Nick Novak, WMC

From beer to boats, from Harleys to Havarti, it’s anybody’s guess who could win the latest “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin” contest.

The fifth annual competition hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Johnson Financial Group aims to highlight the state’s manufacturing industry. The industry employs one in six Wisconsinites, WMC’s Nick Novak said in this week’s “WisBusiness: The Podcast”

After receiving 150 product nominations, the first round of public voting will narrow it down to 16 that will enter a tournament style bracket. Head-to-head competitions until mid-October will determine the winner.

“There’s so many different products that we make whether it be small engines or metal fabrication or cheese processing or a brewery that makes beer here in Wisconsin, there are so many things in that list already,” Novak said.

COVID-19 has impacted every industry in the state in some way including manufacturing. But Novak said he hopes that this contest is an opportunity for manufacturers to tell their “good news story.” He noted that many manufacturers stepped up to move production lines to make personal protective equipment or medical equipment.

Click here to hear the podcast.