Just one "Note" this week Please Share or Publish!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Eight years ago Governor Walker entered office with a slightly flawed proposal for a high speed rail corridor from Chicago to Minneapolis sitting on his desk. He stopped the project – that was a mistake. We now know that the “New Commerce” needs a low cost, high speed, coast to coast delivery system for goods and this piece of the puzzle would have put Wisconsin at the top of list for distribution not to mention new manufacturing and assembly opportunities. Governor Walker could have ensured the rail system was used to help Wisconsin businesses by implementing a few adjustments to the original proposal – he did not.

Today newly elected Governor Evers will find a flawed economic development corporation (WEDC) sitting on his desk. He is proposing eliminating the entity – that would be a mistake. To compete for jobs and encourage new companies to come to Wisconsin we need an organization that can both shepherd them through the process and offer State and local incentives that will help them build, expand and hire new employees while still benefiting the local community and the State. Tony Evers has a real opportunity to change WEDC for the better – he may not.

WEDC needs to change and I have written about these changes before, but eliminating the organization and returning the functions to the even more bureaucratic departments of Commerce and Administration – would be a mistake. At this point I am tempted to simply insert the article I wrote six years ago and I promise it would stand up today. Instead I will offer just a few observations and suggestions that I hope someone will pass along.

First we need to bring an economic development team to the entire state. Today we have independent professionals in most counties and major cities. I propose that these non-government employees become a part of a truly independent WEDC. Salaries and benefits would be paid in part by the local communities and in part by WEDC. (A note to Tony: This would be equivalent to the CESA or UW Extension systems now used by schools and local government). These professionals would work locally but would come to Madison regularly to develop strategies and learn all the tools at their disposal.

Next we need to recreate and redistribute the tools. Tax incremental finance laws need to be rewritten to mirror how they are actually used successfully today. We need to remove the politics from new jobs tax credits and make these credits available to all growing companies who are willing to work with the State and local communities and pay a good wage.  Finally we need to track and facilitate the distribution of thousands of other benefits and programs. From federal Community Development Block Grants and Small Business Development Programs to local development programs, there are funds available that will require a unified effort to track, apply for and administer.

We also need to track and control our efforts. A simple database of every company, incentives received, taxable value on brick and mortar and number of new employees should be easy to create and maintain. The current WEDC sent me a spreadsheet with some of this data and then got upset when I reported that they had given millions to a company who failed to move to Wisconsin.  Speaking of failure, we need to tie all of our incentives to measurable objectives. Doing this correctly will not require claw-backs, lawsuits, and vanishing funds. We also need to partner with banks, angel investors, and “Mr. Wonderful of Shark Tank” to bring the expertise they offer to the table. If these entities do not see the value in a proposal we should take that as a hint that we may not want to invest either.

So here is the challenge. Governor Evers, you can be political and remove a flawed WEDC and return our economic development efforts to the hundreds of disjointed entities currently in place – or you can be be a public servant and unify our efforts across the State to actually support the businesses that will provide jobs that will generate the taxes you need to accomplish your greater agenda. Do you build the railroad or derail the train???

Ken Harwood
Editor and Publisher WisconsinDevelopment.com
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WEDC, DPI and My Thoughts...
This op-ed is about the WEDC but you will need to get to the end of my story to find out  how. In the 90’s I served on a school board for 8 years, and was active at both the State and Local levels. I was an advocate for students first, faculty and staff second, and taxpayers (my actual bosses) third. I took all these responsibilities very seriously and to the best of my ability equally. Education was served and managed then, as it is now, by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). I believe education was well served.

That said, the DPI on more than one occasion drove me crazy. I felt the DPI supported teacher mandates, property tax increases, and often, I felt they placed the student lower on their priority list than they should have. They were in charge of implementing hundreds of federal mandates (the Title Programs), grants and special funding. All of this came with strings and complexities that made being a public servant challenging and the DPI very very necessary and often even more frustrating.

During my tenure I served on the School Board Association`s  State Legislative committee and we often debated the role of DPI and the State Superintendent and whether the State legislature and governor should have more control. One of my favorite memories from that period was anytime I got to sit in a room where both Bert Grover and Tommy Thompson were both at the table. What I learned was that it was not easy being in either position. They discussed, argued, and even fought – but in the end they most often compromised and the student, teacher, taxpayer triumvirate was well served. We had one of the best public education systems in the nation. I voted to maintain this separation of church and state -- even though it often made my job on the school board more complicated.

Today we are dealing with an educational system where the triumvirate balance has been disturbed by a non compromising legislature and the business system has been challenged by a new administration promising change. Now the DPI and WEDC will both need to change moving forward. The challenge is to remember the balance in the mix. We as a government must administer the complexity of the system: Taxes, Mandates, Local Government, Rules and Regulations, Grants, Leadership, Communication and Support.

I do not see this going well and already the legislature has jumped into full battle mode with special legislative session that will not serve businesses as much as it will agitate the incumbent who has said he will challenge this in court.

