PolyFlex groundbreaking in Kaukauna is 1st success story for regional partnership
By Chad Doran
KAUKAUNA - More manufacturing jobs are being added in the Fox Valley. And officials say thanks to a regional partnership, it is becoming a growing trend.PolyFlex President Bill Lechner says the groundbreaking for his company in Kaukauna, may not have happened if it wasn't for the work of the Fox Cities Regional Partnership."They were instrumental in getting us into this area in the beginning and they are still working with us now toward growing in the future," he said.The partnership which was formed in 2013 counts PolyFlex as its first major success in attracting new businesses to the Fox Valley."It has been a challenge in that nobody has been out selling the Fox Cities until now," said Larry Burkhardt with the Fox Cities Regional Partnership.But in just over a year the partnership of 17 local governments and 35 private companies has also enticed three other businesses to expand. Ameriquip in Kiel is one of them. The manufacturing company announced earlier this week it is adding over 100 jobs. And Burkhardt says the partnership has an ambitious goal."To create 1,200 new primary jobs over the next five years."Burkhardt says the skilled workforce is already here to make that happen.One of the things Lechner says was a big draw for his company."You've got more people of a higher skilled nature here and that is one of the things that drove us to this area," Lechner said.Kaukauna Mayor Gene Rosin credits the partnership with helping cities like Kaukauna market themselves far beyond the Fox Valley."Now you are talking statewide and beyond and it's been great and this project is a testament to that," said Rosin.PolyFlex plans to open by the end of the year. Initially the plastics manufacturing company will hire 40 people with plans already in the works for further expansion.Burkhardt says the Fox Cities Regional Partnership is also in the process of assisting several other companies with relocation plans to the Fox Cities.
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