Great Place for a New Start - Black Enterprise

Great Place for a New Start

Perry Stuckey moved to Milwaukee after a job transfer and has called it home ever since. (Photo by Brett Kramer)

Accented by theaters, museums, and high-demand eateries including five-star restaurants and traditional family dining, Milwaukee mixes cosmopolitan flair with small-town hospitality. Formerly known as a brewing and manufacturing capital, Milwaukee today is driven by service industries like precision manufacturing and printing; professional and managerial positions are among the city’s fastest growing occupations.

Despite fiscal belt-tightening over the last year, Milwaukee’s diverse range of industries enabled the city to avoid the financial shockwaves that devastated other metropolises across the country. Major companies headquartered here include Johnson Controls, a producer of automotive interiors; motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson; and producer of technology solutions Rockwell Automation, where Perry Stuckey serves as vice president of human resources. A job transfer brought Stuckey and his family to Milwaukee from Cleveland five years ago. “I remember thinking Chicago is the city in the Midwest,” he says, recalling his trepidation about relocating. The warm reception from the business community and the highly ranked Wisconsin public school system helped change his mind.

Choose Milwaukee ( is working on converting skeptics like Stuckey into new residents. To attract new business and talent to the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin, this initiative provides corporations and entrepreneurs with a variety of incentives, financial assistance, and loan programs (listed on the site). The city also seeks a more diverse community, and through its minority business services, including The Business Council, is working to attract minority business owners and facilitate growth.

Stuckey is also encouraged by the quality of life Milwaukee offers. “Where else in America can I get lakes, parks, music, great museums, and great schools?” he says. “There’re not many places like that. It’s been great for me.”