Moving forward my crystal ball suggests that for the next four years any increased funding for DPI or Local Schools will not survive even the finance committee much less the legislature. I also predict that any business or economic development support items inserted into the budget will be line item vetoed by the new Governor. I do not see any winners in this new scenario, but I know students and business will not fare well. Taxpayers will get less and pay more, and “Public Servants” are a dying breed.

I miss Bert and Tommy...

Ken Harwood

Advocate for Wisconsin, ED professional, former Mayor, former School Board Member and Editor of this publication....

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Ken Notes: This may reprinted, edited or shared without any further permissions...

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WEDC chief hopes Evers keeps job-creation agency in place

It’s not clear whether outgoing Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will remain intact, but the public-private job creation agency’s chief is making a case to keep it running.

Mark Hogan, the agency’s secretary and CEO, told reporters Tuesday in Beloit that he’s reaching out to Gov.-elect Tony Evers’ transition team to persuade Evers that the 7-year-old agency—known as WEDC—has hit its stride and should remain the state’s main jobs organization.

Hogan’s statements come as Evers signaled last week that he will propose a plan to dissolve the organization. He hasn’t given details on how he might replace the partially taxpayer-funded agency, but he has said he was considering reverting back to the former state Department of Commerce...

Ken Harwood: Don`t kill WEDC — make it better

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Ken Notes: First thank you to all the media outlets that ran or will run my editorial on the subject. Second Mark could propose many positive options that would help now! I would start with a proposal to bring local ED professionals into State or partial State employment. Working with the counties and large cities would be a huge first step. Paul, Dick, Mark and others have had to work in a very partisan political bubble. We have a few weeks to work across the isle to get things realigned. Remember I also wrote Only thing worse than WEDC is no WEDC.

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Evers confirms plans to dissolve public-private jobs agency

Evers calls for public economic development agency to replace semi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Gov.-elect Tony Evers confirmed Tuesday he will attempt to dissolve a jobs agency created by Gov. Scott Walker.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is a public-private jobs agency that works with partners statewide to develop the workforce in Wisconsin.

In an email to The Badger Herald, WEDC secretary and CEO Mark Hogan said the agency wants Evers to fully understand the work WEDC does throughout the state...

brought standards and shared expertise

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Ken Notes: There are well over 100 public economic development agencies NOW. What Evers proposes is like suggesting we should eliminate the Department of Public Instruction and let the 426 schools districts form an independent State agency. There are too many issues that require state input and participation. Federal Grants, Tax Credits, Property Tax Laws, Ag Grants and Programs and hundreds more require some State oversight and administration. There is also the very sore subject of tracking and administering programs we have in place now.

Just returning these to "State Government" means we will have dozens of departments serving thousands of customers with little or no knowledge of what others are doing. WEDC was not good at aligning all of this in the past, but the situation will be far worse without any centralized effort. Dr. Evers brought standards and shared expertise to the 426 school districts he now needs to develop a department that will do the same for our 440,763 small businesses not to mention the big ones.

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Eight former economic development directors tell lawmakers not to change job creation board
MADISON - Eight former heads of the state`s job-creation efforts — including two appointed by outgoing Gov. Scott Walker — are urging Republican lawmakers to drop a lame-duck plan to change who appoints the head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

"If the head of WEDC isn’t a trusted, even central, part of the governor’s cabinet, the whole economic development enterprise will suffer. And so will Wisconsin’s economy," the eight wrote in a lengthy statement released Tuesday.

"The Legislature shouldn’t strip the governor’s power to appoint the quarterback of the economic development team. And if they do, Governor Walker should veto it."...
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Ken Notes: I may have started something, and these people are correct. That said, the new Governor needs to put politics aside as well and commit to reshaping WEDC into a great organization for Wisconsin. I have been writing about this for 6 years beginning with the creation of the organization and to be honest neither party has paid much attention or been interested in the real heart of the matter. Instead they use this as political fodder to create press and political contributions.

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Editorial: Once again, it`s time for Wisconsin citizens to let politicians know who`s the boss

Wisconsin citizens elected a new governor and attorney general in November.

Now, leaders of the state Senate and Assembly intend to rush through bills that would reduce the authority of the incoming elected leaders while raising taxpayer costs. They want to pass them as soon as Tuesday, in an extraordinary session, so that Gov. Scott Walker can sign the new rules into law before leaving office in January.  Details just came out Friday, with the first public discussion in the Capitol on Monday and a potential vote by Tuesday.

The bill includes plans to lower voter turnout by adding a third statewide election in the spring of 2020, even though it will cost taxpayers millions of additional dollars and local election officials have come out strongly against it...

...Each of these three leaders can stop this anti-democratic power grab on his own. If you think they should stop it, let them know immediately:

Gov. Scott Walker:
(608) 266-1212, govgeneral@wisconsin.gov, walker.wi.gov/contact-us

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos:
(608) 266-9171, Rep.Vos@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald:
(608) 266-5660, Sen.Fitzgerald@legis.wisconsin.gov

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Ken Notes: To be honest this will not be stopped by our emails or editorials. I do have a solution though... Governor Elect Evers should publicly declare he will line item veto every partisan item in the budget(s) until their is a bipartisan position on economic development, education, and health care on his desk...

