September 1, 2010

County Exec touts program to help Racine County's small and medium-sized businesses

By County Executive Bill McReynolds

Next Monday is Labor Day, so this is a good time to talk about jobs.

Although Racine County's economy is no longer dominated by a relative handful of major manufacturing concerns, there are still over 400 manufacturers in the county. Manufacturing still accounts for more jobs than any other sector of our county's economy, and that sector has far and away the highest average annual wage. In short, manufacturing is vitally important to us.

But just as important--and, in terms of new jobs, perhaps more important--are small and medium-sized businesses, whether or not they engage in manufacturing. National studies show that small to medium-sized business account for the vast majority of new jobs.

For some years, Racine County has had two programs to help small and medium-sized businesses improve their capabilities and the skill levels of their employees. One is aimed at Racine County-based small to medium manufacturing firms, regardless of ownership. The other grant program is aimed at Racine County-based small to medium firms that are owned by minority group members or women, whether or not involved in manufacturing.

Each program offers grants of up to $2,500 (on a dollar-for-dollar match basis) for qualifying training or upgrade expenditures. Those two programs are featured in this issue of the newsletter. We urge busineses that think they might qualify to look into these programs.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day.

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