Press Releases

Merz North America, Inc. to Consolidate and Expand Operations in Racine County

Town Of Yorkville—Racine County, the Town of Yorkville and Racine County Economic Development Corporation’s (RCEDC) are pleased to announce that Merz North America, Inc. plans to expand its operations in the Grandview Business Park in the Town of Yorkville. Merz North America, which is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, currently operates four sites in Racine County for manufacturing and the distribution of aesthetics products used by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and neurologists. As a part of its expansion, the company plans to consolidate its three leased facilities into one expanded location at 13900 Grandview Parkway. In addition, operations will continue at the Franksville facility, which is owned by the company. The consolidation will increase the efficiency of Merz’s Wisconsin operations and fuel the company’s continued growth in Wisconsin. “Merz is committed to not only retaining jobs in Racine Country but also to creating new opportunities,” said Matthew Anderson, Vice President Technical Operations, Merz North America. “This significant investment was driven by our rapid growth and we are very thankful to Racine County and RCEDC for their continued support. We look forward to seeing how this project will help our business grow and succeed in the long-term.” Merz North America considered several options before deciding to consolidate its operations in Racine County, including outsourcing distribution activities and relocation of portions of its operations outside of Wisconsin. With the support of Racine County forgivable loan, Merz North America, Inc. committed to a $3 million capital investment in Racine County, which will be used to facilitate consolidation into a 100,000 square-foot leased facility. This new site will be home to the company’s particle manufacturing, packaging, professional services and distribution operations. The project is expected to retain 165 existing jobs and create a minimum of 20 new jobs over the next three years. “Merz is a great example of a company that has found success in Racine County,” notes Jonathan Delagrave, Racine County Executive. “We are pleased that Merz has chosen to continue to invest here and expand in the community, taking advantage of Racine County’s prime location in the heart of the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor.” “Merz North America is a valued business in the Town of Yorkville and we are pleased they have chosen our community as the center of their Wisconsin operations,” adds Peter Hansen, Chairperson, Town of Yorkville. 


Grand Appliance And TV Chooses Village Of Sturtevant for New Headquarters

Sturtevant, WI – It is Racine County Economic Development Corporation’s (RCEDC) privilege to announce that Grand Appliance and TV plans to relocate its headquarters from Zion, IL and consolidate its Zion, IL and New Berlin, WI warehouses in the Village of Sturtevant. Grand Appliance and TV is a fourth generation family owned business founded in 1930 under the name Service Electric. The company evolved from selling electrical supplies and light fixtures to focusing on appliance sales. Today, Grand Appliance and TV operates 20 retail locations, employing 300 across Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. “Southeast Wisconsin provides an ideal location that supports Grand Appliance and TV’s growth plans,” remarked Mark Reckling, President, Grand Appliance, and TV. “We are grateful to the Village of Sturtevant, Racine County, WEDC and RCEDC for their combined efforts to support this project.” Grand Appliance plans to construct a 137,000 SF facility which will consolidate the company’s corporate headquarters and two of its distribution facilities in the Village of Sturtevant. The new location will allow the company to meet the growing demand for its products and better service its retail locations. The nearly $8 million construction project is expected to result in 120 jobs being relocated to the site and 22 new jobs to be created over three years. “We are happy to welcome Grand Appliance and TV to the Village of Sturtevant. The company’s headquarters will join other firms that have found success in Sturtevant’s ideal location in Racine County,” Village President Steve Jansen stated. The Village Board and Community Development Authority will consider a request for $450,000 in tax increment financing assistance for Grand Appliance at its March 7 meeting. “Grand Appliance joins the growing list of distribution companies, including West Logistics and UNFI, choosing Racine County for its strategic location and workforce advantages,” notes Jonathan Delagrave, Racine County Executive. “This project is just another example of our commitment to partnering with local governments and the State of Wisconsin to welcome new companies seeking a location in the Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor. “


InSinkErator Submits Plans for New Office and Lab Headquarters in Racine County

Mount Pleasant, WI – Racine County, the Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) are pleased to announce that InSinkErator, a business of Emerson, has submitted plans for a new $24 million, 85,000 SF headquarters and lab facility in the Village of Mount Pleasant.

“We are pleased to invest in the community and support InSinkErator’s proposal to locate its headquarters in Racine County,” notes Jonathan Delagrave, Racine County Executive. “Retaining and growing our existing Racine County companies, like InSinkErator, is imperative to fostering a healthy and growing local economy for today as well as for future generations.”

“The Village is pleased that InSinkErator has submitted plans to expand and locate 170 of its existing positions in the Village of Mount Pleasant, continuing to grow its operations locally,” remarks Jerry Garski, Village Board President. “With the Village’s support, InSinkErator has the opportunity to join other developments and established businesses, such as Seda North America and Brooks Tractor, who are located in the Hwy 20/I-94 area.”