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Ayres Associates

Landscape Architecture, Planning, Architecture, Engineering...

Please see our blog here for updates... .

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Foxconn’s Smart Cities competition draws 325 entries

First round winners to be determined by Dec. 11

The first round of Foxconn Technology Group’s Smart Cities, Smart Futures competition prompted 325 entries from students, faculty and staff at higher education institutions in Wisconsin.

Foxconn announced earlier this year it would provide up to $1 million in awards over three years through the competition, soliciting entries from the University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin technical colleges and private colleges and universities.

Entries for the first round were submitted in October and up to 100 winners will be selected to receive a $500 cash prize and an invitation to the competition’s second round. Around $200,000 in prizes will be awarded over three rounds of competition.

Submissions in the first round included ideas to use technology to address challenges in education, health care, transportation and housing, a company press release said...

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New plan to bring military service members to Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- State officials on Wednesday announced a new initiative to encourage veterans and retiring service members to bring their families to Wisconsin after their service.

The "Mission Wisconsin" initiative is a partnership between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The initiative is aimed at helping employers recruit service members into the workforce.

Employers can accompany teams of state officials to transition summits around the country and abroad. At these summits, they will be able to talk to service members who are getting ready to retire and talk to them about the benefits of living and working in Wisconsin...

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Ken Notes: On a related topic, I would like to be the first State in the nation to use stick built micro/small homes and villages to promise that no veteran will ever be homeless in Wisconsin. In fact I challenge ever architect, and builder in the state to design a $10,000 dollar structure that would offer shelter, ownership, and comfort for those who served.

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OPINION: City must get Judge Doyle Square right -- Michael M. Miller

No matter how negotiations over Judge Doyle Square work out between the Madison City Council and the developer, one priority should remain: The Judge Doyle Square project should be very appealing to the eye and not a monstrosity.

This land is too valuable -- in an aesthetic and community sense, not an economic sense -- to be squandered. Madison has a chance to create something worth looking at and using, even a destination to walk or drive to.

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Ken Notes: One more time - Shake hands and make nice with the developers. If we do not they have a myriad of ways to take expenses out of the project and we will not like ANY of them.

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Job, promotion prospects for UW graduates look favorable for foreseeable future

With economy improving since Great Recessions and older generations retiring, UW graduates in good position for finding work

In light of favorable unemployment numbers and economic growth prospects in Wisconsin and throughout the country, economists are saying the job market is favorable for college graduates.

In Wisconsin, the unemployment is at 3 percent for the ninth month in a row, a state record. Additionally, private sector jobs are up by 32,000 from the previous year.


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Ken Notes: In light of what is happening I hope we continue to explore options to keep grads in the state. I have a plan from 2006 that I lost but the LaCrosse Tribune kept! Thanks guys!!!

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Cap Times` Evjue Foundation announces $720,800 in grants for Dane County nonprofits

The Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of The Capital Times, has announced additional 2018 grants totaling $720,800 to 56 nonprofits in Dane County.

The latest contributions add to $1,594,000 worth of grants made in the spring, bringing total giving during 2018 to more than $2.3 million, all made possible by the will of William T. Evjue. He founded the Cap Times on Dec. 13, 1917, and led the newspaper until his death in 1970.

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Ken Notes: I like this story every year!

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Fate Of Kimberly-Clark Deal Uncertain In Wisconsin Senate

Fitzgerald: Votes Aren`t There For $70M Tax Incentives Package

The fate of a roughly $70 million tax incentives package for consumer products company Kimberly-Clark Corp. remains uncertain at the state Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Tuesday.

Under the proposal from Gov. Scott Walker, the company would receive up to about $70 million in payroll and construction tax credits over 15 years. The package is aimed at preserving about 400 jobs at Kimberly-Clark`s Cold Spring facility in Fox Crossing near Neenah. The company announced plans to close that and another nearby facility in January. 

Fitzgerald said several Republican senators do not support the plan, which means it would need votes from Senate Democrats to pass.

"The votes are not there as of today," he said Tuesday...


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Ken Notes: One more time why not offer a package of 10% for new build out in TIF and 2K for 10 Years for NEW employees and then extend the offer to every business in the State. KC may leave but you will have 10`s of thousands of new jobs to fill the gap.

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Wisconsin`s Brookfield Square mall to get WhirlyBall entertainment center

WhirlyBall has started construction on a two-story entertainment venue and restaurant in the Brookfield Square mall at 95 Mooreland Road in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

WhirlyBall will feature indoor entertainment paired with a full-service restaurant

The two-story 45,000-square-foot entertainment center will feature two WhirlyBall courts on the ground level. WhirlyBall is a combination of lacrosse and bumper cars played by two teams of five. The space will also house eight bowling lanes, a four-lane VIP bowling suite and a multi-level LaserTag arena.

Watch the WhirlyBall Video Here.

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Ken Notes: Destination Experience, Destination Experience, Destination Experience I have a nice little presentation on this if your group is interested. The video is crazy....

