Rooted in manufacturing excellence, Greater Oshkosh EDC is committed to the continued diversification of our manufacturing base in order to ensure and maintain a strong economic climate. A few of our key focuses are the sectors you see below.
The Oshkosh-Neenah Metropolitan Statistical Area, (MSA) is home to over 300 manufacturing-related businesses employing more than 22,000 people. In fact, manufacturing is the area’s top industry. The economic base for Oshkosh and Winnebago County pertaining to manufacturing has a higher concentration than does the industry in Wisconsin or nationally. As a result, as both a growth and maturing industry, Greater Oshkosh EDC is focused on helping our employers through both opportunities and challenges related to workforce development, international trade, supplier connections, innovation and assistance with regulatory issues.
Information Technology is such an integral part of business today. Amplify Oshkosh is working to foster awareness and growth of IT in our community. A study completed by Oshkosh community partners called for Oshkosh to continue to provide the necessary resources to existing IT companies and local entrepreneurs that want to grow their businesses in Oshkosh and the New North region. The presence of a strong educational system, including UW-Oshkosh and Fox Valley Technical College, provides a talent base for future employees, as well as core degree programs that will help the IT sector grow. We have a growing network of IT professionals that is being fostered by the growth of these companies and we have the basic infrastructure network in place that has allowed these companies to locate and grow here.
Aviation is a big part of our heritage and it’s something we’d like to build upon. The Oshkosh region is uniquely positioned to cultivate business in this sector because of our incredible assets: the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) world headquarters, the annual AirVenture fly-in, a network of four airports with a wide array of services and facilities, aviation education programming at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC), the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UW Oshkosh), a strong workforce, an established supply chain and an already existing aviation business cluster.
Advancing the development of aerospace and aviation has been fully embraced by UW Oshkosh who founded the AeroInnovate program in 2008 to foster innovation in the sector.
Grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (DoD-OEA) have provided funding support for advancement of the aerospace cluster initiative. In 2012, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECRPC), the city of Oshkosh and UW Oshkosh applied for and received a $2,000,000 grant from the EDA to build the infrastructure needed at the Oshkosh Aviation Business Park. In 2013, following cuts in defense spending, the region was awarded a planning grant from DoD-OEA (ORDIDI grant). The purpose of the grant was twofold: first, to provide direct assistance to suppliers and employees in Oshkosh and surrounding communities, and second, to assist with economy diversification efforts already underway.
One diversification effort was the aerospace development cluster project. A portion of the ORDIDI grant was allocated to provide funding to conduct an aerospace cluster study in Oshkosh and develop an associated business plan. The study used industry trends, market opportunities and regional assets to better focus efforts on specific areas of the aerospace/aviation industry.