InSinkErator is the world’s largest manufacturer of food waste disposers for home and commercial use and employs 1,000 in Southeast Wisconsin. Growing demand for the company’s products resulted in the need to upgrade office and lab facilities. The new proposed building would house 170 engineers and professional staff currently located at 4700 21st Street, Racine, WI. The relocation of the office and lab to a separate site will enable the company to reconfigure and add additional production capacity at its main manufacturing facility in Racine.

The new state-of-the-art office and lab space will facilitate continued company innovation and showcase the InSinkErator brand. Building plans feature a collaborative working environment that increases retention of existing employees and attracts future workforce due to its strategic location near I-94 in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor. The new proposed site also provides ease of access to InSinkErator’s existing facilities in Racine, Kenosha, and Sturtevant and is near the company’s suppliers and customers. Once plans are finalized and approved, construction could start as early as spring 2017, contingent on land acquisition and approval of local incentives. InSinkErator evaluated several locations in Southeast Wisconsin and considered relocation of the headquarters to St. Louis.

The partnership between InSinkErator, Racine County, the Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County Economic Development Corporation facilitated the company’s decision to submit plans for the proposed site in Mount Pleasant. The Racine County Board of Supervisors will review the company’s $4.65 million loan request to support the project at its January 18, 2017, and January 24, 2017, Racine County Board meetings. In addition, the Village of Mount Pleasant will review a grant request of $600,000 in tax increment financing assistance at the Mount Pleasant Joint Village Board and Community Development Authority meeting on January 24, 2017. 



FISCHER USA, Inc. Prepares for Expansion In Racine, WI

Racine, WI – FISCHER USA, a long-time Racine company, is developing plans to expand in the City of Racine and is proposing a 10,000 SF building an addition to its existing state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The expansion is expected to result in $3 million in capital investment and up to 20 new employees over the next five years.

The City of Racine and RCEDC have worked closely with FISCHER on the expansion plan. Fischer proposes to purchase 32,760 SF of publicly owned land in Pierce Woods Park located east of their existing 38,000 SF facility at 3715 Blue River Avenue. The City of Racine’s Common Council at its January 17 meeting is expected to refer FISCHER’s purchase offer to the City’s Parks and Recreation Committee and Finance and Personnel Committee for full review and consideration.

Purchase of the land parcel from the City is key to this project moving forward as the company has almost fully built out its facility at its current site. The company considered many options to meet its expansion needs including purchase of adjacent sites and review of relocating to sites outside of the City of Racine. 

“Retaining and helping our existing businesses is important to the economic success of the City. With City assistance, this proposed project will secure FISCHER in the City and allow them to continue to grow here, creating jobs and maintaining their investment in our community,” remarks John Dickert, Mayor, City of Racine.

“FISCHER USA has a long history in the City of Racine. We appreciate the City’s support in our company’s expansion project.  Our company strives to be a good neighbor and corporate citizen.  It is our goal to continue our presence and investment in the City of Racine,” notes Ryan Brath, President, and COO, FISCHER USA.

Fischer USA Inc., a division of FISCHER Spindle Group headquartered in Switzerland, has had a presence in the City of Racine since 1941 when under the name Precise Products.   FISCHER USA  just recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and after being in the current facility since 1956.  FISCHER USA’s facility currently employs 60 full-time workers that manufacture and service high-speed spindles that are applied in multiple industries, including aerospace.


Applied Material Solutions to Create 140 jobs in Burlington, WI

Burlington, WI - The Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) and the City of Burlington announced today that Applied Material Solutions (AMS) plans to create 147 jobs in the City of Burlington with planned additional investment in Southeast Wisconsin.

Formed in early 2015 through the acquisition of Trans-Chemo Inc. of Bristol and Performance Processing Inc, Mundelein, IL, AMS plans to manufacture and blend anti-foam and defoaming products in Burlington. The defoaming products used in a variety of industries, including pulp and paper, paint and coatings, food processing, mining, metal working and waste water treatment industries.

The company considered several locations in northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin before purchasing 1956 S. Pine Street in Burlington. The company is currently undertaking almost $3.7 million in renovations at the 124,000 sq. Ft. Facility.

“Our ownership group brings over 130 years combined experience in industrial and chemical technologies and manufacturing,” notes owner Jim Athans. “We appreciate the support the City of Burlington, the Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation provided in securing the location in Burlington. We look forward to growing AMS and our product lines in Burlington.”

“We are pleased AMS’s owners have chosen to locate in Burlington,” remarks Burlington’s Mayor Jeannie Hefty. “The company’s investment in revitalizing an underutilized facility in our community and bringing valuable new job opportunities for area residents is within our vision for the City’s development plans.” The City of Burlington will consider a utility easement agreement between the City of Burlington and Applied Material Solutions at its May 17, 2016, Committee of the Whole with final consideration at the Burlington Common Council meeting on June 7, 2016.

