Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) proactively connects with our areas existing businesses through our Business, Expansion and Retention (BEAR) Program. Several studies have shown that expansions of existing businesses represent between 60 percent and upwards of 90 percent of a community’s job creation. Our local companies and the local workforce also serve as a “barometer” of Chippewa County’s overall sense of place and economic health.

The approach of the CCEDC BEAR program is to be a collaborative form of outreach, emphasizing face-to-face contact and dialogue but use the outreach to collect comprehensive, comparable inputs from our business community. Recently, the CCEDC BEAR Team lead by Board member Rick Kaiser of Xcel Energy spent some time in Stanley visiting Ace Ethanol and Film Tech.

Ace Ethanol LLC is an ethanol production facility built by local investors in Stanley, Wisconsin. Each year the facility takes in more than 17 million bushels of corn, resulting in an output of approximately 50 million gallons of ethanol, 118,000 tons of DDGS, 8,000 tons of distiller’s corn oil, and 65,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The facility has a storage capacity of two million bushels on site and is the first ethanol plant to integrate the patented D3MAX technology with its existing corn dry mill- a move that will position it to become one of the most efficient ethanol facilities in the world.

Film Tech LLC manufactures custom COEX and mono-layer plastic film for laminated or unstructured converting needs for sterilized medical device or healthcare supplies. Their custom films are designed to PROTECT, PROCESS, or PROMOTE product functionality.

The BEAR team learned about the challenges and opportunities facing those businesses, discussed state and local regulatory burdens, barriers to competitiveness and expansion which centered on the discussion to continue to aggressively improve local workforce soft skills, work ethic, and help support the maintenance of a competitive business climate among elected officials. Our stage 2 firms throughout the County have moved toward a more highlighted emphasis on talent development.