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Madison officials embrace Fleet Services building for Public Market

With land costs too high to put a $13.2 million Madison Public Market on East Washington Avenue, city officials are embracing an option to reuse the nearby city Fleet Services building for the market.

Mayor Paul Soglin announced Monday that the city is dropping its bid to acquire land to build the market as part of a coming private redevelopment of the Washington Square shopping center at the corner of First Street and East Washington.

“A decision like this is a 100-year decision,” Soglin said at a press conference at the Fleet Services building Monday morning. “It’s very important we get it right.”..

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Ken Notes: I sort of agree... Public Private??? RFP for design to reuse building???

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Krupp looks to build apartments on Atwood with public parking, if he can get TIF

A new proposal would turn a parking lot on Atwood Avenue into a mixed-use development, enlivening the space and providing 76 units of housing. 

Developer Joe Krupp wants his project to include public parking for businesses in the Schenk`s Corners area, including restaurants and bars, but it`s unclear if he`ll have the funding to make that parking a reality. 

Krupp is proposing a four-story building at 1936 and 1938 Atwood Ave. The property at 1938 Atwood Ave. is a large surface parking lot serving nearby Monona State Bank at 1965 Atwood Ave. and SARA Investment Real Estate at 1955 Atwood Ave. The 1936 Atwood Ave. property contains a house “cut up into some apartments” that would be demolished, Krupp said...

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Ken Notes: One more time, we should rewrite TIF laws allowing communities to work with individual projects in the entities (Schools, Tech, City, County) agree and a signed development agreement is in place guaranteeing value for life if project...

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Wisconsin Has Never Seen Anything Like This

Republicans carried out their plan to strip authority from the incoming Democratic governor, and what was remarkable was how little disagreement there was about why they did it.

In the early-morning hours Wednesday, Republicans in control of the Wisconsin legislature carried out their plan to neuter the Democrats whom the state’s voters elected to lead them scarcely a month ago.

In party-line votes, Republicans passed legislation to limit the ability of the incoming governor, Tony Evers, and attorney general, Josh Kaul, to deliver on their campaign promises to protect the Affordable Care Act, expand infrastructure spending, and overhaul the state’s economic-development agency. They dramatically scaled back early voting in Wisconsin, and across a range of areas, they shifted power from the state’s executive branch—to be administered by Democrats come January—back to the GOP-controlled legislature...

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Ken Notes: I have nothing positive to say. Oh wait I am an advocate for a State that is in self destruct mode...

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Model of dysfunction

UW-Madison’s Discovery To Product program was launched in 2013 asking the still vital question: What could be done to bring the great breakthroughs produced by the nation’s sixth largest research university to the broader public?

Historically, these advances have done everything from transform Wisconsin agriculture to produce life-saving medical and health advances. That’s the sacrosanct Wisconsin Idea of spreading the university’s best work far and wide. Such beneficence has also produced a veritable fortune in patenting and licensing revenue to fund the university.

That’s why the stakes are so high to keep UW’s research dynamo humming. It’s also why Discovery To Product program, known by the acronym D2P, was relaunched earlier this year under new leadership and a new mission in an effort to right the ship.

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Ken Notes: I question the title and I hope we can reconfigure this once again. We need to work with the Research park, WARF, and existing businesses in the area to create special opportunities. We need to supplement guideance with enhanced R&D oppportunities like wet space and engineering/production space. I love Biondi`s seed fund ideas and if we retained a small ownership stake one EPIC or Exact Science would launch thousands of ships. The next battery tech is going to come from somewhere, I`m just saying...

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`Wisconsin should be embarrassed`: Evers asks Walker to veto power-stripping bills

MADISON, Wis. - Gov-elect Tony Evers says the state of Wisconsin should be embarrassed after a legislative session lasting all night ended with the full state Senate and Assembly passing several lame-duck session bills, including ones that would weaken power of the governor and attorney general. 

"I do believe that Wisconsin should be embarrassed by this activity," Evers said. He later added, "I view what was passed as, frankly, a hot mess, and together all of it is, I think, a dangerous precedent." ...

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Manufacturers received nearly $1 billion in state aid annually

Wisconsin Policy Forum report examines industry role in Wisconsin economy

Wisconsin manufacturers received nearly $1 billion in state aid in 2016, including more than double the state incentives from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. than the industry’s economic output and workforce would suggest, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The report, however, also notes that manufacturers pledge more jobs than other industries for their incentives, pay above average wages and make up a significant but shrinking portion of the state’s economy.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum says the report is not an effort to resolve debates about whether manufacturers should receive state support or how much. Instead, the authors say the report is intended to examine the size and scope of the benefits the industry gets and its role in the state’s economy....

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Ken Notes: What we need to do is level the playing field so that a small machine shop in Rhinelander is treated the Same as a K-C or Foxconn.

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The Gialamas Company






 “Founded in 1976 by George and Candy Gialamas, The Gialamas Company specializes in Class A Commercial Real Estate. Old Sauk Trails Park, is one of the most prestigious business parks in Wisconsin; containing numerous office buildings supplemented by restaurants, hotels, financial institutions, a childcare facility and a walking/jogging trail system....
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`Municipal Restored` to celebrate re-opening of historic Madison Municipal Building

After two years of renovation work, the landmark Madison Municipal Building is open once again to city employees and the public.

