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

Unemployment rate drops to 4.4%

BizTimes: Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin Business News – BizTimes//

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate declined to 4.4 percent in April, down from 4.6 percent in March, according to preliminary estimates released today by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

The figure is Wisconsin’s lowest since April 2008. It was also below the national April unemployment rate of 5.4 percent.

The DWD based its statistics on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics report, which is obtained through a monthly survey of about 3.5 percent of Wisconsin employers. The CES is often subject to revision.

“The state’s unemployment rate remains well below the national rate and its year-over-year decline is significant. Also significant are the year-over-year increases in manufacturing and construction jobs, which further demonstrate our state’s economy is strong and continuing to add jobs,” said Reggie Newson, secretary of the DWD.

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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Takeaways from Gov. Scott Walker’s $68B budget address

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fleshed out his 2015-17 budget proposal Tuesday, adding to previously announced plans for funding a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks and a proposed $300 million two-year cut to the University of Wisconsin System. The two-year plan, unveiled before the state Legislature Tuesday evening, also covered new territory. Walker called it his “Freedom and Prosperity” proposal, and delivered the details in under 30 minutes. Not mentioned in his speech, although included in the…

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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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Glenroy acquires PF Flexibles from PolyFirst

Menomonee Falls-based Glenroy Inc. recently acquired Hartford-based PF Flexibles, formerly known as Pouch Converting Technologies Inc. , from Hartford-based PolyFirst Packaging Inc.

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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


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


WEDA Statement on Potential Merger of WEDC and WHEDA

MADISON – In response to the State of the State address, the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) is encouraged by Governor Walker’s proposed merger between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). This proposal is aligned with previous economic development policies and related WEDA programming initiatives that have been announced within Wisconsin since 2010.

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On Wisconsin event celebrates Wisconsin businesses: Slideshow

Several hundred Milwaukee-area business executives filled the Wisconsin Club in downtown Milwaukee Jan. 16 to celebrate Wisconsin businesses as part of the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin’s On: Wisconsin, The Success of Wisconsin Business event. Check out the attached slideshow to see photos from the event. The event included remarks by Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and other business leaders. A panel discussion that followed included Jay Schauer, CFO of Allen Edmonds Corp.;…

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Meet Tom Held, the Milwaukee Business Journal’s new manufacturing reporter

I am pleased to let all of our readers know that we have hired veteran Milwaukee journalist Tom Held to cover manufacturing, travel and tourism for the Milwaukee Business Journal. Tom, who will be joining us on Tuesday, spent more than 25 years with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covering politics, education, transportation and business. He left the paper in 2011. He has spent the last three years as a freelancer, including as a writer for the Milwaukee Business Journal. He also wrote for The Chronicle…

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Cambridge Major Laboratories plans $20 million expansion

Cambridge Major’s expansion will include a new administrative headquarters, as well as additions to its research and development and manufacturing capacity in Germantown.

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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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In Wisconsin, the money’s on manufacturing

Industry is a powerhouse in Wisconsin, representing about 20% of all jobs. But manufacturing is pulling in considerably more than 20% of all state business incentives.

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Manufacturers scramble to fill jobs, struggle to recruit women

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, but the number of women in manufacturing has been on the decline even as companies clamor for more talent at all levels.

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The Wisconsin Economic Development Association and the Brownfields Study Group

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association and the Brownfields Study Group

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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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