MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturers’ association – partnered with Johnson Financial Group to announce this year’s Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin on Wednesday at WMC’s annual Business Day in Madison event. Pierce Manufacturing’s Electric Fire Truck from Appleton was officially crowned the 2022 winner.
Over its seven years, the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest has garnered over 1.1 million votes from Wisconsinites across the state. The competition began in 2016 to highlight manufacturing as Wisconsin’s largest industry. Today, Wisconsin is home to roughly 9,000 manufacturing facilities, employing nearly 1 in 6 Wisconsin workers and contributing over $68 billion to the economy.
“We’re immensely proud of Wisconsin’s manufacturers and the products they make right here in our state. This industry is diverse: from commercial-grade equipment and vehicles to medical technology and food products, we really do have cool things made in Wisconsin,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “These manufacturers provide rewarding careers, keep our economy growing and make products that are used across the globe.”
Nearly 150 products were nominated in 2022. Products competed in a popular vote round and three bracket-style rounds. The overall contest amassed over 150,000 votes to determine the Electric Fire Truck as the top product. Each year, the winner of the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin is announced in October, celebrated as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin.
“Thank you to all of the hard working men and women dedicated to Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry and to WMC for reminding us each year of all the coolest things made in Wisconsin,” said Jim Popp, Johnson Financial Group President & CEO. “Congratulations to Pierce Manufacturing! And to all of the 2022 nominees that make Wisconsin a leader in Manufacturing! You are all a critical part of Wisconsin’s heritage and its future.”
Pierce Manufacturing, based in Appleton, is the largest fire apparatus company in the world. Their Volterra pumper is the first zero-emission electric fire truck in service in North America. The truck was developed to provide the environmental benefits fire departments requested such as reducing emissions, minimizing fuel, and producing less noise without having to compromise on the leading-edge operational performance, functionality, and safety attributes fire departments expected from their fire truck.
“The Pierce Manufacturing team is honored to have been among an incredible lineup of companies and innovative products, with an especially strong representation from Northeast Wisconsin,” said Lisa Barwick, Vice President of Marketing – Fire & Emergency Segment for Oshkosh Corporation. “Oshkosh is a technology industrial company and a leader in electrification, autonomy, active safety and intelligent-connected products. The Pierce Volterra pumper winning the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin 2022, recognizes our commitment to developing electric vehicle solutions which help first responders save lives and serve their communities. We are incredibly thankful for the support of our community, our dealer network across North America, and our customers.”