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Elkhorn company adding new jobs

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Ted Sullivan
August 15, 2008
— An Elkhorn company that develops software for the dairy industry is expected to boost the local economy by helping add 37 new jobs to the region.

Data Specialists has been awarded $100,000 in technology tax credits to be spread out over three years, said Sherrie Mertes, chief executive officer of the company.


Data Specialists will use the tax credit and invest $2 million of its own money to add 14 new jobs that could in turn create an additional 23 jobs in Elkhorn and Walworth County, according to state estimates.


Data Specialists is a family owned company that has been in business 25 years. The company creates software for businesses in the dairy industry. The software helps companies become more efficient to make more money.


The jobs created at Data Specialists will be in systems design and development, Mertes said.


“I think what it actually does is bring in high-tech jobs that are well paid,” she said.


The tax credit also will allow Data Specialists to buy new equipment, train new staff and renovate its offices, adding jobs in other industries such as construction.


Steve Hatcher, executive director of the Elkhorn Chamber of Commerce, said it’s important a company such as Data Specialists is doing well in tough economic times.


“One of the economic goals for Walworth County in particular and the state is to capitalize on our agribusiness and expand it,” he said. “This is part of that.”


Gov. Jim Doyle hopes the new jobs will help families in Walworth County.


“The dairy industry is a major industry in Wisconsin,” he said in a prepared statement after the tax credit was awarded.


“I am pleased to be able to help DSI grow its dairy software business and create new jobs,” he said.


The tax credits are awarded to companies that make commitments to grow, generate jobs and make an economic impact.


Data Specialists’ new employees will pay additional income and property taxes, Mertes said.


And Data Specialists’ growth will pay additional corporate taxes, she said.


The state estimates the economic impact could be $6 million in Walworth County.



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