South Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 1, 2018 – The Bucyrus Foundation of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is investing in the city that the venerable mining equipment manufacturer called home for nearly 120 years with the awarding of a $200,000 grant for a variety of economic development activities in South Milwaukee.

“Bucyrus conducted business in South Milwaukee for 118 years from 1893 until the sale of the company to Caterpillar in 2011,” said Tim Sullivan, Chairman of the Bucyrus Foundation of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Bucyrus provided a strong economic base to the city of South Milwaukee during that period of time, and the South Milwaukee community in turn supported the company. It only stands to reason that the company continue to support the community that supported it for so many years through its ongoing philanthropic foundation that was established 40 years ago. We hope to continue to support the city that provided us with so much success over so many years as long as we can.”

The city will use the money to invest in three key areas in 2018:

  • Economic development support: $75,000 to fund the city’s newly created economic development director position. 
  • Downtown Revitalization Grant: $50,000 to replenish the city’s innovative grant program, where downtown property and business owners can qualify for up to $30,000 in matching grant funds for interior and exterior remodeling projects. The two-year-old grant has already funded three projects, and several more are in the pipeline. 
  • Planning for the future of the former Bucyrus campus: $75,000 for use in development of a master plan for the former Bucyrus campus once a new owner purchases the property, currently home to Caterpillar Inc.’s South Milwaukee operations.

“In many ways, the story of South Milwaukee is the story of Bucyrus, and vice versa,” South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks said. “For many years, we were a company town – shovels used to build the Panama Canal were built here. Bucyrus proudly defined us. This grant is a reflection of that, and we are so thankful to have attracted these funds.”

Added Brooks: “South Milwaukee is a crossroads, and the choices we make today will shape the redevelopment future of the city. These funds mean Bucyrus will help shape that future.”

South Milwaukee continues to make major strides in redeveloping its downtown and city. The city is seeing a surge in new businesses openings, and expansions of existing ones, and is planning investments in rebranding and downtown streetscaping. But significant challenges remain, including redevelopment of more than 30 soon-to-be-vacant acres of the former Bucyrus campus, as Caterpillar Inc., which acquired Bucyrus in 2011, shifts a significant portion of its workforce out of South Milwaukee.

As this work continues, the city is committed to stepping up its efforts to honor its Bucyrus heritage, starting with adding Bucyrus branding to the grant program.

“This investment in our city is a terrific way for the Bucyrus Foundation to help keep its local heritage alive for future generations,” Brooks said. “We want to lead the way.”

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is the region’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has inspired philanthropy by connecting generous people to community needs that align with their interests. The Foundation consists of more than 1,300 distinct charitable funds, like the Bucyrus Foundation, established by donors to support the causes they choose. The Foundation works in partnership with those who are committed to ensuring greater Milwaukee is a vibrant, economically thriving region that comprises welcoming and inclusive communities providing opportunity, prosperity and a high quality of life for all.

“The Bucyrus Foundation has been part of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation family for more than 15 years,” said Fred Gutierrez, senior program officer for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “Supporting revitalization and redevelopment efforts in South Milwaukee through this new grant continues our shared interest in strengthening the economy and social fabric of local communities.”

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