BUSINESS-READY. LIFE-READY.

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

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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Republicans reach deal to end Wisconsin budget impasse

Republican leaders have reached an agreement on a new state budget, opting to split out as separate bills the contentious proposals for financing a proposed new downtown Milwaukee arena and changes to the state’s prevailing wage law. Those two issues had contributed to delays in reaching a new state budget. Another issue, transportation funding, was also part of the agreement, but a compromise was reached that kept the road construction funds in the larger state budget bill. Legislative leaders…

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Gov. Walker optimistic on negotiating Zoo Interchange, road-building deal

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he is optimistic the state Legislature will resolve differences on the state’s road-building budget, including providing funds to complete the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee County. Some out-state Republican legislators have questioned continued payments toward the $1.7 billion Milwaukee road project while cutting state road projects in other sections of Wisconsin. A group of 33 Republican state Assembly representatives sent a letter Monday to Walker stating that…

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Public transit can accelerate development, officials say

Business and transportation officials from Minneapolis and Cleveland told a forum Tuesday that transit projects have been a boon for their economies.

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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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Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health.

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Wisconsin legislators propose strengthening ‘noncompete’ agreements

Supporters say the bill would help Wisconsin lure more business by limiting the ability of employees to move to competing firms. Opponents say the bill would hurt workers and hinder innovation.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker schedules business trip to Canada

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and representatives of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will travel to Canada June 12 to 17 to drum up more business with the state’s top export partner.

This will be Walker’s third trade mission of the year, following journeys to England in February and mainland Europe in April. His trip to Israel last month was primarily a political venture, one viewed as a visit to help boost his foreign policy credentials for a possible run for U.S. president.

The trip…

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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.

WEDA May/June 2015 News

Eighty-one members participated in a recent WEDA member survey conducted on May 27, 2015. Survey participants identified the greatest obstacles to advancing economic development efforts in Wisconsin.  The results are as follows:

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Bucking GOP leadership, Assembly panel to take up prevailing wage law

The fight over the prevailing wage law highlights the way the state’s increasingly conservative Legislature is acting independently of Republican Party leaders.

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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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Sales, marketing careers have highest growth in Wisconsin

Sales and marketing are projected to be among the fastest growing job sectors in Wisconsin over the next five years. The skills and training needed are as varied as the jobs, with pay that ranges from $18,000 annually for positions like cashiers to more than $100,000 for sales managers. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development projects the number of jobs in sales to increase 31 percent from 2010 to 2020. Likewise, market research analysts and marketing specialists are among the occupations…

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Wisconsin’s economic growth agency has always faced scrutiny

Long before the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. was created, state efforts to attract and retain companies and jobs wound up in the cross hairs of controversy.

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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

January 2015: Three Year Framework Plan for the WEDA

Over the past quarter, the WEDA board and staff have worked diligently to build a framework for the Association to implement over the next three years. It is our hope that this framework of goals will allow the Association to explore and implement new partnerships and collaborations that will enhance our member’s economic development outcomes.

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Scott Walker proposes way for ‘real life experience’ to qualify for teaching license

Gov. Scott Walker may try to satisfy the need for more educators with a new way of assigning teaching licenses to people with experience in certain subjects. The idea could be part of Walker’s upcoming biennial budget proposal. It would give people a three-year, renewable teaching license if they have real-world experience in an academic subject and a bachelor’s degree. The proposal could help satisfy the demand for college graduates who can teach classes in applied technology, health sciences and…

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Gabelmann Joins EDWC Team as Business Services Director

JulieGabelmannWeb

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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