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It’s a good jobs week for Wisconsin

By Joe Yovino

Milwaukee Brewers pitchers and catchers don’t report for another two days, but the city of Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general hit a pair of home runs this past week in the job market.

On Tuesday, Ingeteam, a Spanish wind turbine company, confirmed it will build a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot facility in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley. The complex will span about 8.1 acres at 3757 W. Milwaukee Road.

The company will manufacture generator and electricity conversion equipment for wind turbines and solar power generators. According to Ingeteam, it considered eight states before selecting Milwaukee as the North American home for its company.

“Milwaukee has strengths in electrical manufacturing and a favorable business climate,” said Aitor Sotes, CEO of Ingeteam Inc. “It also has good universities that offer courses in renewable energy.”

What sealed the deal for Ingeteam was the $1.6 million in tax credits through the federal stimulus program, up to $4.5 million in state tax credits and another $500,000 forgivable loan from the state.

“Of course the incentives part of the deal has been very important,” Sotes said, “but it hasn’t been the sole part of the deal.”

Company officials said it will create as many as 60 jobs in 2011 and 275 jobs by 2015.

Those numbers may not seem huge, but for a beaten-down industry it’s comparable to a bases-loaded double off the wall.

The Ingeteam announcement came on the heels of another Spanish company, Talgo, showing an interest in Wisconsin.

The high-speed train manufacturer reportedly has been shopping for a site to build an assembly plant for its railway vehicles.

Gov. Jim Doyle has said building the new line could bring thousands of jobs to the state through 2015. About 80 more jobs are expected to be created if Talgo builds its plant here.

So what makes Wisconsin so appealing to Spanish companies? Maybe it’s the Sausage Races.

Joe Yovino is the Web editor for The Daily Reporter. He lays odds on Italian Sausage to win the majority of the races this season.

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