Success Stories

Real stories of successful arts and business partnerships.

The Wagner Companies (WI) - Turning Scrap Metal into the Next Big Idea
The Wagner Companies (WI)
Engage Your Employees

Turning Scrap Metal into the Next Big Idea

The arts are about critical thinking, solving and reframing problems and facts in ways that reveal insights and opportunities. The businesses that understand the value the arts bring to their workforce, workplace and communities succeed. Just look at The Wagner Companies, one of Milwaukee’s oldest metal manufacturers. Several Wagner workers are artists who were looking for a way to make a living and took jobs as metal fabricators for the company. While at Wagner, they’ve used downtime to create artwork out of scrap metal from the line floor. So what might have been wasted scrap, is turned into stainless steel light fixtures – which Wagner hopes to add to their product offerings. In fact, the company has a product development board that reviews any employee’s creative product ideas.


In the end, the employees’ creativity benefits the company’s bottom line. "Anyone can sketch something on a piece of paper and get it reviewed," said Kane Behling, company production manager.

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