Workforce diversity
Lots of variety in county industries

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

July 1, 2014

 Tom Menke works on packaging Friday at the Quad/Graphics plant in Hartford. Quad/Graphics in Hartford employs nearly 1,100 people, according to plant manager Jenny Wnuk.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Name the largest private employer in Washington County.

If you’re still stuck on the West Bend Co., which in its heyday decades of the 1960s and ’70s employed more than 2,000, forget about it. (By the way, West Bend Co. closed in 2002.) Today’s largest nonretail private employer in the county is the commercial printer Quad/Graphics Inc. in Hartford.

“We have about 1,100 workers in our Hartford plant, which is our only facility in Washington County,” Quad/Graphics’ Manager of Corporate Communications Claire Ho said. Quad/Graphics employs more than 25,000 worldwide. Hartford easily can make a claim to be the employment hub of the county with eight of the 20 largest employers. Granted, several of those employers, including Quad/Graphics, reside in Hartford’s Dodge Industrial Park, which is in Dodge County, but let’s not nitpick.

There is no one industry that dominates employment.

“We do feel there are a good number of industries located in Washington County,” EDWC Business Solutions Specialist Deborah Reinbold said. “Such diversity is good for the stability of our economy.”

 Second press operator Steven Trochinski does a quality inspection on magazines being printed Friday at the Quad/Graphics plant in Hartford.
John Ehlke/Daily News

EDWC has identified three driver industries, which has a lion’s share of the county’s workforce, and two emerging industries, which show considerable local growth potential, Reinbold said.

The driver industries are advanced manufacturing, food and beverage/ agribusiness and print/publishing, all represented by top 20 employers. The emerging industries, Reinbold said, are biomedical and renewable energy/ power systems, also with companies in the top 20.

“These (driver and emerging industries) really give a good overview of what we’re working on in the county,” Reinbold said.

“It’s a very strong manufacturing community,” Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Center Inc. Marketing Manager Meghan Sprager said about Washington County’s employers.

Among those manufacturers are Signicast Corp. and Broan-NuTone LLC, both in Hartford and Nos. 2 and 3 on the county list of largest employers.

Also on the list is the holding company Wendorff Brothers Co. Inc., which owns Steel Craft Corp., Hartford Finishing, Sno-Way International Inc. and Capitol Stamping Corp., the first three located in Hartford and employing a total of 505, President Gary Wendorff said. Based in Milwaukee, Capitol Stamping adds another 110 workers.

“We also work with a lot of health care employers,” Sprager said.

Among the largest health care employers in the county are Cedar Community, fourth on the list, and St. Joseph’s Hospital at sixth.

Washington County has a workforce of 52,730, according to December 2013 statistics, the latest available, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average weekly wage in the county is $768.

According to Wisconsin’s, the county’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent for May, less than the state’s average of 5.5 percent and less than the U.S. average of 6.1 percent.
The Big 20

Here are the estimated 20 largest private employers (nonretail) in Washington County communities:

1. Quad/Graphics Inc., Hartford, commercial printing, 1,100

2. Signicast Corp., Hartford, investment casting, about 850

3. Broan-NuTone LLC, Hartford, housing products, 846

4. Cedar Community, town of West Bend, about 768

5. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., West Bend, property insurance, 750

6. St. Joseph’s Hospital, town of Polk, medical center, 600

7. Serigraph Inc., West Bend, custom graphics, 600

8. Wendorff Brothers Co. Inc., Hartford, a holding company for Steel Craft, Corp., Hartford Finishing, Sno-Way International Inc., 505

9. Ellsworth Adhesives, Germantown, distributor of adhesives, sealants, encapsulants, coatings, specialty chemicals and dispensing equipment, 500-plus

10. MGS Manufacturing Group Inc., Germantown, plastics production services, 50-plus

11. Weasler Engineering Inc., town of Barton, mechanical power transmission products for agricultural and lawn/turf machinery, 400

12. JW Speaker Corp., Germantown, lighting products for original equipment manufacturers, 350

13. Helgesen Industries Inc., Hartford, hydraulic tank manufacturer, 350

14. Airgas Safety Inc., Germantown, industrial and safety products, 275

15. Regal Ware Worldwide, Kewaskum and West Bend, stainless steel & cast aluminum cookware, 260

16. API Healthcare, Hartford, health care staffing management services, 250-plus

17. Aurora Medical Center in Washington County, Hartford, 250-plus

18. Gehl Foods, Germantown, dairy food products, 250

19. Cambridge Major Laboratories Inc., Germantown, 240-plus

20. Menasha Corp., Hartford, packaging, 240

Sources: Economic Development Washington County and individual company representatives or websites.