The redeveloped building at 215 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. demonstrates a skillful balance of historic and contemporary features and a conscious focus on collaboration between the city and its residents. Jeanne Hoffman, the city’s facilities and sustainability manager, said it is important that the building is welcoming and easy to navigate.

“Civic infrastructure is so important to lifting people up,” Hoffman said...

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Ken Notes: I think we should tour this project... Any Sponsors???

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New plan to bring military service members to Wisconsin

The "Mission Wisconsin" initiative is a partnership between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The initiative is aimed at helping employers recruit service members into the workforce.

Employers can accompany teams of state officials to transition summits around the country and abroad. At these summits, they will be able to talk to service members who are getting ready to retire and talk to them about the benefits of living and working in Wisconsin...

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Ken Notes: I would like to use stick built micro housing to offer a free home to every homeless vet in the state. Cost per 10Kish, I have plans...

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Council approves plan to address Wisconsin homelessness

MADISON, Wis. — A council tasked with reducing Wisconsin`s homeless population approved an action plan Tuesday that would prioritize putting the homeless into permanent housing without strict preconditions, among other things.

The Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness, which was formed last year and includes representatives from government agencies and groups that serve the homeless, unanimously backed the plan, said the council`s director, Michael Luckey...

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Beachscapes, a luxury condo and store complex, breaks ground in downtown Pewaukee

The latest in luxury condos will soon become available in Pewaukee with the Nov. 27 groundbreaking of Beachscapes at 145 W. Wisconsin Ave.

According to a news release, the "ultra-luxury" condominium project in downtown Pewaukee will feature five exclusive two-story residential condominiums. Condo prices start at $1.15 million each. 

The three-story project will total 25,000 square feet, with each condominium ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet. The condos each will have terraces with an expansive view of Pewaukee Lake...

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Ken Notes: 1.15 Million to start, see why build low cost housing is difficult.

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Findorff - Character Community Craftsmanship
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New Job Center, New Opportunities for Inmates

With Wisconsin`s unemployment rate having been at or below 3 percent for a record nine straight months, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is helping to prepare all available talent for inclusion in the workforce.

"Here in Wisconsin, our historically low unemployment requires us to recruit and train talent that is often overlooked," said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.

One such talent pool can be found at the new Oakhill Correctional Institution Job Center, where DWD is working with inmates to prepare them for work after release. The new job center comes from a strong partnership between DWD, the Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin.   ...more

Ken Notes: What a perfect venue for an apprenticeship program. I see Wisconsin Convicts assembling small homes while learning plumbing, Electric, Framing, Drywall, Roofing, Siding, and finishing crafts. I just built my own home and is was an amazing classroom These trade professionals are artists that get very little credit...

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Londo is on a mission to bring jobs to Wisconsin`s Northwoods

Growing up in Minocqua with traces of Ojibwe blood coursing through his veins, Darold Londo has always known the joys, the pride and the tribulations of the Native American experience.

That experience gave him a good compass as he set out on his life’s educational journey, graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, earning a master’s degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin.

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Commuter rail in Milwaukee? A local company wants to raise $1.4 billion for `E-Way`
A company organized in Wisconsin a little more than a year ago is seeking to raise some $1.4 billion for what might seem like an unlikely project — a commuter rail system in the Milwaukee area studded with high-density real estate development.

Transit Innovations LLC, formed in October 2017, has been quietly working to pull the proposal together and says it has been meeting with state and regional government officials as well as the freight railway companies that own the tracks on which the commuter trains would run...

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Ken Notes: Should be fun to watch...

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Manufacturing has big impact on Wisconsin`s economy

Manufacturing continues to have an outsize impact on Wisconsin`s workforce, wages, exports and gross domestic product despite its share dropping in the overall economy in recent years, according to a new report by the nonpartisan, independent Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The latest issue of the Wisconsin Taxpayer, "Assembling Jobs," provides context for the ongoing debate over the role of manufacturing, and examines state incentives and tax policy aimed at encouraging the industry...

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Ken Notes: Good read, but I wonder if anyone is interested in actually working with existing businesses that actually create jobs and employee people. There is very little political value in that...

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Emmons Business Interiors


EBI takes the time to get to know you and your business. We’ll provide you with options so that together we can make the most of your space and stay within your budget.

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IT jobs: Businesses on the look out for future information technology professionals

GREEN BAY - Wisconsin companies are making a push to spread the word: There are numerous information technology jobs available in the state.

Businesses say they need IT and technology professionals and those jobs exist in cities large and small and don’t require moving to San Francisco or Boston. It’s a field expected to continue growing...

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Ken Notes: This is also another area that may benefit from apprenticeship. A traditional UW or Tech school has little opportunity to keep up with systems that change almost daily.

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Foxconn in Wisconsin vs. Amazon in New York and Virginia: How do the subsidies stack up?

