having a large facility with ample parking, and plenty of other bells and whistles, that has McClowry excited about the future.

For years, McClowry has applied to host the Madison area’s WIAA Division 1 boys basketball sectional — the biggest cash cow of the year when it comes to prep postseason events in the area that are held at school sites — knowing Sun Prairie had little chance of being selected.

Not anymore. McClowry is confident a state-of-the-art facility will make Sun Prairie a player in the eyes of the WIAA.

SPWL upgrades fiber optic network (Sun Prairie Star)

Ciena Corporation, the network specialist, on March 10 announced in a press release that Sun Prairie Water & Light (SPW&L) has deployed its Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery (CESD) platforms to upgrade the service delivery capabilities of the utility's fiber optic network throughout its serving area.

The network is run by the utility's communication services division, SPW&L Telecom, and is already connecting all 12 locations of the Sun Prairie Area School District, multiple locations for WPPI Energy, Brooks Tractor, Laker Software and other business customers, as well as providing the communications infrastructure for the utility's smart water grid.

SPW&L Telecom offers a variety of point-to-point and point-to-multipoint wide area network and Internet connections over the network that combine the reliability and performance of traditional carrier services with the cost-effectiveness of Ethernet. SPW&L Telecom's network was designed and is managed by its long-time partner, INOC, a global provider of outsourced network operations center (NOC) monitoring and reporting services.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Prairie Heritage Quilters Annual Show and Competion - March 14-16th

Prairie Heritage Quilters - Quilt Show and Competition
March 14, 15, & 16 2010
St. Albert the Great Church
2420 St. Albert the Great Drive
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Show Hours:
Sunday March 14th 12-5
Monday March 15th 9-8
Tuesday March 16th 9-3

- 200+ Competition Quilts from all over the Midwest
- PLUS 2009-2010 PHQ "Nursery Rhymes" Challenge wall quilts
- Favorite quilt shop vendors
- Luncheon served by various St. Albert Groups

For more information, go to:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wind Power Happy Hour draws 75 to Cannery Grill (Sun Prairie Star)

[Blogger's Note: The above photo is the team from Vestas. From left to right: Peter Hansen (Madison Office), Henrik Lykke Sørensen (Århus, Denmark Office), William Dorner (Houston Office), Dr. Ramasamy Anbarasu (Lübeck, Germany Office), Jennifer Green (Houston Office), Henrik Vejergang (Århus, Denmark Office), and Professor Thomas Jahns, University of Wisconsin, Madison.]

Wind energy is a hot topic in Sun Prairie, not only for city planners working to add wind power companies to the city’s business roster, but also for the many wind industry representatives who convene in Sun Prairie once a month.

Sun Prairie Economic Development Coordinator Neil Stechschulte’s efforts to bring wind industry stakeholders together—including everyone from manufacturers to engineers to state government representatives—have led to a well-known and increasingly well-attended networking event—the Wind Power Happy Hour, held right here in Sun Prairie at the Cannery Grill each month.

The most recent happy hour event, held on Wednesday, Feb. 24, drew about 75 attendees including international representatives from Vestas—the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines and home of the industry’s largest research and development unit.

With research centers in Denmark, Singapore, India, and the United Kingdom, and plans to establish units in the United States in Houston and Boston, their attendance at the Sun Prairie event shows that international industry experts recognize the Dane County area as a worthwhile place to participate in wind-industry discussions.

Stechschulte said he hopes those discussions will lead to economic growth and new jobs in Sun Prairie’s future.

“Our reason for holding these events is to develop relationships with private sector companies that have a high growth potential in terms of jobs,” Stechschulte said. “As far as I am aware, this was the first meeting where we had representatives from three of the most notable wind energy projects over the past year in one room—Vestas, Ingeteam, and Energy Composites. Sooner or later, one of these companies is going to be looking for space for a new facility. By using these events to build a relationship with these companies, this should greatly enhance our ability to put Sun Prairie in the running when they are considering possible sites.” Wednesday’s event—which was the most highly attended of any of the Wind Power Happy Hour events at the Cannery so far—showed that interest in the wind industry here in Sun Prairie is gaining enthusiasm.

Click here to read the full article in the Sun Prairie Star.

[Blogger's note #2: Special thanks to Star for their continung support of this event.]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trachte Building Systems, Inc. Acquires Tech-Fast Brand (Press Release)

Trachte Building Systems, Inc. has acquired the Tech-Fast brand from founders Dave Cook and Mark Duncan.

Established in 1901, Trachte’s fabricated steel products have historically dominated their respective markets and currently offers a comprehensive line of turn-key Self-Storage Building solutions, Roll Up Doors, Micro Units, Partition Systems and Portable Storage Units. Tech-Fast has been in business since 1989, and has supplied and/or built thousands of buildings in North America.

By purchasing the Tech-Fast’s brand, plans and designs, Trachte Building Systems will be structured to serve the needs of former and prospective Tech-Fast customers. “I’m pleased that we were able to put together this arrangement with Trachte to continue to serve our customers. I’m confident that they will be in good hands with the crew at Trachte,” commented Cook. Customers will now be able to select from Trachte’s traditional building systems or seamlessly opt for a Tech-Fast building design.

Trachte National Sales Manager Jamie Lindau is excited about the opportunity and looks forward to meeting and working with Tech-Fast’s customer base. “Tech-Fast has a history of offering their customers not only basic single story buildings, but also a very impressive portfolio of attractive multi-story projects. The acquisition of Tech-Fast, will serve to further expand Trachte’s already extensive product portfolio while increasing market penetration in the Western United States and Canada. This acquisition is an important step in implementing Trachte’s long term strategic growth plan of product, capabilities and market expansions.