“AMS joins a robust industrial community in western Racine County that includes companies such as Nestle, Echo Lake Foods, Lavelle Industries and many others,” comments Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave. “Racine County’s strategic location in the Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor along with the ability to access a secure network of suppliers and customers, a high-quality transportation system, and a productive labor force continues to make Racine County an attractive location for growing businesses.“

About Applied Material Solutions Team

Before operating as AMS, the company served as Power Works Incorporated, which produces legacy products from Chemtool Incorporated. Chemtool Incorporated is the largest global independent lubricant and grease manufacturer and was founded by Jim Athans in 1963. Chemtool grew to employ 500 people in locations across the world before being purchased by Lubrizol/Berkshire Hathaway in September 2013. AMS headquarters is located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin and maintains another manufacturing operation in Bristol, WI in addition to the new facility opening in Burlington in 2016.



Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP), a global leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of Powersports vehicles and propulsion systems continues to invest and grow its Marine Propulsion System Division in Sturtevant, WI.  The company whose portfolio of products includes Ski-Doo® and Lynx® snowmobiles, Sea-Doo® watercraft, Can-Am® all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles & and Can-Am Spyder roadsters, Evinrude® outboard engines and Rotax jet propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts, motorcycles, and recreational aircraft, has a special connection to Southeast Wisconsin.  

The Evinrude® Outboard Engine history in Southeast Wisconsin extends more than 100 years, and since 2001, the engine has been manufactured at the BRP US Sturtevant location which is responsible for manufacturing and assembly of Evinrude®  and Johnson outboard engines. RCEDC and BRP have been working together to grow within the Racine County community since their relationship began in 2001.  

In 2011, the company made a commitment to transform its Sturtevant outboard engine facility by consolidating its Evinrude® product development, marketing, sales and customer service functions under one roof with the help of RCEDC, the Village of Sturtevant and the State of Wisconsin. As a result of the project and BRP’s continued growth, the Sturtevant facility employs approximately 500.  

BRP’s plans for expansion did not stop there, and they continue to grow within our community. BRP recently opened its state-of-the-art technician training institute, yet again adding value to the community. The new center will host general weeklong training sessions for BRP’s expanding dealer network. The Sturtevant location will now be used as the company’s Core Training Center, providing comprehensive advanced technical training across BRP’s family of products for BRP’s network of dealer representatives and technicians.

Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC) and the Village of Sturtevant assisted in the completion of this training center by providing financial incentives to support this expansion.

“We are grateful to the Village of Sturtevant and the Racine County Economic Development Corporation for their support in the creation of this world-class training institute that has allowed us to create and secure over 20 full-time positions. The new institute will bring around 500 visitors a year to the region,” said Villemure. “The Evinrude® brand has a storied relationship with Southeastern Wisconsin and BRP is excited to open up this new chapter.”


Loan Approved for New Music Store Coming to Downtown Burlington

Burlington, WI, May 5, 2016:  On Tuesday, May 3rd the Racine County Economic Development Corporation’s (RCEDC) Finance Division known as Business Lending Partners made a recommendation to the City of Burlington Community Development Authority (CDA). The recommendation was to approve a $70,000 loan to Musicology LLC from the Burlington Tax Incremental District Revolving Loan Fund (TID RLF).  The loan was unanimously approved.

Musicology LLC, owned by Summer Street and Joel Drouin, is a start-up retail music store to be located at 452 N. Pine Street in the former Beaches Tanning building.  "Joel has been a musician for 30 years and has played with many different bands in the Milwaukee area. Besides playing, he loves the technical side of music and working on gear.  Joel has been building custom guitars for twenty years, and these will be available to our customers along with the big brands.  I bring 20 years of sales and marketing experience to the table. Like our marriage, we hope our business will benefit from both of our talents and backgrounds,” according to Summer Street, Owner.  The store will offer musical instruments for sale and rent, music accessories and rental music rooms for music lessons to be offered by professionals in the industry.

RLF funds will be used for inventory purchases and matched with other start-up costs related to the establishment of this business.  There are several benefits to the local community to support the use of TID RLF funds for this project including:

  • Improvement and occupancy of a vacant storefront

  • Woman-owned business

  • Creation of one job

  • Need for this type business in downtown Burlington as reflected in the City's 2015 Retail Market Analysis report

To the last point above, in 2015 RCEDC was engaged by the City of Burlington to complete a retail analysis for the Burlington area to identify retail recruitment opportunities to meet the purchasing demands of the Burlington area.  A general music store operation identified as an opportunity for the area.  A companion survey conducted by the Burlington Chamber which revealed that 41% of the responses identified the need for a music store.   

Business Lending Partners/RCEDC staff and RCEDC’s Loan Committee reviewed the financing structure and the project before making a recommendation for approval to the City's CDA.




For more information on programs available to support business growth visit or contact Laura Million. 

For additional information about the TID-RLF loan contact Carolyn Engel at 262-898-7420.