The state`s deal with Foxconn Technology Group is done and the contracts signed, but the recently unveiled agreements between Amazon and New York and Virginia have put Wisconsin’s subsidies for the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer in the spotlight again.

Comparing the deals is muddy work, but even by the most generous reckoning, it appears Wisconsin is paying more per job than will go to Amazon for its much-watched “second headquarters” developments in New York and Virginia...

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Ken Notes: I get very nervous when the numbers are just broken down into a "per job" figures. Some of the Foxconn deal is tied to building value and property tax credits, some is tied to infrastructure, and dozens more variables. -- it is not just based on jobs. The press is operating in sound bites on a very very complex formula.

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Tom Still: Research fuels UW (including UW-L)

MADISON, Wis. – The annual report by the National Science Foundation on research and development spending by U.S. colleges and universities confirmed what many people already know: The UW-Madison is a powerhouse when it comes to attracting R&D dollars.

What’s less known without a deeper dive in the NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development survey is UW-Madison isn’t alone in Wisconsin when it comes to R&D activity.

The state’s flagship campus ranked sixth in the United States with $1.194 billion in total R&D dollars raised and spent in 2017, according to the NSF, with about half of that amount — $570.8 million – coming from federal sources. The rest came from other institutions, such as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the UW Foundation, businesses and other private sources....

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WEDC, MMAC say DRS expansion is a win for region

But Northwest Side Community Development Corp. head questions support for company`s move to Menomonee Falls

It is just seven miles from the current Leonardo DRS facility in Milwaukee to the proposed future home of the company in Menomonee Falls, but seven miles can make a world of difference.

At $74,238, the median household income in the company’s future zip code, 53051, is more than double that of the one where the company is currently located, 53216. More than a quarter of the population in 53216 lives in poverty, compared to just 4 percent where the company will be moving, not far from North Hills Country Club...

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Madison City Council approves $6.8 million in city, federal funds for low-cost housing

The Madison City Council on Tuesday backed investing $6.8 million in four housing projects that are expected to provide 310 lower-cost units.

The projects, which are spread throughout the city, are estimated to cost a total of $84.6 million. The money comes from $1.98 million in federal Home Investment Partnership Program funds and $4.82 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund.

Developments approved to receive funding are:...

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IPR (Integrated Public Resources)

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As an affiliate of McMahon Associates, Inc., IPR provides Public/Private Partnership (P3) opportunities for a vast array of projects in small to medium-sized communities, as well as offering Municipal Administrator Services to local governments on an as-needed basis... and... A sponsor of Wisconsin Development News

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Business leaders focus on future of Wisconsin’s economy
Business leaders from around Wisconsin exchanged ideas Tuesday about how to address Wisconsin’s workforce shortage.

The 5th annual Future Wisconsin Summit focused on economic challenges facing the state, and possible solutions. The event also featured a representative from Foxconn, who maintains the company’s ventures will results in thousands of jobs for Wisconsin....

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Illinois door manufacturer relocates to Wisconsin

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) -- A door manufacturer based in Illinois is relocating its operations to southern Wisconsin.

Seal-Rite Door says it will open a new $16 million facility in Beloit that will employ about 80 people. The company is a subsidiary of Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Co.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing Seal-Rite with up to $250,000 in state tax credits over the next three years....

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Ken Notes: The home building and improvement is an industry we could focus on in Wisconsin, I know that som of the worlds best staircases and architectural doors are made in Neenah. WholeTrees has some of the coolest stuff on earth. And we do lots of trusses and siding. We have amazing architects and design firms....

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MARKETPLACE conference to recognize Wisconsin leaders in minority business development

MADISON, WI. DEC. 5, 2018 – Six individuals will be recognized for their leadership and distinguished service in business and community development to support minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin next week at MARKETPLACE, the 37th Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development.

The conference, taking place Dec. 12-13 at Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee, is hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), is expected to draw more than 600 attendees and is sponsored by corporations, small businesses and organizations, with U.S. Bank being this year’s Keystone Sponsor.

Here are this year’s Business and Community Development Recognition Award recipients:

E. Aggo Akyea – State Diversity Development and Advocacy Award
Aina Vilumsons
– Mentoring Small Business in Government Contracting Award

Curtiss Harris
– Minority Business Community Service Award

Gary Mejchar
– Community Economic Development Award
Maria Watts – Business Community Collaboration Award
Nelson Soler – Minority Business Development Award

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Ken Notes: Congrats!!!!!!

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MadREP Report
Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report, a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.

Find older issues here.
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Milwaukee Officials Question $40M Financing Plan For Komatsu Project

Some Elected Officials Say Project Will Not Bring Enough Jobs To City

The Milwaukee Common Council will meet next month to begin the process of moving Komatsu Mining Corp. into the city.

The $285-million project includes a headquarters and manufacturing facility along the Milwaukee River in the city`s Harbor District neighborhood. As part of the deal, the city would create a $25-million financing package based on job creation and a $15-million financing package for a new, nearly mile-long riverwalk.

But some Milwaukee council members believe $40 million in public money is too much for the jobs Komatsu would bring to the city...



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Economic Development Resources


Dane County ED





Got Moo-La?








