Innovative initiative aimed at addressing manufacturing productivity

Three organizations have launched a public-private initiative aimed at helping manufacturers improve productivity in factories throughout the state.

Productivity has been flat or growing slowly over the last several years, averaging a 1.7 percent annual increase in the United States from 2007 to 2016. The long-term average is a 3.2 percent increase.

Wisconsin manufacturers’ productivity growth, measured as real GDP per employee, has been even lower, averaging just a 0.1 percent annual increase over that time period.

Randy Bertram, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership director of sustainability services, said the state is around the middle of the pack when it comes to productivity. Wisconsin ranked 31st for use of structured management on the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Management and Organizational Practices Survey.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WMEP and the Milwaukee 7 are trying to address those figures with a new program called the Transformational Productivity Initiative.


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