Category Archives: Economic development that works

Microsoft: A monster game-changer for Wisconsin

Back in the 1980s when the central political theme in Wisconsin was “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS,” I frequently asked the question during speeches on economic development: “Can you name a major employer in Wisconsin that didn’t start here?” According to a … Read the rest

Biden jobs program not sharp enough

Joe Biden’s Build Back Better campaign theme is a welcome centrist theme that could help him peel away former Trump supporters, but his people need to sharpen their ideas about job creation. Wisconsin, a state long on manufacturing, has been … Read the rest

Milwaukee Tool, Wisconsin jobs picture: a mixed bag

When it comes down to economic development that works, the recent announcement of expansions by Milwaukee Tool in the M7 region point to two tactics that consistently work effectively. * Tax Incremental Financing Districts (TIF) * Shovel-ready industrial parks Those … Read the rest

Beyond cheese, brats, beer to neutron economy

The term “neutron economy” is coming alive in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, proving that big-time innovation and ventures are happening in fly-over country. The excitement level was about as high as it gets in business at the grand opening of the Phoenix … Read the rest

Let’s make big bets on Wisconsin FIRE cluster

Back in 2000 to 2003 when the Wisconsin Summits were being sponsored by the University of Wisconsin System, it jumped out that our manufacturing and farm clusters were not producing big new job numbers and that the FIRE cluster – … Read the rest

UWM finally gets fair share of campus dollars

It seemed like it would never happen as UW-Milwaukee boot-strapped its way over the last two decades toward its destiny as a world-class urban university. But there last Thursday was Ray Cross, president of the University of Wisconsin System, standing … Read the rest

Mosher sparked entrepreneur renaissance in Wisconsin

Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Elm Grove) has drafted a bold bill that would raise the investment tax credit for high-growth startup companies from 25% to 50%. It deserves to be called the “George Mosher” law. When I had lunch with George … Read the rest

Everts changes tune on economy; could lead with fresh game plan

Gov. Tony Everts appears to have figured out that a pro-growth posture will be good for his Democratic Party. There has been a death of pro-growth Democrats for a couple of decades, and it hasn’t helped the party or the … Read the rest

Would Gov. Evers have done the K-C deal?

Economic development policy – largely all about catching up on job creation over the last two decades – is up for grabs as the state gets ready for Governor–elect Tony Evers and a Democratic agenda. Were he governor already, Evers … Read the rest

Where would Evers, Walker take lagging economy?

How to move the Wisconsin economy forward over the next decade or two is emerging as the overriding issue in the contest for governor, now only two months away. Wisconsin has ridden the ten-year upswing in the national economy to … Read the rest