???

Madison Area Chambers -- New!

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Milwaukee, Racine Ranked 2nd And 3rd Worst Cities In America For Black People

Black Americans living in Milwaukee and Racine are making half of the median income of their white counterparts and are nearly 12 times more likely to be imprisoned than white residents.

Based on those outcomes, Milwaukee and Racine have been ranked second and third, respectively, as the worst cities for black people to live in by 24/7 Wall St., a Delaware-based financial company.

24/7 Wall St. looked at eight measures to assess race-based gaps in socioeconomic outcomes in each of the country’s metropolitan areas....

  1. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa
  2. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin
  3. Racine, Wisconsin
  4. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota
  5. Peoria, Illinois
  6. Elmira, New York
  7. Decatur, Illinois
  8. Niles-Benton Harbor, Michigan
  9. Kankakee, Illinois
  10. Fresno, California
  11. Springfield, Illinois
  12. Trenton, New Jersey
  13. Danville, Illinois
  14. Rochester, New York
  15. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois
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Ken Notes: I disagree with the criterion used here. We can and should do better -- but for a black man with manufacturing skill or construction skills Milwaukee may be among the best places to live right now.

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Manitowoc food-packaging company to receive state tax break

MANITOWOC (WLUK) -- A Lakeshore company is getting state tax breaks for its $40 million expansion.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced Monday it will provide as much as $1 million in state tax credits over three years to Lakeside Foods.

Lakeside Foods broke ground last summer on a 100,000-square-foot addition to its Manitowoc headquarters. The expansion is expected to add 48 jobs to the company....

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Engineered Construction Inc. / General Contractors

   
GENERAL CONTRACTING
     Residential - Commercial - Retail - Controlled Environments
          FIRE /   WATER / STORM DAMAGE RESTORATION
               DESIGN / BUILD & REMODELING


“Located in the Madison region for over 30 years, Engineered Construction is an industry leader in commercial construction and the restoration of commercial and residential fire and water damage.” See comments from our clients here.   ...more
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Janesville official links city`s need for more housing to economic development

JANESVILLE - Talk to a few people searching for a place to live in Janesville, and the stories of their search will likely tell you the city is facing a housing shortage.

Identifying the lack of available residential inventory is simple, but understanding how the city wound up in this position is more complicated.

Economic Development Director Gale Price shared some of those causes Tuesday night in a presentation that connected the housing shortage to economic development. The League of Women Voters sponsored the event...

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Ken Notes: This is a profit margin problem. Low cost and mid range housing do not present developers and builders with the profit margin more expensive homes or apartment complexes do. Thus the available properties do not fit the market looking. This is a very tough problem to fix...

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Franklin`s Ballpark Commons wants extra $5 million in city cash after developer hits unexpected costs

Franklin`s Ballpark Commons mixed-use development is seeking another $5.2 million in city financing help — beyond $22.5 million already approved.

Roc Ventures LLC, led by developer Mike Zimmerman, is seeking the additional cash because of "increases in unforeseen development expenses," according to a city report...

...That new property tax revenue would pay for the $5.2 million that Zimmerman is seeking, according to an initial forecast by Roc Ventures.

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Ken Notes: Two Words... Development Agreement!

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JSD Professional Services
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JSD provides complete services in Planning & Development, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Water Resources, Landscape Architecture, Construction Services, Surveying & Mapping, and Environmental Services. Offices in Madison - Milwaukee - Kenosha - Fox Valley & Wausau.

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Wisconsin Rapids committee green-lights downtown senior housing development

WISCONSIN RAPIDS- A downtown senior housing development is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Wisconsin Rapids Planning Commission unanimously voted Monday in favor of the development on the the west side of Centralia Center`s main parking lot, along Seventh Avenue South. The vote will now move to the Wisconsin Rapids City Council.

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Drink Wisconsinbly to Open Pub at Entertainment Block by Fiserv Forum

Wisconsin lifestyle brand Drink Wisconsinbly is opening a pub at the upcoming Entertainment Block adjacent to Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee’s new world-class arena.  The DW Pub and merchandise shop will occupy a 3,500-square-foot location at 320 West Highland Avenue.

The Entertainment Block, being developed by Head of the Herd Real Estate Development LLC, is slated to open in spring of 2019. Drink Wisconsinbly’s current location is in Walker’s Point, while Drink Wisconsinbly also entitles and curates three craft beer bars at Fiserv Forum, presenting a rotating list of exclusive Wisconsin micro-beers.

“Drink Wisconsinbly is incredibly excited and proud to be bringing our flagship DW Pub to the Entertainment Block,” said John Casanova, President of Wisconsinbly Holdings and Drink Wisconsinbly Beverage Company LLC.  “We will celebrate all things Wisconsin and provide a unique experience for locals and tourists alike.”...

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Ken Notes: I would love to see a Wisconsin Crafted pub in every community...

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Cresa

        613 Williamson Street - Suite 210 Madison, WI 53703 - 608.467.1513

We are a team of commercial real estate experts devoted to ensuring commercial tenants receive conflict free, tenant-focused advice. Please Watch our video here.

