Brady Corp.


The Milwaukee Region is a national leader in precision manufacturing and the production of sophisticated industrial controls and medical imaging equipment. Its skilled workforce, engineering support and manufacturing heritage have also made it the nation’s leading producer of mining machinery, hoists, monorails, speed changers, drives and gears.

Sixteen percent of the region’s workforce is employed in manufacturing, ranking second in the nation among the top 50 metros for manufacturing jobs. The region's diverse mix of manufacturing companies produces everything from basic foundry parts to low-emission engines, advanced aviation systems and sophisticated industrial controls. The region is especially noted for engine and equipment manufacturing, automation and advanced manufacturing and medical technology.

Nine locally based manufacturers are on the Fortune 1000 list – A.O. Smith, Briggs & Stratton, Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls, Joy Global, Modine Manufacturing, Rexnord, Rockwell Automation and Snap-On. S.C. Johnson is on the Forbes list of America's largest private companies.

The region's technical colleges and universities provide critical training and research support, including applied technology centers that manufacturers can use to test their designs and create prototypes. Technology transfer programs help companies turn ideas into marketable products.

Power, Automation & Controls Industry

Johnson Controls and Rockwell Automation, both Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the region, are major automation and control companies with nearly 6,000 employees total. Other automation and control companies include Eaton, DRS, ABB and Magnetek. Other major employers include Cooper Power and Waukesha Electric in the power transmission and transformers sector, and Astronautics in the navigational instruments sector.

Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium

Power, controls and energy are among Milwaukee’s largest manufacturing sectors. The Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium (WERC) brings together companies such as Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, Eaton, Kohler, DRS Technologies, We Energies and American Transmission with researchers from our university engineering schools and technical colleges to collaborate on basic research projects.

WERC develops strategies to train workers in the latest technical skills required by our manufacturers and links member companies to share best practices and market intelligence. For more information on WERC, visit

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) enhances the success of Wisconsin's small to mid-size manufacturers by providing real-world knowledge in continuous improvement, business strategies and best practices. WMEP is also a strong advocate of manufacturing and provides information to those focused on the success of Wisconsin manufacturing.

In 2008, WMEP conducted a groundbreaking Next Generation Manufacturing Survey to assess the global competitiveness of Wisconsin manufacturers. To learn more about the results of the survey, click here.

Dream it. Do it. Wisconsin

Dream It. Do It. is a national recruitment strategy sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers. It's designed to emphasize manufacturing as an industry providing high-paying, high-quality careers. Wisconsin is the 20th state to implement the program, which aims to create a single, powerful brand for manufacturing careers in support of local workforce development efforts. Learn more at

A.O. Smith 16,800 Electric motors; commercial and residential water heating equipment; and copper-tube boilers
Briggs & Stratton
Air-cooled engines
9,800  Motorcycles and accessories
Johnson Controls
Automotive seating, batteries and industrial controls
Joy Global
Mining equipment and services
Modine Manufacturing
Thermal management technology
Industrial equipment and components
Rockwell Automation
Industrial controls and software
S.C. Johnson
Household products
Tool, diagnostic and equipment products

Applied Technology Center
Milwaukee School of Engineering Assists design, development and evaluation of products, processes and manufacturing systems
Center for Biomolecular Modeling
Milwaukee School of Engineering 3-D molecular models
Center for By-Products Utilization University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Researches technology that can be used to find environmentally and economically effective uses of industrial byproducts and consumer waste
Center for Intelligent Systems, Controls and Signal Processing Marquette University
Assists in the development of intelligent systems
Center for Materials Science and Technology  Marquette University
Research and knowledge transfer 
in biomaterials, electronic ceramics, solid state sensors, structural and electrical composites
Center for Supply Chain Management  Marquette University
Industry-university collaborative venture for education, research and information sharing of supply chain management strategies
Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power Milwaukee School of Engineering Applying new technologies such as rapid prototyping, sensors, nanotechnology and tribology plus contamination analysis, to fluid power
Fluid Power Institute
Milwaukee School of Engineering Fluid-power component and system evaluations
NanoEngineering Laboratory
Milwaukee School of Engineering Nano-scale research in the areas of wear reduction and surface enhancement
Photonics and Applied Optics Center Milwaukee School of Engineering Optical projects and experiments for lasers, LEDs, sensor applications and optical fabrication
Rapid Prototyping Center
Milwaukee School of Engineering Applies proven technologies to compress the production cycle
Thermofluid Science and Energy Research Center Marquette University Research and development of energy conversion systems and heat/mass exchange equipment

Made in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Region ranks

No. 2

among the nation's top 50 metros for manufacturing employment.