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TOP STORY

$30 million expansion part of Phillips-Medisize growth planSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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PHILLIPS - A high level employee at Phillips-Medisize Corp., based in Hudson, WI, calls the company's $30 million announced expansion part of the group's growth plan. VP/GM Global Commercial Division at Phillips-Medisize Rob Werge says the company's medical and consumer product lines are also growing.

The company has annual sales of nearly $600 million with around 75% of the total revenue coming from drug delivery, medical device and diagnostic products such as: disposable insulin pens, glucose meters, specialty inhalation drug delivery devices, single use surgical devices and consumable diagnostic components, according to company data.

Phillips-Medisize employs 285 people at its Phillips facilities, 1,400 people throughout Wisconsin, and more than 3,400 people at 14 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and China.

Werge described the work on the floor at one of the company's facilities in Phillips Wednesday.

"What you are seeing here is a lineup of the injection molding machines, with the robotics on them," Werge said.

The company holds strong roots in the Northwoods. It celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

The $30 million expansion could make its local connection stronger.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which is the state's quasi-public-private job creation agency that replaced the State Commerce Department by Gov. Scott Walker during his first term, will help with as much as $5 million in tax credits. That's if the company creates the 484 jobs its promised. Project leaders feel optimistic.

"It is always a challenge to find good people," Werge said. "But we have done quite well and the people are a big part of our success."

The company could receive those credits over the next 39 months. Phillips-Medisize makes products for their end customers. Werge says those customers are continuing to develop new products, so that is when Phillips-Medisize would partner to help them.

Werge says the company uses newer technology to improve the efficiency of their production processes as well. That means employees need to keep up with the technology as well.

"There is a tremendous amount of skill that is needed throughout the operation, from processing and engineering, all the way through tool building to tool maintenance," Werge said.

The statewide expansion project calls for a 33,000-square-foot addition at Phillips-Medisize's medical facility in New Richmond, as well as an expansion to a facility in Menomonie. In Phillips, Werge says they already have space for more workers.

"We are growing here in Phillips, and expect to continue to grow," Werge said.

The company and the community hope that means more opportunity and more jobs.

For more information on careers with the company click the link below.

Related Weblinks:
Phillips Medisize Careers

Story By: Adam Fox

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 LOCAL NEWS
Study: Lincoln County professional departments well trained in hazardous materials, volunteer departments need workSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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MERRILL - Would responders in Lincoln County know how to best handle a hazardous material spill in their area?

It might depend on where that spill happens.

A study for a county committee found a big gap in how prepared certain departments might be to handle hazardous materials.

For the most part, professional fire departments and law enforcement are trained well to respond.

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Perfect for the holidays- Northwoods woman donates kidney to friend Submitted: 12/17/2014

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SUGAR CAMP - You might find all the joy you need this Christmas between two best friends.

Jean Neumann and Patty Bonack fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.

They've shared a friendship for four years, but now they share something else.

Neumann found out she needed a kidney transplant in May.

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On the Wilderness Act's 50th anniversary, acquaint yourself with pristine areas of northern WisconsinSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - The first thing you notice in this forest is the silence.

That's the way it was meant to be at Blackjack Springs Wilderness east of Eagle River.

It's a venerable forest, to be sure, but the harvest here isn't timber.

"A Wilderness area," Bob Martini says, "what you're harvesting here feeds the soul."

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Grant pays for high school students to get welding diplomas while in high school Submitted: 12/17/2014

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PHILLIPS - Some Northwoods companies need more skilled workers.

A local technical college got a grant this year to help train people to fill welding jobs.

The grant pays to send high school students to Northcentral Technical College in Phillips and Wausau.

Ten high school students from Price and Taylor counties travel to NTC in Phillips three days a week.

"They will be graduating from Northcentral Technical College with their degree in Gas Metal Arc Welding and it will probably be about a week before they graduate high school," says NTC Phillips Dean Bobbi Damrow.

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After Wisconsin deer harvest fall, Upper Peninsula numbers plummetSubmitted: 12/17/2014

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UPPER PENINSULA - The deer harvest during the gun season fell more than 15 percent in Wisconsin from a year ago.

In the Upper Peninsula, the drop was even worse.

Early results show the deer harvest in the U.P. was down 30 to 40 percent compared to 2013.

Registrations at some check stations dropped as much as 60 percent during the 16-day season in late November.

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Plea deal in Tomahawk marijuana plant bustSubmitted: 12/17/2014

LINCOLN COUNTY - The second of two people arrested for having 44 marijuana plants reached a plea deal in Lincoln County Court on Wednesday.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jessica Teich pled no contest to a felony for having a drug trafficking place.

She also pled no contest to two misdemeanors for having THC and drug paraphernalia.

The felony charge will be dismissed if Teich successfully completes her 18-month probation.

Tomahawk Police arrested Teich and 34-year-old Jamaal Wilson last April.

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Northwoods Community Secondary School working on improving attendance, reading, and math scoresSubmitted: 12/16/2014

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RHINELANDER - Every year school districts in Wisconsin get report cards.

They use them to see how well they're doing compared to others in the state.

The School District of Rhinelander met expectations last year, but the district's charter school didn't do as well.

The Northwoods Community Secondary School met few expectations on their report card.

Attendance, math, and reading scores are factors in the school's score.

Staff members say they're taking steps to improve students' attendance.

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