By: Nate Beck, USA Today Network – Wisconsin

A new grant program managed by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh aims to help nonprofits boost exports and attract foreign investment in the state.

The program opens $1.2 million to economic development groups and other nonprofits to hire international trade consultants in targeted industries like manufacturing, aviation, bioscience and water technology, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“What’s key to this new initiative is that it aligns perfectly with the many existing programs offered by WEDC and our partners to increase exports and encourage foreign investment,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development.

Consultants hired under the program could advise Wisconsin companies and connect them to global trade programs, in addition to working with WEDC to identify expansion opportunities for Wisconsin’s foreign companies and engaging with foreign companies that could compliment key industries.

The program is funded by a $650,000 grant from WEDC, with matching funds from three business development groups, The New North, The Water Council and Milwaukee 7.

“UW-Oshkosh is located in the heart of The New North, an area focused on supporting international trade and foreign direct investment, and is well position to assist business in this region and statewide,” said Colleen Merrill, director at UW-Oshkosh’s Small Business Development Center. “We are excited to be a key player in this initiative, utilizing our Small Business Development Center and expertise on campus to connect resources throughout the region.”

Read the original article at Oshkosh Northwestern, part of the USA Today Network.

Josh Faude, left, and Kevin Arneson try to get a part off an auxiliary power unit as Pete Winkelmann looks in a manual at Fox Valley Technical College’s S.J. Spanbauer Aviation and Industrial Center in Oshkosh. A new program administered by the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh aims to support exports in targeted industries, like aviation. (Photo: Joe Sienkiewicz/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)