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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.



Regional Background

In FY 2013, DoD spending in Wisconsin totaled more than $6.5 billion (source: Defense Manpower Data Center and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). Layoffs at Oshkosh Corporation between 2013 and 2015 and uncertainty around the fate of production of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) increased trepidation across the state about Wisconsin’s dependence on defense across the state from manufacturers.

Additionally, studies have found that suppliers in more than 40 counties throughout Wisconsin could be impacted by defense spending drawdowns, while 17 counties are already feeling the effects of the OshKosh reductions. While defense accounts for more than 2.3 percent of Wisconsin’s state GDP, varying regional impacts present a broader need for state-level coordination and resources to assist these localities adjust to reduced defense spending.

Project Overview

In 2015, DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment issued a Defense Industry Adjustment grant to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help the state improve the resiliency of its economy surrounding defense related work, and ensure that it is better prepared for current and future fluctuations in DoD procurement.

Under the grant, WEDC will:

  • Reduce the dependency of Wisconsin firms and manufacturers on DoD procurement and contracting by increasing individual firm resiliency through a focus on business process improvement; and
  • Provide assistance to small- and medium-sized defense manufacturers through the development of a supply chain playbook.

Using an existing contract with the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), WEDC will engage 100 defense suppliers across Wisconsin for potential enrollment in WMEP’s Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI) program. This program will work to improve outcomes for suppliers by providing them diagnostics and recommendations to improve their business processes by shifting their focus to improved environmental management systems.

Projected Outcomes

As a result of the grant, WEDC plans to enroll 25 out of the 100 firms in the PSI program. In the final culmination of its efforts, WEDC will develop a playbook that can be shared with other interested economic development corporations and defense-impacted firms to share best practices, identify the process behind enhanced supply chain management, highlight the benefits for both a community and a company to be included in various supply chain mapping projects, and deliver a vehicle for the generation and dissemination of supply chain knowledge.