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Defining Economic Development in Wisconsin

Survey of Local Economic Development Organizations 2011 Completed jointly by WEDI and UW-Extension, this study replicates one done in 2002-2003. The survey was designed to help describe and quantify the amount of economic development effort at the local level in the state. The survey looked at budgets, funding sources, staffing, salaries, and more. July 2011 (500K) PDF (PDF File)

A white paper, entitled: "A Short History of Economic Development in Wisconsin and the Rise of Professional Economic Development" produced for Wisconsin Economic Summit I, November 2000. 
(129K PDF File).

For the UW Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a study and survey of economic development practitioners in Wisconsin and what they do to foster the growth of high-potential new firms. "Facilitating Entrepreneurial Growth Companies in Wisconsin". (Completed January 2002)  (174K PDF File).

Regional Economic Development Collaboration: Wisconsin's Experience. Regional collaboration has been advocated as a highly useful tool to address economic development issues. Economic developers in Wisconsin have long been involved in these collaborative efforts. A survey conducted by the Wisconsin Economic Development association (WEDA) shows that a majority of economic development practitioners belong to such groups, usually more than one covering multiple counties. October 2003. (PDF File)

"Survey of Local Economic Development Organizations." Results of a survey designed to describe and quantify the amount of economic development effort at the local level in Wisconsin. December 2003.
(516K PDF File)

Produced for WEDA (the Wisconsin Economic Development Association) (Completed 5/20/02) a brochure describing the reasons for participating in ED: "What is Economic Development or Why the Buck ($) Starts Here"

Economic Development How-To

Underwriting for Economic Development Projects June 2013 (409K PDF File) This paper studies revolving loan funds (RLFs) in Wisconsin by surveying the users as to how they employed standard financial institution underwriting practices. This study finds that the use of underwriting by RLF administrators follows no consistent process as is used by financial institutions. That is to say that while different RLF entities use an extensive array of qualifying measures, the use of financial criteria in qualifying an applicant, and its monitoring after the loan is closed is quite variant. Further, the study found enforcement of eligibility criteria-social, economic and financial-is far from consistently uniform.

A Guide to Preparing the Economic Development Element of a Comprehensive Plan (Smart Growth) August, 2003. (399K PDF File). An eight-member advisory committee comprised of state and local (urban and rural) government, utility company, education and trade association economic development managers, most of them Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) members, wrote the Handbook.

Wisconsin's land-use planning law (commonly called the Smart Growth Initiative) applies to all local government entities (cities, villages, towns, counties and regional planning commissions). By January 1, 2010, all incorporations, annexations, boundary changes, plat approvals and zoning ordinances -- essentially all land use regulation -- must be consistent with the adopted comprehensive plan. The statute specifies nine required elements in each comprehensive plan, as a minimum. One of the specified elements is economic development.

A white paper, "Measuring Economic Development Return on Investment (ROI): Wisconsin Models," produced for Economic Summit III, October 2002.  (78K PDF File)

"Using Labor Market Information to Understand Your Local Economy: A Wisconsin Cookbook" is online! What data should we use to analyze our labor market, where do we find the data, and how do we make sense of it? The Cookbook is intended to answer these questions. The guide provides an overview of labor market analysis, a list of prepared labor market reports for Wisconsin and its communities, and ends with a "cookbook" approach to performing your own labor market analysis. The appendices provide more information on data sources including descriptions, uses, and limitations, and a glossary of commonly used labor market terms. July 2004 - Revised August 2006 (878Kb PDF File)

Economic Development Impact Studies

"Feasibility Analysis: Creation of a Wood Technologist Program at NC Technical College." This proposal considers creating a Wood Technologist Program at North Central Technical College (NCTC) in Antigo and examines the financial feasibility of the initiative. This publication was produced in conjunction with the Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED), U.W. Extension. Sept. 2006 (688.9 KB PDF File)

"The Growing Threat to Economic Development: Wisconsin's Immediate and Critical Need for Legal Reform." Produced for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA), this paper analyzes Wisconsin's recent elevation of "litigation atmosphere" (or "tort climate") to the top of the list of economic development issues facing the state. Sept. 2006 (203.4 KB PDF File)

"Whither Combined Reporting- An Economic Development Viewpoint" After 25 years, combined reporting for multi-state corporations is again being discussed in Wisconsin. This report was produced for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association's (WEDA), legislative agenda. Feb. 2008 (636.7 KB PDF File)

"Evaluation of Forest Products Industry Cluster in Wisconsin and Recommendations for Economic Development Actions" identifies and defines this cluster as highly important to the economic health of local communities and the state. Analysis and economic development action plans based on industry clusters have become very popular in recent years. The report also provides an action plan based on this cluster for fostering business success and achieving sustainable economic development in Wisconsin. October 2004. (1,586K PDF File)

"Laborshed Analysis for Economic Development." The goals of this report are to outline the data economic developers need to identify laborsheds and to show how to use that information for an economic development analysis of a local economy. July 2004.  (1.67MB PDF File)

Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) & Economic Development: Combining Infrastructure Investment & Community Growth Needs. TIF is an economic development tool widely used by Wisconsin communities. This tool is used to make investments to foster business development and job creations. May 2005. (66.1 KB PDF File)

"The Economic Development Impact of Annexation" Annexations are the most common form of boundary changes between minor civil divisions. For such an often-controversial process, relatively little is known about its economic development impacts. This report provides a summary of such impacts in Wisconsin. (January 2005) (687K PDF File)

Wisconsin's Insurance Industry, This report looks at Wisconsin's insurance industry cluster, with a special focus on property and casualty insurance companies. A well-paying major employer in Wisconsin, the industry represents the 6th largest concentration of insurers in the U.S. A leading export-base industry, Wisconsin companies had nationwide billings over $52 billion in 2004. October 2006. (31.5 KB PDF File)

"Wisconsin's Forest Products Industry 2004 Business Climate Status Report"  Prepared for the Center for Technology Transfer (CTT), this report presents the status of business incentives for the forest products industry and environmental permit requirement processes for the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. A two-page summary is also available. April 2004.
Full Report  (1.4 MB PDF File)
Summary  (280 KB PDF File)

A task force of WDNR, UW and several community development organizations, produced a forest products industry promotional brochure for Forward Wisconsin's use in marketing the state to potential investors. "Wisconsin's Forest Products: A Cut Above." (Completed 12/02)  (518K PDF File).

Wisconsin Land Use Megatrends: Forests. This publication illustrates statewide land use trends related to Wisconsin's forested lands. Produced by the Center for Land Use Education at UW Stevens Point, WEDI was one of several contributors to writing the report. July 2005. (1.46 MB PDF File)

Economic Development and Early Childhood

Economic Development and Early Childhood Describes the relationship between early care and education and economic development in Wisconsin. Defines the economic sector, describes potential roles for employers and provides some insight into the relationship between early learning and workforce development. January 2006. (PDF File)

Early Childhood and Economic Development: A Brief Synopsis of Research Reports Pertinent to Wisconsin A brief guide for economic developers to the economic impact literature of early childhood as it can be applied to Wisconsin. These studies document the three general ways in which early childhood care and economic development are related. January 2006. (PDF File)

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