Insight Magazine – As the home to major employers such as Acuity Insurance and Sargento Foods as well as tying for third place in the nation for concentration of manufacturing, Sheboygan County is on the cutting edge in many ways. Dane Checolinski, director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp., says the county is on a mission to establish itself as a leader in another realm: innovation.

FreshTech is Wisconsin’s first innovation community. Plans for the half-mile area in the City of Sheboygan’s Indiana Avenue corridor include spaces designed for collaboration, co-working and hosting events, research labs, a makerspace and urban housing. The Wisconsin Internet of Things Council also established itself within FreshTech.

Stakeholders from across the county — including the SCEDC, City of Sheboygan, Sheboygan Area School District, Lakeland University and Lakeshore Technical College — are coming together to make the vision a reality. Two studies are underway — one looking at creating a makerspace, the other looking at developing an innovation hub.

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