Washington County’s quality of life, abundant workforce and proximity to the Milwaukee market make it one of the best areas in the state to live your life and grow your business.

There are many reasons why Washington County is a great place to expand and relocate, but here are just a few:

  • A population that’s growing more than twice as fast as the state’s population growth rate
  • An excellent education system that touts a high school graduation rate that’s higher than both the state and country as a whole
  • A median household income that exceeds the state and national averages

Don’t just take our word for it.  Check out some of our latest project profiles to find out why companies are choosing to locate and grow in Washington County: EDWC Project Profiles.


News Feed

Employment Rates Inch Closer to Prerecession Levels

The U.S. employment rate for adults of prime working age has been rising for four years, and the number of states with lower employment rates than before the Great Recession has been shrinking. Despite these signs of improvement, however, the labor market had not completely recovered from the economic downturn by mid-2015.

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Report shows improvement in Wisconsin’s job creation ranking

Wisconsin ranked 30th overall in the nation in private-sector job creation during the 12 months ending in March, according to new data released Thursday.

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Bioscience brings big bucks to Wisconsin’s economy, study shows

The state’s bioscience industry has 1,600-plus companies providing jobs for about 36,000 people paying salaries well above the average employee in Wisconsin, according to the 2015 Wisconsin Bioscience Economic Development Report compiled by consulting firm Ernst & Young. On average, bioscience workers make $73,241, more than $30,000 above the average pay of Wisconsin private-sector employees, the report said. In addition to the 36,000 statewide jobs within bioscience, the industry is an indirect…

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Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

Pew’s Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis presents 50-state data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic indicators and analyzes their impact on states’ long-term fiscal health. Drill down into state finances in five core areas.

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Employment Rates Inch Closer to Prerecession Levels

The U.S. employment rate for adults of prime working age has been rising for four years, and the number of states with lower employment rates than before the Great Recession has been shrinking. Despite these signs of improvement, however, the labor market had not completely recovered from the economic downturn by mid-2015.

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Report says Wisconsin’s bioscience industry needs better marketing

Now, with a new leader heading BioForward, Wisconsin bioscience industry hopes to aggressively market its benefits to the state.

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MATC free tuition plan came together quickly despite ambitious funding needs

In January, President Barack Obama’s pitch for a national free community college tuition program intrigued Milwaukee Area Technical College president Vicki Martin. Four months later, a presentation at a conference on its inspiration — the “Tennessee Promise”— had her hooked.

She returned from the conference energized at the possibilities.

“I couldn’t talk about anything else when I got back,” Martin told the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Those comments followed Wednesday morning’s announcement…

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Job openings at 15-year high, including 86,700 listed in Wisconsin

The nation recorded its highest number of job openings in 15 years in July, and Wisconsin is among states where positions are going unfilled.

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Barry real estate firm drops ‘DTZ’ in wake of national firm’s merger with Cushman & Wakefield

In the wake of DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield’s national merger, Milwaukee real estate executive Jim Barry said his firm will rebrand itself from DTZ Barry to Barry Co.

Barry, president of the newly rebranded company, said clients wanted the firm to keep the family name.

“Due to the ongoing merger and consolidation activity in the national commercial real estate market, we had been through three rebranding processes with national affiliates in the past several years and were facing the possibility…

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Rebecca Kleefisch to lead trade mission to Japan and Taiwan

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch will lead an eight-day Wisconsin trade mission to Japan and Taiwan this month, state officials said Thursday.

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State giving millions to broadband providers to expand in rural areas

Without government assistance, broadband providers say, they couldn’t afford to extend the service to sparsely populated areas of Wisconsin.

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Allcast plans $14 million expansion, will add up to 88 jobs

An aluminum die-casting manufacturer in Washington County will announce a $14 million expansion Friday that’s projected to create up to 88 jobs.

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Property values in Wisconsin increase for second year, report says

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says property values statewide have risen for a second year.

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Gov. Scott Walker signs 2015-17 state budget into law

A day before he officially launches his campaign for president, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the state’s nearly $73 billion budget for 2015-2017 into law, using his veto powers to alter items nearly twice as many times as he has before. In signing the long-awaited state budget in Waukesha, Walker altered 104 items using the line-item veto. In one case, he removed language that would have limited required drug-testing for food stamp recipients only to cases in which the state had “reasonable…

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Gov. ​Scott Walker makes presidential bid official – on Twitter

The Milwaukee Business Journal will be in Waukesha for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s big announcement tonight, but the news is already out on social media. Walker broke the story himself in an early a.m. post Monday, declaring on Twitter, “I’m running for President of the United States to fight and win for the American people.” Not that the news comes as a shock. Walker has been all but officially campaigning for the 2016 Republican nomination since January. What is unusual is the timing. Rather…

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State business survival strong

While Wisconsin has taken its lumps of late for being among the nation’s lowest-ranked states for company startups, the picture looks a lot better when company “survivorship” is measured.

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Fundamentals moving U.S. economy remain strong: Bloomberg (Video)

Christopher Grisanti, founder of Grisanti Capital Management, puts himself firmly on the side of optimists assessing the short-term future of the U.S. economy.

Grisanti expects a hike in interest rates, and views China’s economic struggles as a potential threat.

