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Gov. Doyle: Governor Doyle Announces $300,000 in Technology Tax Credits to Skyward to Create Jobs, Invest in Workplace

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661
Jessica Erickson, Governor's Office, 608-261-2156
Carolyn Weiland, Skyward, Inc., 715-341-9406 x. 1316

Award Will Help Company Retain 150 Jobs, Create Almost 50 New Jobs; Also Announces $22,000 Grant to Stora Enso to Train Workers on New Equipment

STEVENS POINTS - During a visit to Stevens Point today, Governor Jim Doyle announced that Skyward, Incorporated will receive $300,000 in Technology Zone tax credits, helping the company create and retain jobs and make a major investment in its workplace.

"Fostering the growth of our technology businesses statewide is essential to a strong Wisconsin economy, and we are working hard to grow our technology base," Governor Doyle said. "We've made great progress to enhance our Technology Zone program and support regional cooperation through my 'Grow Wisconsin' plan, and we will continue to encourage the development of high-technology companies throughout the state. I am pleased to support Skyward as it generates the high-paying jobs needed for a strong Wisconsin future."

Skyward is investing $1.7 million to purchase equipment and expand its existing facility in Stevens Point. The award will help the company retain 151 positions and create 48 positions at an average wage of $14.58/hour.

"Skyward appreciates both the Governor's commitment to developing a strong business climate in Wisconsin and the assistance of the Department of Commerce as we grow our business here in Stevens Point," said company founder and CEO Jim King.

Wisconsin's Technology Zone program is an economic development initiative that helps stimulate the growth of businesses in the state's high-technology sectors. Under the program, tax credits are made available to high-tech businesses locating or expanding in one of eight technology zones statewide.

The Governor's "Grow Wisconsin" plan called for improving the Technology Zone program, making it more efficient and more accessible for small businesses and start-up companies. Last November, the Governor signed legislation that did just that. The bill fixes a flaw in the program that prevented companies that organized their corporate structure as a limited liability company or a partnership - which includes many small businesses and start-up companies - from competing equally for the available credits.

Under the new law, these tax credits are now more accessible to more small companies statewide and to technology companies in the start-up phase when financial assistance is most critical.

Skyward is part of the North Central Advantage Technology Zone, which provides incentives for high-tech growth in a number of clusters, including manufacturing, papermaking and insurance. The zone includes the counties of Adams, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Vilas, and Wood.

"Skyward's expansion shows what happens when a strong entrepreneurial spirit is combined with strong educational programming that provides a steady stream of quality talent from educational institutions," said Portage County Business Council Executive Director Brian Doudna.

Skyward, Inc. develops school administration software for finance and student databases for K-12 school districts. The company is the developer of PaC School Management Systems, an integrated student and financial management software system that gives administrators, educators, and families the power of information with a simple "Point and Click." Based in Stevens Point, Skyward has provided schools, both public and private, with powerful administrative solutions since 1980. More information about the company can be found on its website at www.skyward.com.

Governor Doyle also announced that Stora Enso North America Corporation in Stevens Point will receive a $22,670 Customized Labor Training grant from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to train 73 current employees on new equipment. The company is investing over $9.8 million to add a new Pulper and Conveying system. Stora Enso is North America's leading producer of coated and supercalendered papers for the printing and publishing industries.

"This grant will help Stora Enso strengthen the skills of its workers as it upgrades its facilities and makes a new investment in Wisconsin," Governor Doyle said. The Customized Labor Training Program provides grants to companies to help cover a portion of the costs associated with training employees on new technologies, industrial skills, or manufacturing processes.

For more information about Wisconsin's Technology Zone program, contact Amy Cumblad at the Department of Commerce at (608) 266-2688.

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