• Manufacturing Month

    Manufacturing Day, which takes place nationwide on Friday, October 2, is a celebration of all things manufacturing and is designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. In addition to celebrating Manufacturing Day, Wisconsin designates the whole month of October as Manufacturing Month. According to the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), Wisconsin's manufacturing sector drives economic growth for the state. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. Wisconsin manufacturers employ more than 450,000 workers, and the state's manufacturing concentration is 87% higher than the national average. Wisconsin manufacturing workers on average earn $10,000 more and have better benefits than other private sector workers.

  • Past Winners


  • 2020 "Coolest Thing Made" in Fort Winners

  • Small Manufacturer Category:

    Ryan Ebert, LLC

    My handmade spear fishing decoys are functional pieces of art, commonly used throughout the "Ice Belt" states during the winter months. They're also sought nationwide by collectors and as cabin decor. Each one is carved from cedar, carefully weighted to swim a slow circle, painted, and clear coated to withstand use in freezing water and being struck by Northern Pike. These examples of American folk art can look like anything from real fish to imagined colorful critters. After the decoys are retired from use they remind their owners of fond days spent on frozen lakes with friends and family.

  • Large Manufacturer Category:

    Spacesaver

    What do Queen Victoria’s undergarments, presidential memorabilia, 6,000-pound torpedoes, and Coca-Cola collectibles have in common? They’re all stored on Spacesaver’s Mobile Storage Systems! Spacesaver began with a couple of guys tinkering around with shelving in a barn in Fort Atkinson. By placing shelving units on rails, they realized they could increase storage capacity, improve productivity, and even save energy by storing more stuff in the same space. Now hundreds of employees help design and manufacture a variety of Spacesaver Mobile Storage Systems, which are entrusted with holding some of the COOLEST, most important, and interesting objects in the world.


  • 2019 "Coolest Thing Made in Fort" Winner 

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    Spacesaver

    Spacesaver’s roots may be in file storage, but today our mobile shelving systems do much more. Did you know that lettuce and other crops can be grown indoors? Spacesaver helps innovative farmers produce more crops in less space. Our GROW mobile systems optimize every cubic inch of indoor farms by reducing the number of aisles and wasted space—allowing producers to grow vertically up to 30 feet tall. In the basement of a building in the heart of Manhattan, a restaurant uses fresh herbs and greens from an indoor farm year-round—made possible with Spacesaver’s GROW system. On the other side of the U.S., cannabis cultivators in California use our systems to save space, improve efficiency, and increase yield.


  • 2018 "Coolest Thing Made in Fort" Winner

  • Nasco Healthcare

    At Nasco Healthcare, we are committed to improving patient safety by developing world-class simulation-based training solutions.  Our purpose is to enhance patient care outcomes through an elevated medical education experience. By connecting healthcare educators and trainees to trusted, innovative and affordable simulation solutions they can use in real-world settings we can help save lives.

    Baby C.H.A.R.L.I.E. allows professionals to gain the confidence they need to perform complicated procedures on an actual infant in real-life situations. After training with baby C.H.A.R.L.I.E. healthcare professionals feel prepared to tackle the real-world challenges which they face every day. Nasco Healthcare – real training for real life.

    C.H.A.R.L.I.E.