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Work continues to shrink skills gap in Wisconsin

Team Industries Inc., a Kaukauna provider of precision-welded steel pipes, is finishing up a multiphase expansion that includes the addition of 135 jobs, and it has filled those skilled positions through a combination of educational partnerships, company-hosted job fairs and work with a local union. Team Industries president John Panetti said the company also relies on apprenticeships to find and train the highly skilled workers the company needs. The efforts are necessary because of the tough competition…

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State Tax Revenue Hits New High, but 27 States Still Lag Behind

Nationally, total state tax revenue continued its recovery from the Great Recession, ending 2014 at its highest level ever. But the state-by-state picture is far more mixed. Adjusted for inflation, tax receipts in 27 states had not fully rebounded by the fourth quarter of 2014.

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Home Cooking Propels Regal Ware

BizTimes: Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin Business News | BizTimes
When I hear the words “West Bend Cookware by Regal Ware,” the first image that comes to mind is my grandmother’s old stainless steel oblong slow cooker that created many heavenly Sunday dinners over the years.  Click here to read entire article.

Economic Development FAQ’s

Understanding what economic development tax incentives are—and what they are not—is essential to measuring the results of these policies and making informed choices about the use of them. Decisions about the usefulness of these incentives, their design, and costs depend on a clear sense of their purpose, as well as the risks of deploying them.

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Walker approves speed limit increase to 70 miles per hour

Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday signed a bill adding 5 miles per hour to the state’s maximum speed limit, which will allow drivers to go 70 in areas deemed safe by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The change is expected first in areas currently posted at 65 miles per hour, and will not take effect until the DOT changes the speed limit signs. The speed limit increase cleared the Legislature this year even though, in prior years, attempts to increase the limit were unsuccessful. Groups…

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Manpower says skill shortage continues

Milwaukee-based Manpower has conducted its annual “talent shortage survey” for the past 10 years and during that decade, “the one constant is that talent shortages continue unabated,” chief executive Jonas Prising said.

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Historic tax credit supporters take their case to Madison to oppose limits

Supporters of the state’s tax credit program to restore historic buildings are mounting a full-court press against proposed limits to the program that the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee may soon consider. The state doubled the tax credit amount in 2013, to be worth 20 percent of the cost of restoring a historic building. That has caused a spike in the awards. The state last year awarded more than $35 million in tax credits, and between January and March of this year awarded $34 million more…

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Economic Development Incentives: How to Measure Results

Each year, states collectively spend billions of dollars on economic development incentives. Are they worth the price? The answer isn’t always obvious. By asking key questions, states can evaluate incentive programs and provide the evidence policymakers demand.

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Hank Meijer explains why Wisconsin stores are critical to Michigan expansion

Opening stores in Wisconsin will enable Meijer to keep expanding in Northern Michigan and the state’s upper peninsula, co-chairman Hank Meijer said. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based chain is opening its first four Wisconsin locations in the Milwaukee area this summer, and intends to keep growing. Its latest foray is into West Bend, where officials say the grocery superstore chain is exploring locations. All that has a ripple effect on Meijer’s home-state to the north, Hank Meijer said. For more on…

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Business Ready WI – 2015 Annual Conference

Theme: Powering Economic Growth through Investment, Innovation, and Workforce Save the date: October 6th, 2015 WBMI Prairie Center, West Bend

WisBusiness: The Show features WEDC’s Tricia Braun

MADISON – This episode features Tricia Braun, vice president of economic and community development at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., discussing the agency’s recruitment and attraction strategies for 2015.

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Washington County launches workforce program

To combat a severe labor shortage that could sweep through Washington County within the next decade, the Washington County Economic Development Corporation (EDWC) has created a new program that will package customized workforce solutions for individual businesses.  Complete Article

Gabelmann Joins EDWC Team as Business Services Director


Economic Development Washington County announced today that it has hired Julie Gabelmann to serve as its first Business Services Director. This move marks the organization’s expansion into new areas of specialized, high-impact solutions for growth-oriented businesses large and small in Washington County. Click here for entire release: NewBusinessServicesDirector_EDWCNewsRelease_2015-01


Direct marketing firm to sell Regal Ware in China

A century-old cookware manufacturer based in Kewaskum said it will sign a deal next week to sell products through a firm in China that does direct marketing to consumers, like Amway Corp. or Mary Kay Cosmetics in the United States. (View entire article here)

Focus on Energy shifting to loans rather than grants

Grants for renewable energy projects in Wisconsin will continue to exist, but the program could shift to one providing all loans in the years ahead.

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Wisconsin is one of top states in biotech job growth, report shows

Consider a few numbers from a recent report on U.S. biotechnology:

Wisconsin was one of 12 states to gain at least 1,000 jobs in the biotech and life sciences field between 2007 and 2012 Wisconsin had nearly 31,800 jobs and nearly 1,400 businesses in the bioscience industry in 2012

The numbers highlight a new report that shows Wisconsin’s bioscience industry is not only sizable, but also growing. The report also paints Madison as a hub in many speciality areas.

For more on that report and from…

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U.S. EPA Brownfields Grant Awarded to Washington County

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that Washington County will receive a Brownfield Assessment grant totaling $600,000.

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WEDA Best Practices: Kerry Inc. Business Expansion

Jackson, WI – $14.5 million expansion of the existing production facility, adding 119,000 square feet and growing employment by approximately 60 new full-time jobs above the 125 persons currently employed there.

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