Barrett announces new jobs during State of the City

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Mayor Tom Barrett and Gale Klappa, president and CEO of We Energies, announced Monday morning that Ingeteam, a Spanish firm that manufactures wind turbines, plans to move its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility to Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley.

Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, a civic organization focused on economic and cultural growth in Milwaukee, estimated the company would bring approximately 275 jobs to the city.

The announcement came as part of Barrett’s jobs-centered State of the City address at Manpower Inc., 111 E. Kilbourn Ave. Barrett also commended the Milwaukee 7 economic development initiative for its work in expanding Republic Airways’ maintenance and call center operations in Milwaukee. Republic owns many smaller airlines, including Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines.

“In M7, we have established a new model of job creation and development in the region,” Barrett said. “I’m proud of the work we did to start M7.”

Barrett also spoke about the difficulties in preparing the city’s 2010 budget. The budget faced significant revenue shortfalls, job cuts and unexpected costs, particularly the $49 million pension contribution caused by the stock market decline.

“We’ve asked much more from city workers, but in the end we put the city on sound fiscal footing,” Barrett said.

The mayor also took time to thank public health and safety workers, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Barrett pointed to the lowest two-year total for fire fatalities in the city’s history and a 20 percent decrease in violent crime in the city in the last two years as evidence of an effective public safety division.

Before leaving the stage, Barrett also brought up Milwaukee Public Schools. He said the district has great teachers and schools, but added that more high-performance schools are needed.

“I continue to believe that a clear line of accountability, connecting to a singular, accountable leader, is the right thing to do to help to improve Milwaukee Public Schools,” Barrett said.

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