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Tom Still: Wisconsin R&D figures reflect strengths – and some challenges

The annual report by the National Science Foundation on research and development spending by U.S. colleges and universities confirmed what many people already know: The UW-Madison is a powerhouse when it comes to attracting R&D dollars.

What’s less known without a deeper dive in the NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development survey is UW-Madison isn’t alone in Wisconsin when it comes to R&D activity.

The state’s flagship campus ranked sixth in the United States with $1.194 billion in total R&D dollars raised and spent in 2017, according to the NSF, with about half of that amount — $570.8 million – coming from federal sources. The rest came from other institutions, such as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the UW Foundation, businesses and other private sources...

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New TIF district for Lakeview Hospital properties moves forward

Beaver Dam’s Plan Commission unanimously approved creating a tax increment financing district for the former Lakeview Hospital properties Wednesday.

Plans are in place to transform the area with a high-end condo development by 2022. The city has a development agreement with JCW Development for the project. Should the Beaver Dam Common Council approve creating the TIF district, the revenue generated will go toward cleaning up and demolishing the vacant Lakeview building, 208 LaCrosse St., which is estimated to cost more than $1 million.

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Madison levels up
You don’t really see it until it’s all in one place.

That was certainly the case in mid-October, when more than 400 game developers from Madison and the Midwest converged at the second edition of M+Dev, the game developers’ conference held annually here. As the assembled masses networked and swapped personal stories, it was hard not to feel — and impossible not to see — an ongoing sense of critical mass.

Despite obstacles, Madison’s game development scene has been inching in that direction for most of the last decade...

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Ken Notes: This is cool...

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Mixed-use library proposal delayed 1 year

The city of New London will delay a key step in securing funding to construct a proposed mixed-use public library, bumping back the project’s timeline one year.

City officials agreed to postpone submitting an application for senior affordable housing tax credits, which would help fund the residential component of the downtown project, until December 2019...   ...more

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Capitol "coup"

GOP lawmakers brace for Democratic governor by seizing more power

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan was at the Capitol Tuesday to see his old pal Speaker Robin Vos. Despite being political opponents, the two have been chummy since serving together in the Wisconsin Legislature. As Republicans prepared to fast track a series of bills aimed at consolidating GOP power over state government, Pocan and Vos chatted outside the Assembly chambers.

“It was a last attempt to try to make him think wiser,” Pocan tells Isthmus. “But he was set on getting whatever they could get done, passed, in the shortest time possible. He’s making a big mistake. I’ve been told karma is a bitch.”

Republican lawmakers pulled an all-nighter Wednesday, spending hours behind closed doors as they negotiated the final details of several extraordinary session bills. Early in the morning, they approved — with just one Republican dissenting — measures limiting powers of the governor and attorney general, offices that Democrats won in November.

UW-Madison political science professor Howard Schweber calls the GOP effort “nothing short of an assault on democracy.”...

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Ken Notes: One more for the record....

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Internet co-op to build fiber infrastructure for rural Crawford County

Recently-incorporated Crawford County Communications Cooperative (3C Co-op) intends to build the fiber optic infrastructure to provide Fiber To The Home (FTTH) gigabit service for the under-served rural residents of Crawford County. 

This will provide symmetrical gigabit service, with upload and download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (megabits/second), to all of the 3,605 locations that have no broadband access, requiring over 1,000 miles of fiber optic cable to be buried...

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Ken Notes: Still for the record 5G could solve many issues if we trade rural development for urban access...

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Ken Notes: WDNews relies on the actual journalism provided by your local media outlets. Without these partners we can not bring you the unbiased news, leads and updates you need to thrive in Wisconsin. Support your local media...

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Baraboo River project unveils its potential

For many who live in Juneau and Sauk Counties, the Baraboo River has been a beautiful, albeit not always used natural asset to the area.

Community groups and municipalities in the Baraboo River corridor are working to remedy that and help the river realize it’s natural and economic potential.

The Baraboo River Project began as a means of transforming the corridor, and the municipalities along it, into a tourist attraction by providing boat access points along the banks, lure travelers from other areas, and even establish smart phone compatibility for stops along the way...

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Packers Foundation awards $800,000 to 230 Wisconsin organizations

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers Foundation on Wednesday awarded $800,000 to 230 civic and charitable groups across Wisconsin.

Grants are awarded for specific causes on a rotating annual basis. This year’s grant cycle focused on arts and culture, athletics and education causes. In 2019, the focus areas will be animal welfare, civic and community, environmental, health and wellness including drug/alcohol and domestic violence....

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Land and Space / Tom Daykin
Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.

I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!

Milwaukee - 1/1/2020 Journal Sentinel business reporter Tom Daykin talks about commercial real estate and development, including stores, hotels, offices, condos, apartments and industrial buildings...

Land & Space Development Database


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Ken Notes: Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily...

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State businesss development assistance programs...

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BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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Ken Notes: "Ken Notes" may be reprinted in context without permission. Attribution should be Ken Harwood, Editor Wisconsin Development News or Ken Harwood Advocate for Wisconsin.

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