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25/11/2015

Blessings abound in Fond du Lac County

During this Thanksgiving season, we as residents of Fond du Lac County should reflect on the blessings that come with living here.

We have been blessed and have much to be thankful for as residents. We have increasing employment because of strong employers, large and small. Mercury Marine has lived up to its commitments made in 2009, almost doubling its employment and investing nearly a half-billion dollars in Fond du Lac, including an innovation center that is developing new products. Alliance Laundry Systems in Ripon has had two major expansions in the last three years with significant new employment. Advanced Tooling in Mount Calvary has doubled its employment.

Swenson Tool & Die moved to Campbellsport from Washington County because they wanted to be in Fond du Lac County and closer to a quality workforce. Wells Vehicle Electronics has expanded its employment, production capacity and product development. Grande Cheese is building its new headquarters in south Fond du Lac, which will be a showcase for those approaching the city from the south. LaClare Farms built a state-of-the-art goat milking and cheese processing facility in Pipe that has produced international award-winning goat cheese and is now expanding. Fond du Lac has several national and international businesses headquartered in the county. These are only a few examples and there are many more.

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IGNITE! Business Success, a robust network of 17 organizations, provides a seamless resource to support the start-up of new entrepreneurial enterprises and to assist existing small businesses sustain and grow their operations. The Emergent Technology Center, a member of IGNITE!, is a business accelerator for technology-based businesses. IGNITE! is unique in the state of Wisconsin and now is a model for other entrepreneurial development systems in Wisconsin and other parts of the nation. This was founded and started in Fond du Lac County by forward-thinking, ambitious and positive people.

We have many cultural, recreational and educational facilities that other communities envy. The Children’s Museum is one of the best in the Midwest. The Thelma Madoff Center for the Arts is a facility that offers opportunities to experience fine arts, concerts and learning for residents of all ages. The Pankratz Arts Exchange in Mount Calvary offers exceptional, professional musical productions every season of the year. The Fond du Lac Public Library will soon open the Idea Studio, a “makerspace” to nurture creativity and innovation.

Waupun offers some of the best festivals in the region and is known for its public collection of sculptures by world-renowned artist Clarence Addison Shaler. We live in one of the most beautiful countrysides in the nation that provides year-round recreation or just a place to enjoy natural serenity. Again, this is only a small list of the multiple cultural, recreational and educational opportunities that other communities only wish they possessed.

The Commonwealth Companies have invested more than $26 million in downtown Fond du Lac and is in the process of redeveloping the old hospital in Ripon that will provide much needed housing for the city and county. In downtown Fond du Lac, Lillian’s and Edith’s Bridal draw people from throughout the region and state. Marian University has purchased the Nielsen Building and has converted it to the Health Professionals Center where it will house its nursing program. Agnesian Healthcare has occupied a floor of the building for its information technology department.

All of the above are extremely positive endeavors; however, it seems that there are people in the community who can always find and focus on the opposite. Many times when we take actions to improve the community, some communicate negativity and defeatism. There is a small group that wants no change; they want the community to stay just like it is now. In today’s world, that is a formula for decline and deterioration. There is nothing wrong with public discourse but only when it is constructive. Most of what we hear from a small but vocal minority is destructive and adds nothing to building our community.

Every community has challenges, including Fond du Lac County. But there are far more positives and opportunities for the future. There are many selflessly working and dedicated to the future of our community. To those, we say “thank you”!

It is time for all of us to recognize that our county is truly blessed with many exceptional attributes. If you care about the future and progressive growth of the community, please stand up and be counted. You are needed. Become actively involved and engaged so that we can claim the community we deserve.(Source: sheindressau.com)

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