Washington County Daily News: 8th annual Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest launched

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Johnson Financial Group are once again partnering for the 8th annual Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest.

Each year, this competition highlights Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry — which contributes nearly $70 billion in total economic output to the state — and crowns a product as the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.

According to the release, WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer said this contest represents a large portion of workers in Wisconsin, and allows an often underrated industry to shine.

“Manufacturing is the state’s largest industry, employing nearly 500,000 hardworking Wisconsinites who contribute both to our state’s economy and to our notoriety,” said Bauer. “We’re excited to again use this fun contest to feature some of our fantastic manufacturers, the high-paying careers they create and the innovative, necessary products they make.”

In the 7 years since this contest’s inception, Wisconsinites have cast over 1 million votes. Products entered in the contest in the past have included firetrucks, cranes, motorcycles, military vehicles, cheese products, boats, generators, food carts, iron castings, beer, rifles, all-terrain vehicles, outboard motors, snow blowers and much more.

Johnson Financial Group CEO Jim Popp praised the state for its manufacturing prowess, and expressed excitement about the future of the industry.

“Wisconsin is setting the standard for the rest of the nation when it comes to manufacturing excellence and showcasing the coolest products made here,” said Popp. “We’re proud to join our friends at WMC for our 8th year as the sponsor of the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin and look forward to announcing this year’s winner.”

Last year, two Washington County manufacturers were nominated for the award. Helgesen Industries in Hartford was nominated for their Durapro Trailer, a trailer for dumping and hauling, and HoopMaster in Germantown was nominated for their Mighty Hoop, an embroidery tool.

Any product manufactured in Wisconsin qualifies for the contest, and nominations will be accepted starting on Aug. 16 at www.madeinwis.com.

Following the nomination period from Aug. 16 through Sept. 8, a popular vote will determine the Top 16 products that will be placed in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness. Products will compete against one another in head-to-head matchups, and the products that receive the highest votes in each matchup will advance to the next round. Manufacturers, consumers, employees and other Wisconsinites are encouraged to vote once per day, per device through the rounds of voting.

This year’s Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin will be announced at WMC’s Business Day in Madison event on Oct. 19.

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Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin