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Seibels named Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmers

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

JOHNSON CREEK — When Adam Seibel stepped to the microphone to accept the 2019 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer award he looked in disbelief. “I want to thank all of the UW-Extension agents and everyone who has helped us get this far,” said Seibel with his wife, Christina, standing at his side. “This is a great honor for us.” The award was presented during the 66th annual Outstanding Young Farmer Awards Weekend held at the Comfort Suites in Johnson Creek. The Seibels were selected based on the progress in their agricultural career, soil and water conservation and contributions to community, state and nation. Read full...
Tony Evers: Expand economic development to include affordable worker housing

Monday, February 18, 2019

Economic development in Wisconsin should mean more than just counting jobs — it could also include helping companies create affordable housing for employees, Gov. Tony Evers told a business group in Madison. Evers said decisions on how to use state economic development funds should be “more nimble.” Read full article. 
Wisconsin among top 10 states for women entrepreneurs, report says

Friday, February 15, 2019

Wisconsin ranks among the top locations for female entrepreneurs, according to a recent report by Fit Small Business.  The organization offers research for small business owners. In a report published this month, Fit Small Business said Wisconsin ranks No. 9 as a top location for female entrepreneurs in 2019.  Read full article. 
WEDC now accepting applications for Certified In Wisconsin Program

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Program that designates industrial sites as ready for development has generated $456 million in new investment throughout the state MADISON, WI. – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting applications for its Certified In Wisconsin® Program, which designates industrial parcels of 20 acres or more as being “development ready.” The program has played a key role in helping communities throughout the state attract new companies by providing independent certification that a wide range of concerns have been evaluated—such as environmental and geological factors, transportation access, utility and infrastructure capacity, zoning and property rights—and that the site is ready for industrial development. Read...
Wisconsin ranks third in winning health and life science business grants

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

MADISON – Wisconsin’s early-stage health and life science firms and the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) received national attention for the state’s success over the past decade in landing competitive federal grants. Wisconsin ranked third after Oregon and Vermont in securing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2008-2017. The 23 percent win rate for applications (248 awards from 1,056 submissions) resulted in $87 million invested in the state’s entrepreneurial efforts. The State Science & Technology Institute (SSTI), a national nonprofit organization, reported the newly available data and cited CTC’s...
Gov. Evers requests creation of committee on entrepreneurship and innovation at WEDC

Monday, February 11, 2019

MADISON — Governor Tony Evers requested the creation of a committee on entrepreneurship and innovation at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Wisconsin currently lags in small business creation, which is where most family-supporting jobs are created. Gov. Evers knows that we must invest in and support small businesses, local companies, and entrepreneurship to create middle-class jobs and grow the economy. Read full article. 
Career Academy Program brings students into workforce

Monday, February 04, 2019

When Jared Cutts was in high school he wanted his learning to extend beyond the classroom.  He wanted hands-on experience in the workforce.  “When you’re sitting in class learning you’re absorbing information, you’re not out experiencing what you’re learning,” Cutts explained.  He joined Osceola High School’s Career Academy Program because he thought the opportunity for hands-on learning through the program was unique. He did not know that CAPS would lead to a job as a fulltime employee with local paddle manufacturer, Branches LLC. Click here for the complete article.
State Senator Patty Schachtner announces committee appointments

Monday, February 04, 2019

State Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) has been appointed to three committees for the 2019-2020 legislative session. Senator Schachtner will serve as the ranking Democratic member of the Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism, and Workforce Development. Additionally, Senator Schachtner will serve as a member of the Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, and Children and Families and the Committee on Education. Click here for the complete article.
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Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Have you ever observed an organization of volunteers or a community event that had been strong for several years suddenly begin struggling to keep alive?  The money may have dried-up or the volunteer numbers may have dwindled below operational levels.  Unfortunately, the purpose of the group or event may be as relevant as ever, but the energy behind it may suffer from waning enthusiasm or a lack of support. More times than not, the main culprit of this downward cycle is a lack of adequate planning to ensure that the next generation of leaders has been developed.  The original leaders of...
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Five reasons entrepreneurs are starting their businesses in Wisconsin

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Judging from the crowds at Startup Wisconsin Week earlier this month, Wisconsin is home to a booming entrepreneurial community. The excitement and innovation on display at more than 150 events in 12 cities across the state lived up to a recent study ranking Milwaukee as a top 10 city for young entrepreneurs and a report highlighting Madison as a top 10 tech city. Wisconsin is home to many startup success stories, including larger, more mature companies like Exact Sciences, Epic Systems and Promega, and younger companies like Jamf, Fasetto and TAI Diagnostics. Click here for the complete article.
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Hemp production, processing come to Osceola

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

In the year since Wisconsin legislators legalized industrial hemp grown through state-monitored pilot programs, at least one Osceola farm grew and harvested an experimental acre.  Another Osceola business has started turning the raw plant material into cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil.  Hemp, a non-psychoactive strain of cannabis, can also be turned into textiles, paper, biodegradable plastics, even food. With market researchers forecasting rapid growth in the hemp industry over the next few years, these tentative steps into local growth and processing may become an introduction to a profitable crop for area farmers. Click here for the complete article.
2018 Was an Incredible Year Thanks to Our Partners and Investors

Monday, January 07, 2019

2018 has been a productive year – a year of growth and innovation in West Central Wisconsin. We want to thank our investors for their continued commitment to our organization’s mission and to initiatives aimed at growing our local economy and improving the quality of life for all our residents. The staff at Momentum West acknowledges that we could not do what we do without your continued support. “Reflecting on the last twelve months we need to thank the investors and volunteers that have been instrumental in driving the projects we’ve been involved with forward,” said Steve Jahn, Executive Director. 2018...
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The ‘Heart’ of Polk County

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Polk County is known for its lakes, festivals, natural beauty and a number of other events or places.  But the ‘heart’ of our county is truly defined by its citizens.  They are the ones who shine the light on its true character.  And it is this character that buoys my confidence in the future of Polk County. By our citizens showing how much they care about their neighbors, especially those in need, visitors can feel the heartbeat of our villages, cities and towns.  When they see investments in communities, such as the one by Dick’s Fresh Market in Osceola, or when...
Groundbreaking takes place for new fire station

Friday, December 14, 2018

Construction of a new fire station means that safety and peace of mind will be a lot closer to home for families in the Town of Alden.  The new station will improve fire, rescue and first-response service for local residents and is part of Allied Emergency Services, a newly formed fire district serving the towns of Osceola, Alden, Garfield and the village of Dresser. Allied Emergency Services, formerly D.O.G. (Dresser, Osceola, Garfield) Fire Association, provides emergency response to 8,162 people and 3,913 homes, and has existing fire stations in the Village of Dresser and the Town of Garfield.  Continue to full article
Five generations later, family still farming

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The years spread between five generations are numerous, and when a family shares the same passion throughout those years, a truly beautiful vision can be accomplished. This is evidenced by the Carlson farm sprawling over 2,600 acres of land; it is fully outfitted with fields, silos, barns, storage buildings, various farming equipment, a semi truck, and a wind turbine. Five generations of farmers built the farm from the ground up and continue overseeing it to this day.  The story starts with Christian Strohbeen, who emigrated from Germany with his family and settled in Iowa. The family arrived with a farming background, and...
Status of local broadband projects – an update

Monday, December 10, 2018

NORTHWESTERN WISCONSIN – Last fall the Leader reported that several local internet service providers were selected to receive federal funding to upgrade their internet networks in Burnett, Polk and Washburn counties. This August the Register began to research where each company was in their projects. Funding The funding sources are the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund II projects and the Alternative Connect America Model projects, which are both federal programs. CAF II is an option the FCC created for price-cap carriers, which are the large, long-established companies that include AT&T, CenturyLink and Frontier. A-CAM is an option the FCC created for rate-of-return...
Wisconsin manufacturers make it happen

Friday, December 07, 2018

Learn more about the state’s top economic contributor during Manufacturing Month Manufacturing Month is here. Throughout October, the focus is on the innovative and resilient manufacturers that make it happen for our state’s economy. There are more than 9,000 manufacturers in Wisconsin that employ nearly 470,000 people. The industrial sector is the top contributor to the state’s growing economy, producing more than $59 billion in total output in 2017, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of the state’s total Gross Domestic Product. Manufacturing is being highlighted and celebrated at nearly 100 events and conferences throughout Wisconsin in October. Manufacturers across the state are...
Wisconsin helps veterans translate their skills to a post-military career

Thursday, December 06, 2018

It’s no secret that former service members make some of the best employees in the workforce. Those transitioning out of the military possess qualities that every employer is looking for, including leadership; flexibility; adaptability; the ability to work as both a team leader and a team member; the aptitude to work under pressure and meet deadlines; the ability to follow directions in an appropriate manner; planning and organizational skills; a strong commitment to working safely; and so much more. Given its long history of manufacturing leadership and continued innovation in fields that are driving global commerce, Wisconsin provides thousands of jobs that...
Wisconsin helps veterans translate their skills to a post-military career

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

It’s no secret that former service members make some of the best employees in the workforce. Those transitioning out of the military possess qualities that every employer is looking for, including leadership; flexibility; adaptability; the ability to work as both a team leader and a team member; the aptitude to work under pressure and meet deadlines; the ability to follow directions in an appropriate manner; planning and organizational skills; a strong commitment to working safely; and so much more. Given its long history of manufacturing leadership and continued innovation in fields that are driving global commerce, Wisconsin provides thousands of jobs that...
Students, educators have more opportunities for career exploration with launch of Inspire Wisconsin network

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

More than 230,000 students will be able to directly connect to businesses statewide as regions expand collaborative efforts MADISON, WI.  Oct. 11, 2018 – Students throughout Wisconsin now have access to additional career development and mentorship tools starting as early as sixth grade in a platform that directly connects local employers to students, thanks to a new statewide collaboration. School districts throughout the state have been using a web-based platform called Inspire at the local and regional level to connect area businesses to their future talent pool through online profiles, virtual career coaches, and career-based online learning activities for students and educators. Under the...
MARKETPLACE 2018 Conference on minority business development set for December in Milwaukee

Monday, December 03, 2018

Statewide conference enables minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses to meet government and corporate buyers, connect with lenders and business resources MADISON, WI.  – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is hosting the 37th annual statewide conference for minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses Dec. 12-13 at Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee. The conference is expected to draw more than 600 attendees and is sponsored by corporations, small businesses and organizations, with US Bank being this year’s Keystone Sponsor. MARKETPLACE is the premier annual statewide business capacity-building conference for minority, woman and veteran business owners looking to do business with state, federal and local governments...
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Building Our Workforce

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hiring and retaining quality employees has become a top issue for many Polk County employers.  The challenge is that there are too few qualified candidates to fill the open positions.  This is compounded by the fact that slightly more of our ‘working age’ people are moving out of Polk County compared to those moving in. There are efforts to offset this negative net-migration.  For starters, an effort to build a ‘pipeline’ of talent from our local schools is underway.  Programs like Youth Apprenticeship and Inspire/Career Cruising are programs aimed at helping young people find good job opportunities near home. Another way to...
The Osceola Main Street Program/Chamber of Commerce and Polk County Economic Development Corporation Launch “Simple Steps for Growing Your Small Business” Workshop Series

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Osceola, WI – The Osceola Main Street Program/Chamber of Commerce and Polk County Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with U W Extension, Small Business Development Center and SCORE, Launch “Simple Steps for Growing Your Business Small Business” Workshop Series to empower owners of existing small businesses to the next level. “This 5 session series kicking off on January 9th at the recently opened Discovery Center in Osceola will provide our small businesses tools and resources that will enable them to increase their profitability and level of success”, says Germaine Ross, Osceola Chamber and Mainstreet Program Director. The workshops will cover managing your time...
Five generations later, family still farming

Friday, November 09, 2018

The years spread between five generations are numerous, and when a family shares the same passion throughout those years, a truly beautiful vision can be accomplished. This is evidenced by the Carlson farm sprawling over 2,600 acres of land; it is fully outfitted with fields, silos, barns, storage buildings, various farming equipment, a semi truck, and a wind turbine. Five generations of farmers built the farm from the ground up and continue overseeing it to this day.  The story starts with Christian Strohbeen, who emigrated from Germany with his family and settled in Iowa. The family arrived with a farming background, and...
65 ways to get started with downtown revitalization

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Join the WEDC Connect Communities program (if you are not already) or consider joining the Main Street program if you’ve been participating in Connect Communities for a while and are ready to take the next step. Hold a downtown stakeholder meeting. Show PowerPoint presentations or videos available from Wisconsin Main Street or ask a member of the staff to make a presentation. Then figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your downtown and set some goals. Beat the streets … know your constituents and keep them informed! Learn the needs of your downtown businesses by communicating with them on a regular basis. React with appropriate projects. Publish a newsletter to keep primary stakeholders and...
WEDC accepting applications for Entrepreneurship Support Program

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

MADISON, WI. SEPT. 26, 2018 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting applications from nonprofit and community-based organizations for a grant program designed to advance the statewide climate for entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship Support Program provides financial assistance of between $10,000 and $100,000 for projects that promote entrepreneurship and provide Wisconsin entrepreneurs with key resources, including training, mentorship, and business development and financial services. Launched in 2016, the initiative has provided nearly $1 million in grants to 17 organizations statewide to help fund activities such as prototyping assistance, legal services, and outreach to underserved entrepreneurs. Those grants have enabled organizations to...
How a Local Entrepreneur Used Grit and Perseverance to Build a Thriving Business

Thursday, November 01, 2018

PaperWorx Design & Printing is a thriving business located in Polk County. Sixteen years ago, owner, Sally, decided to pursue her dream of owning her own business. She has built PaperWorx Design & Printing from the ground up, turning an idea into an established graphic design, marketing, copy shop and printing company. They can take a job from start to finish, beginning with the design work of creating a logo, business cards, brochures and folders, and then printing these materials so that business owners have everything they need to start a business or to operate one. They also print posters,...
Brian McAlpine Chose the Momentum West Region After Living in the East Coast and Colorado

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Brian McAlpine has a job that he loves. As a successful commercial insurance advisor, he works with businesses and property owners throughout the region, helping them solve some of their most pressing challenges. “I learn something new every day because I am constantly looking for new ways to help my customers,” Brian commented. For example, he was recently presented with a unique challenge. One of his customers was looking to sell their manufacturing company but the buyer wanted to make sure that the products were insured against defect or liability after the purchase was complete. Through his role at Bremer...
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Health and Our Economy

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

There is a strong link between the physical health of a community’s population and its economic health.  This link has been studied frequently at a macro level involving countries and continents, but it is often overlooked at the local level.   Local businesses, however, are recognizing the importance of healthy workers and their families because it matters in terms of productivity and the potential pool of both employees and customers. Employees who are sick cannot come to work or, if they do report to their jobs, are less productive and might risk spreading a sickness.  Further, if adequate care is not provided...
We're Celebrating National Women's Business Month with Lynn West

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October is National Women’s Business Month and in Polk County we are celebrating the contributions of local women business owners, including Lynn West, owner of MRL Manufacturing, Inc. (MRL). Located in Amery, MRL manufactures precision component products for Over-the-Road, Heavy Equipment, Recreational, Construction and Agricultural Industries. MRL Manufacturing started as an offshoot of a family manufacturing business and Lynn chose to locate it in Amery to take advantage of the local labor force. At the time of their incorporation in 1994, MRL was awarded an SBA Loan, Revolving Loan Funds through the DOD with the City of Amery and Tax Incentive...
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Making a Difference for the Good

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A few weeks ago, Luck High School seniors were told that one of their own alumni was contributing scholarships to any of the 2019 graduates who will be attending a technical college.  Dennis Frandsen, a successful businessman with Luck roots, said he made this gift because ‘it was the right thing to do.’  As a result, any of the 34 prospective Luck graduates may receive up to two years of technical college education for free. Most available scholarships that are awarded each year go to graduates who are the school’s top students and who plan on attending a 4-year college or...
Banker picks up college tuition for entire school class ... AGAIN!

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Luck Public Schools confirmed for KARE 11 that that Dennis Frandsen -- a self-made success who now has 35 branches of Frandsen Bank and Trust in communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin -- offered to pay for two years of technical college for all of Luck's 34 prospective graduates this year. Click here for the complete feature.
New housing available soon in Amery

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Amery Housing Authority broke ground on a much-awaited project. The first two structures of four rental units are currently being constructed by Berghammer Builders of Clayton. The units will be side-by-side duplexes located on the east side of Harrison Avenue. Amery Housing Authority director Terry Forrest said that city administration, as well as the Amery Economic Development Corporation (A.E.D.C.), had expressed there was a void needing to be filled in terms of certain types of housing in the city. “Professionals moving into Amery for work did not have many options for housing,” Forrest said. The new rentals offer a two bedroom or...
Is It Possible to Have It All?

Monday, August 27, 2018

There is something beautiful about knowing what you want your life to be like, knowing where you belong, and building a life with that level of confidence. That is something that Keri Uzpen had years ago, when she left Polk County to go to college at the University of Minnesota. While in college, she knew that she loved living and playing outdoors in this beautiful corner of Wisconsin. She knew that she wanted to raise a family in this community and that she would move home after graduating. This knowledge allowed her to tailor her degree for the local job...
BP Motorsports opens

Friday, August 24, 2018

It’s been a life long dream of Bobby Penders to run his own repair and service shop.  June 4 he opened BP Motorsports in Osceola, just south of the village center in the former Denny’s Auto. By month’s end, the shop was full of ATVs and dirt bikes. “The first couple weeks were kind of slow but its really starting to pick up,” he said in late June. After seven years working at a different repair shop, he recently resolved to build his own legacy. “I realized it was time,” he said. “I had already been doing a lot of this stuff on the...
The economies of every US state and DC, ranked from worst to best

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The US is a massive, complex economy, and so too are the component economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC, that make up the whole. Business Insider combined six measures of labor-market and general economic health for all the states and the District of Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage growth. By putting all those on a common scale and combining them, we came up with an overall score for each state's economy. 10. Wisconsin Wisconsin's April 2018 unemployment rate of 2.8% was tied for fifth-lowest among the states and DC, and its...

Friday, August 17, 2018

By all measures economists use to assess the quality of life a place offers—job availability, cost of living, commute times, recreation, etc.—Wisconsin stacks up pretty well. Very well, in fact. Problem is, people don’t consult economists when choosing the best place to pursue their passions. As CEO of NEWaukee, I devote my professional life and much of my personal life to promoting Milwaukee and Wisconsin as a career and lifestyle destination. My pitch has very little to do with the metrics you find in national rankings of “best places to live” and everything to do with what it feels like...
Deer Lake Winery opens

Friday, August 03, 2018

After dreaming of opening a winery of their own for years, Cheryl and Keith Johnson have made it happen. The Deer Lake Winery held its grand opening on June 23.  The Johnsons have been growing grapes for 15 years and making their own wine for 10. Their vines come from the original Elmer Swenson vineyard. Swenson worked with the University of Minnesota years ago and developed vines that would withstand long, cold winters. The Johnsons stared all their vines from Swenson’s cuttings. Continue to full article
DigniCare project now Good Life Senior Living

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Plans for a senior living facility that have been in the works since 2015 appear to be moving forward again. The Osceola Village Board approved the sale of 16 acres for the facility in August 2015, effectively a land trade for the former trailer court. And in May 2016 the board approved a site plan for the senior housing project, then planned as a DigniCare site. But all has been quiet in “Osceola Heights,” the intended site, south of Ridge Road. Continue to full article
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Work and Live Where You Play: Polk County!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

For many decades, it has been a temptation for young adults to move away from their small town and experience the big city.  This tug of the ‘cities’ is real.  There are many things to do and see in metropolitan areas.  And, yes, there are a large number of jobs and careers that are dangled in front of people… jobs that may offer them a premium in terms of hourly wages or salary.  But ‘city-life’ is not necessarily the best way to experience life to its fullest. Many people are finding that smaller communities can offer more than cities in terms...
Workers are the new weapon as states go to extremes in the battle for business

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Forequarter restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, has managed to pull off a rare feat. Not only has it has stayed in business for six years, it is also still routinely referred to as trendy. On a recent visit, people were already showing up for dinner by 5:00 p.m. on a weeknight. Business is good, said owner Jonny Hunter, but it could be so much better. “We’re not open as much as we want to,” he said. The restaurant is open only for dinner, and it is closed on Sundays. Hunter said he would love to do more, if only he could staff the...
The economies of every US state and DC, ranked from worst to best

Friday, July 27, 2018

The US is a massive, complex economy, and so too are the component economies of the 50 states and Washington, DC, that make up the whole. Business Insider combined six measures of labor-market and general economic health for all the states and the District of Columbia. They are the unemployment rate, job growth, per-capita GDP, GDP growth, average weekly wages, and wage growth. By putting all those on a common scale and combining them, we came up with an overall score for each state's economy. 10. Wisconsin Wisconsin's April 2018 unemployment rate of 2.8% was tied for fifth-lowest among the states and DC, and its...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

By all measures economists use to assess the quality of life a place offers—job availability, cost of living, commute times, recreation, etc.—Wisconsin stacks up pretty well. Very well, in fact. Problem is, people don’t consult economists when choosing the best place to pursue their passions. As CEO of NEWaukee, I devote my professional life and much of my personal life to promoting Milwaukee and Wisconsin as a career and lifestyle destination. My pitch has very little to do with the metrics you find in national rankings of “best places to live” and everything to do with what it feels like...
WEDC, UW-Eau Claire launch marketing campaign to encourage out-of-state alumni to ‘come home’

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

WEDC, UW-Eau Claire launch marketing campaign to encourage out-of-state alumni to ‘come home’ UW-Eau Claire is one of nine higher-education institutions joining  state’s first-ever campaign featuring graduates who have chosen Wisconsin as their career destination Eau Claire, WI.  — The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire today unveiled a new marketing campaign aimed at encouraging alumni of Wisconsin colleges and universities to pursue their personal and professional goals in Wisconsin. The campaign includes social media ads that link to videos featuring the perspectives of young people who have studied in Wisconsin and landed their dream jobs here, either right...
Community Club honors volunteers, businesses at banquet

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Amery Community Club held its seventh annual Past President’s Dinner and Community Business Awards Banquet Friday, May 11 at Cricket’s Banquet Center. A total of 86 nominees were honored with awards in 10 categories. Businesses marking milestone anniversaries were honored as well: Williamson-White Funeral Home - 130 years City of Amery - 125 years Bremer Bank - 100 years Northwest Communications - 120 years Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp - 70 years Continue to full article
Apprenticeship program receives recognition

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Amery’s Youth Apprenticeship Program was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation at the group’s annual awards banquet, held May 15 in Balsam Lake. The district received one of two Public Partnership Awards that were presented. Amery Public Schools has shown a commitment to both the development of Amery High School students and the economic vitality of local businesses. The high school is a leader in recruiting and placing high school students in the Youth Apprenticeship Program that helps train students in certain skills and jobs while they are still in high school. This program also fills a need for many employers...
30 years of the Wisconsin Main Street Program

Monday, July 16, 2018

As we prepare to celebrate Wisconsin’s downtowns for #WIMainSt Day, we are also celebrating 30 years of the Wisconsin Main Street program. Check out this video about what makes this program so special!  
Second Avenue Crossing whiskey tasting earns statewide recognition

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Osceola Area Chamber and Main Street Program was recognized for its outstanding downtown revitalization efforts at the 27th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony this April in Ripon. Second Avenue Crossing took top honors with the Best Cooperative Business Marketing Award for their whiskey tasting event last October. The tasting boasted samples and education from 45th Parallel Distillery in New Richmond, food from SirSmokeAlot BBQ, cigars from Sodie’s Cigars, music by Bob Brace of Red Bird Music Store, and spheres of ice for the whiskey tumblers by Whiskey Barrel Ice Baller.  More than 200 attended the event and, according to the chamber, another...
Manufacturers get sneak peek into future fab lab

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Area manufacturers and skilled tradespeople gathered at the site of the future Discovery Center Fab Lab and Workforce Development Center for a hard hat luncheon hosted by the Inspire…Building a Center of Discovery fundraising campaign.  Speaker Mark Tyler spoke about fabrication laboratories as a local resource for training the next generation of manufacturers. Tyler is president of OEM Fabricators, Inc., chair of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board and a regent for the University of Wisconsin.   Continue to full article
Watershed Cafe recognized for stewardship

Monday, July 09, 2018

An Osceola restaurant has earned this year’s St. Croix Watershed Stewardship Award. In May, the St. Croix River Association recognized the Watershed Cafe and its owners, Rita and Steve Rasmuson, for their contributions to stewardship of the St. Croix River and its broader watershed.  Rita and Steve opened the Watershed Cafe in July 2014, and continue to carry out their original vision of operating a sustainably-sourced, community-focused restaurant along the St. Croix River. The Rasmusons honor the surrounding natural resources and the vibrant community by cultivating partnerships which support their environmental stewardship. They do so by collaborating with local farmers who...
Liaison, organizer, visionary: ArtBarn names new executive director

Friday, July 06, 2018

Recipe for an executive director at a small-town arts center: Mix equal parts event planner, volunteer coordinator and visionary. Add a dash of diplomacy and a pinch of ambition. Stir gently. At the St. Croix ArtBarn, a new executive director took the helm January 1. An Amery resident and longtime volunteer at the arts center, Chad Leonard has his own take on the job description. Continue to full article
Wisconsin Looks To Address Long-Term And Short-Term Workforce Challenges

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

State Faces Workforce Shortages Due To Economic Conditions, Demographics It will take a range of approaches to address the state's long- and short-term workforce needs, according to Wisconsin's secretary of workforce development. Ray Allen said that with the latest unemployment rate at a record-low 2.8 percent, his agency is working to help employers fill immediate openings. An ad campaign from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is aimed at attracting more veterans and young workers from other Midwestern states to Wisconsin. Continue to full article
Wisconsin’s bioscience industry employment growth outpaces nation but wage growth lags national average

Monday, July 02, 2018

Employment growth in Wisconsin’s bioscience industry has outpaced the national average in recent years, according to a new study from a national biotechnology trade organization. According to the report from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Wisconsin saw 5.8 percent growth in employment in the bioscience industry from 2014-16, compared to the national average of 4.4 percent. During the same period, the number of bioscience establishments grew 13.4 percent in Wisconsin, compared to 7.7 percent nationally. Wages grew at a more sluggish pace, however. According to the report, the average annual wage in Wisconsin’s bioscience industry grew by 1.5 percent from 2014-16. That was about...
Qualified New Business Ventures will no longer have to pay additional state fees

Friday, June 29, 2018

New state law expected to save start-up companies thousands of dollars Madison, WI.  — Wisconsin early-stage companies that are certified as Qualified New Business Ventures and incorporated as C corporations in other states will no longer have to pay additional assessment fees under a new state law that takes effect today. Until today, state law required “foreign” C corporations – those legally incorporated in other states – to pay variable fees associated with the filings of certificates of authority, annual reports and applications of withdrawal with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Many C corporations are incorporated in Delaware but have significant...
Foxconn announces $1 million “Smart City, Smart Future” competition; partners with Wisconsin universities and technical colleges on statewide initiative

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

New initiative will encourage innovative ideas from students and faculty for smart connected cities and systems to better serve Wisconsin Kenosha, WI – Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) today announced a “Smart City, Smart Future” initiative in which the company will partner with higher education institutions statewide to seek out the best new ideas for the development of smart connected cities and systems throughout Wisconsin. Foxconn is committing $1 million over the next three years to this initiative, with the goal of tapping talent at public and private universities and colleges. To be formally launched in the fall, the “Smart City, Smart Future” initiative...
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Housing Demand Outpacing Supply

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Over the past several months, a lot of people have asked me about available housing in Polk County.  Some of these people are first-time buyers while others are seeking to ‘downsize’ to a smaller home or even ‘senior housing’ with less maintenance and responsibilities.  There are also those who wish to rent an apartment.  It seems that many people are looking for places to live, but with limited success.  The fact of the matter is that the demand for housing is exceeding the supply in Polk County. One might think that if the demand for homes and apartments is great enough,...
Entrepreneurs Go Rural in Polk County

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The economy is growing and now is an excellent time to own a business. For any entrepreneur who has the next big-idea, or for established businesses looking to grow, 2018 is the time to make key business decisions and implement strategies for growth. Polk County Economic Development Corporation supports local area businesses and entrepreneurs in their endeavors by providing mentorship, connections with key financial resources, assistance with workforce development and relocation. We come alongside local businesses and make it easier to grow. When thinking about the growth goals you have for the year, consider the many benefits of doing business...
Will you be able to Sell your Small Business when the time comes?

Friday, June 08, 2018

Whether you plan to sell it tomorrow, or 20 years from now, there are elements that every business owner needs to understand. Join us and learn how to prepare your business so you can sell it when you are ready. June 28, 3:00-4:30 PM at the Hudson Area Public Library Topics covered will include: The key thing to understand if you want to be able to sell your business. Three questions that will guide you as you evaluate your business. 5 key factors to change if you want to maximize your ability to sell. This course will be presented by Eric Biltonen and Mike Finger. Mike Finger is...
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Teamwork: A Key to Success

Friday, June 01, 2018

In the midst of the NBA and NHL finals one might think a discussion on teamwork belongs on the sports pages.  But the teamwork I am referring to is not played on a basketball court or on a sheet of ice.  This teamwork is demonstrated right here in Polk County by our local and county governments, private businesses, schools, and citizens.  Working together, these entities and individuals are creating a synergy that is strengthening our communities. Polk County and each of its villages, cities, and townships, are always undergoing some sort of change.  Businesses come and go.  Population and demographics can...
Broadband Forward! Community

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Polk County recently enacted an ordinance which encourages the expansion of broadband internet in the county.  Due to the passing of this resolution, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin certified Polk County as a Broadband Forward! Community.  This certification identifies local units of government that have taken steps to reduce obstacles to broadband infrastructure development.  Read more about the ordinance, certification, and press release.
Polk County EDC Award Winners Recognized

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Polk County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Awards Banquet was held Tuesday, May 15th, at Paradise Landing in Balsam Lake.  The banquet is held each year to recognize the economic and community contributions of local businesses.  This year, the EDC expanded its pool of recipients to include public or government entities that partner with private enterprise to generate significant benefits for Polk County residents. With approximately 125 people in attendance, awards were presented by State Senator Patty Schachtner, along with representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Congressman Sean Duffy.  Recognition also came in written form from...
The Power of One Small Business

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

In the finance section of newspapers and on TV we often hear about enormous businesses taking sweeping actions that impact large numbers of workers and communities.  In fact, in our own state we have been hearing about the Wisconsin Foxconn project for over a year.  These stories make headlines because of their vast scope and because they are easily understood by the casual observer.  During my one year as the Executive Director of the Polk County Economic Development Corporation I have observed a remarkably different phenomenon:  One small business can have a far-reaching impact on an entire community!  This impact...
Small steps, big dreams

Friday, April 27, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Julia Sandberg has always been drawn to the kitchen. She taught herself to cook at home but, through an apprenticeship at the Watershed Cafe, has expanded her skill set. Carter Rasmuson, another apprentice at the popular Osceola restaurant, jokes that he’d been working with his parents since age 12 and finally decided to get credit for it. The joke works best if you know that his parents, Rita and Steve Rasmuson, were restaurant industry veterans even before they opened the Watershed in 2014. Sandberg and Rasmuson, both 17 years old and seniors at Osceola High School, work at the cafe through...
Lakeland Communications Brings Fiber to Polk County

Monday, April 23, 2018

The availability of broadband is critical to economic growth. With broadband, Polk County can attract entrepreneurs, startups and larger companies who depend on their ability to instantly connect to the internet and conduct business remotely. Lakeland Communications understands the importance of broadband and has been actively working to place fiber since the 1990s after their board reached the important decision to begin laying fiber. Now, they are working on future-proofing their infrastructure to ensure that folks in Polk County will always have access to the fastest internet speeds. This includes laying 600 route miles of fiber optic cable, serving more...
Manpower Hiring Forecast Carries Good News For Wisconsin

Monday, April 23, 2018

State Is Tied For Best Outlook By 1 Measure Wisconsin is tied for first among states in a national hiring forecast from the Milwaukee-based temporary services firm ManpowerGroup. ManpowerGroup says 32 percent of Wisconsin employers surveyed plan to add workers this spring. Only 2 percent expect layoffs. ManpowerGroup calls that a 30 percent "net employment outlook," tying Wisconsin for first with New Hampshire. ManpowerGroup Wisconsin Regional Director Amber Laurent says reaching 30 is rare. "You don't have to be in the staffing industry to know that employers all over have job hiring signs," Laurent said. "You know, employers obviously have positions to fill, and we know they're struggling to...
Increasing the productivity of Wisconsin manufacturers

Friday, April 20, 2018

The goal of the Total Productivity Initiative is to increase productivity at the company level, and to bring these improvements to scale where the aggregate gains drive economic expansion in the state of Wisconsin. This is a call to action for Wisconsin and the state’s manufacturers. Productivity is the engine of economic growth and prosperity, but has lagged in Wisconsin and across the U.S. over the last decade. TPI is a public-private partnership assembled to provide leadership for Wisconsin’s manufacturers on the challenges they face in achieving productivity growth. TPI is designed to: Assist manufacturers in benchmarking their performance against others in their...
Wisconsin’s cluster accelerators highlight innovative business development approach

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Supporters of Wisconsin’s statewide startup ecosystem understand the key to success is delivering the right resources to the right entrepreneurs at the right time and in the right place. Wisconsin’s industry development strategy leverages a versatile investment tool—the Targeted Industry Project Program administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)—to support catalytic initiatives in industry sectors with the greatest potential for significant job growth. Participants in such projects include private business, industry consortia organizations, educational institutions and economic development stakeholders. One example of such an industry-focused investment is the establishment of a center of excellence that acts as an anchor for education, R&D,...
Save the Date! Polk County Economic Development Corporation Business Awards Luncheon

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

MAY 15, 2018 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM PARADISE LANDING RESTAURANT 264 County Road I Balsam Lake, WI  54810 $25/person More details to follow Questions: director@polkcountyedc or 715-405-3400 See Below for Online Payment:   To Pay by Check: Send check payable to Polk County EDC to: Polk County EDC 100 Polk Plaza, Suite 226 Balsam Lake, WI  54810 Note address is different from last year.
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Agriculture in Polk County Strong All Year

Monday, April 02, 2018

During my recent vacation to Florida I was amazed at how green and lush the surroundings were during the height of winter.  Coconut Palm trees, orchards, and farms were thriving.  For a moment I wondered how agriculture-based counties in Wisconsin could compete economically given the fact that green plants are replaced with white snow for several months each year.  But then I reflected on several agricultural businesses in Polk County and realized that local agribusiness and agricultural products are alive and well all year. Wisconsin is known as the Dairy State, but it is much more. While cheese and milk are...
The Experience Economy is Set to Grow in 2018

Monday, March 26, 2018

The economy is growing and now is an excellent time to join the new experience economy. For any entrepreneur who has the next big-idea or an established business looking to grow, 2018 is the time to make key business decisions and implement strategies for growth. Polk County Economic Development Corporation(PCEDC) supports local area businesses and entrepreneurs in their endeavors by providing mentorship, connections with key financial resources, assistance with workforce development and relocation. We come alongside local businesses and make it easier to grow. Creating an Experience-Based Business is a Top Trend for 2018 Polk County is uniquely positioned to benefit from...
Serenity Home seeks help in finding future location

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The future location of Serenity Home Shelter has been in question since spring 2017.  The Polk County Board of Supervisors voted to extend the county’s lease with the shelter for three years. After that time, the shelter will likely have to move. Currently, Serenity Home is located in the old Polk County Jail and can house 18 homeless men and women. The shelter opened in 2008 and is the only mass shelter in Polk County. Serenity Home staff and advisory board members are asking the public’s help in their effort to secure a new location, raise funds for the move and more....
New Clayton Businesses

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CLayton Village President Joe Berghammer presented welcome certificiates of appreciation to two new Clayton businesses. Sara Bahgat of Fur-r-r-y Fashions pet grooming and  Joey Monson-Lillie of Joey Monson-Lillie Photography each opened their businesses this January on Olson Street, next to the laundromat adjacent to Highway 63. You can reach Fur-r-r-y Fashions by calling 715-419-2007. Learn more about Joey Monson-Lillie photography at Continue to full article. 
Concept plan for 301 River Street evolves to include park

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Development plans for multifamily housing where the old hospital stands, 301 River Street, have been tweaked with the intention of maintaining the street’s integrity, according to LAD Properties developer Bernie Desmarais.  Desmarais briefed the Osceola Plan Commission on evolving plans for the site. The plan is still in the concept phase. “We’re talking about long range plans and want to give an idea about what we’re thinking and how we can make this property be the best it can be,” Desmarais said, “as well as some other ideas we think might pose some tax revenue generating opportunities for the village.” Since unveiling initial...
3 Reasons (Backed By Data) That 2018 Is A Great Year To Start A Startup In The Midwest

Monday, March 19, 2018

You likely already have plans for what you’ll be doing in 2018. Maybe you’ve already bought tickets for an epic trip or committed yourself to getting fit this year. Sounds like fun! But maybe 2018 is also the year that you should start the small business you’ve always been dreaming of. Whether you know exactly what kind of business you want to open, or if you just long to be your own boss someday, you should know that 2018 is a particularly good year for starting a business. Why is that? There are a lot of economic reasons that starting a business in 2018 will give...
State of Wisconsin launches $1 million marketing campaign aimed at young professionals in Chicago

Friday, March 16, 2018

First-of-its-kind campaign to utilize Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, mobile phone apps to highlight key reasons why millennials should consider relocating to Wisconsin The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has launched a $1 million marketing campaign to encourage young professionals in the Chicago area to consider living and working in Wisconsin. The campaign, which places an emphasis on reaching millennials via popular social media platforms they use every day, began this week and runs through June 30. It includes ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pandora, and popular mobile phone apps. The unprecedented campaign is part of the state’s comprehensive efforts to...
Agency leaders outline details for proposed $6.8 million talent attraction campaign

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Part of Governor Walker’s Workforce Agenda, initiative would create a mobile jobs center and attract veterans transitioning to civilian life Leaders of four state agencies today outlined the details of a proposed $6.8 million national talent campaign that would focus on attracting transitioning veterans to Wisconsin and providing a new mobile job center to provide workforce support services within and outside of the state. The initiative, part of Governor Scott Walker’s Workforce Agenda, also would expand upon a campaign launched this week aimed at attracting Midwestern millennials and Wisconsin alumni. Testifying before the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy, key officials with the Wisconsin...
WEDC now accepting applications for Certified In Wisconsin Program

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

State’s development-ready property designation has helped Wisconsin communities attract more than $389 million in new development MADISON, WI. – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting applications for its Certified In Wisconsin® Program, which designates industrial parcels of 20 acres or more as being “development ready.” The program has played a key role in helping communities throughout the state attract new companies by providing independent certification that a wide range of concerns have been evaluated—environmental and geological factors, transportation access, utility and infrastructure capacity, zoning, and property rights—and that the site is ready for industrial development. Wisconsin has 17 certified sites, with...
Workforce Retention and Attraction: How Do We Keep the Millennials?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Many businesses in Polk County are asking what they can do to attract and retain Millennial workers. This is an important question to ask because they are making up a large portion of today's workforce. The oldest millennial is 35 and long past their teenage years. They are beginning to enter management careers, taking their place in leadership roles, and play a significant role in small and large companies alike. The challenge is that many business owners and executives do not understand them. This generation has been a bit of an enigma, making it difficult to recruit and retain them....
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Polk County Supports Expansion of High Speed Internet

Friday, February 23, 2018

Staying connected is critical.  Imagine a business enterprise that lacks the ability to easily communicate with customers, vendors, and employees.  Any business that cannot quickly reach these people is at a significant disadvantage.  The same goes for students.  Schools are relying more and more on the internet to communicate lessons, conduct research, and administer tests.  Not having good internet service ‘hamstrings’ one’s ability to compete or operate on a level playing field.  That is why government entities at all levels are making it a priority to encourage deployment of fiber optic cable (broadband) to improve the speed and reliability of...
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Workforce Recruitment is Underway

Friday, January 26, 2018

Polk County Businesses are experiencing a rapid change in the availability of workers.  It seems like only a few years ago everyone was concerned with the number of people who could not find work.  Now, a common worry expressed by many of our businesses is that they cannot find enough workers to meet their needs.  The result:  Manufacturers are contracting work out to others, plumbers and electricians cannot keep up with the demand for their services, and homebuilding is taking longer than expected.  Remember when our national unemployment rate was well into double digits?  Compare that to October 2017:  Polk...
GDSI: 25 years and counting

Monday, January 22, 2018

Pushing the buttons on a microwave or dispensing pop from a pop machine, most of us give little though to the fingertip-sized domes that collapse beneath our fingertips. But with every popping, push-button sensation an electronic message is sent. Underneath the numbers we see is a whole lot of technology…razor thin circuitry is printed and then sandwiched between many layers of plastic and adhesive, and topped off with artwork that means something to you and I. These membrane switches, as they’re called, are just one tiny piece of the technology needed to bring you your favorite beverage. And that’s exactly...
Reaching beyond business as usual

Monday, January 15, 2018

After adopting five children through the foster care system, Angel and Karl Gutha moved to the St. Croix Valley and opened a small business in an effort to teach the kids life lessons. As a young couple hoping to start a family in Lincoln, Nebraska, Karl and Angel Gutha never imagined themselves moving to the St. Croix Valley and founding a small business. But plans change.  Last March, alongside their five adopted children, the Guthas opened the doors to Marine & Auto Custom Interiors on Highway 8. It was but another milepost on a journey for which there is no map. Still,...
Minnesota’s higher minimum wage has minimal effect on nearby Wisconsin businesses

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 Minnesota’s minimum wage has risen well above Wisconsin’s and continues to increase, but that is having little if any effect on companies on this side of the state line, business executives and others say. St. Croix County, which is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and is as close as 18 miles to downtown St. Paul, might be expected to feel the pressure of a next-door labor market with a $9.50-an-hour wage floor. Not so, at least according to business owners and economic observers, who say the new Minnesota minimum doesn’t mean much...
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PCEDC Introduces New Library for Entrepreneurs

Thursday, January 11, 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, many of us will be contemplating a New Year's resolution.  Some of us will toss out the same old tired ones that we have stated prophetically year after year, e.g., "This year I am going to exercise regularly!" or "I am going save money instead of spending every penny."  Of course, if you are like me, these are quickly forgotten until almost 12 months later.   But today I am going to touch on a type of person who actually sets lofty goals and then achieves them:  an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are defined as people who organize...
Making Wisconsin a workforce destination

Monday, January 08, 2018

Local business leaders talk attracting millennials, veterans With industries facing tough waters recruiting qualified employees, local business leaders gathered one morning at Country Springs Hotel and Conference Center to talk about how best to attract millennials and other talent pools. What they learned is that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the key is to get their story out to workers about what their workplace, and their community, has to offer. Organized by the Waukesha County Business Alliance, the event featured a panel discussion with industry experts, and was capped by a keynote address by Tricia Braun. The chief operating officer of the Wisconsin...
UW–Madison retains 6th place in national research ranking

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The National Science Foundation released its 2016 Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey data, showing that UW–Madison retained 6th place in the national research rankings. Data on UW–Madison’s 2016 expenditures for research show the university remains a research powerhouse with nearly $1.16 billion in annual expenditures for research across all fields, about half of which comes from federal awards. Federal expenditures represent a 6.3 percent increase from the previous fiscal year, or totaling nearly $34 million in new additional spending. “The increase in expenditures and maintaining our ranking is good news for UW–Madison, showing that the needle is moving in the right direction...
2017’s Most Charitable States

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

’Tis the season for giving. And the latest World Giving Index shows that Americans are among the world’s most generous people, ranking No. 5 out of 140 countries. U.S. donors in 2016 gave more than $389 billion to charity, with 72 percent of the funds coming directly from individuals, according to the National Philanthropic Trust. But Americans do more than reach in their pockets to help others. They also contribute their time — and plenty of it. Nearly 63 million people volunteer in the U.S., serving a combined total of 7.9 billion hours per year, the equivalent of $184 billion of service. Not everyone is equally...
Attractive culture key for millennials, business leaders say

Friday, December 22, 2017

At the New North Summit in Green Bay, business leaders highlighted the importance of creating a company culture that’s attractive to millennials.  Such a culture involves developing a mission that goes beyond just making money, according to Mike Haddad, president and CEO of Schreiber Foods.  “It is the physical environment, it’s the social adjacencies, it’s the tools that they need to fulfill their potential,” Haddad said yesterday. “More and more today, people coming into the workforce want to know that their organization not only allows them to fulfill their potential, but are good stewards to the community, good stewards to the earth...
Old hospital site captures imaginations

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Roughly a decade after the Osceola Medical Center moved to its 122-acre campus south of the village center, the building that served as the hospital’s previous home sits empty at the intersection of River Street and Third Avenue. The windows are dark, many have been boarded over, paint peels from a high exterior wall and the second “e” has fallen from the lettering above the main entrance. Concern is growing that the site has become a hazard. Last week, an Osceola resident posted a video to Facebook expressing worry that kids are going into the building and could get hurt.  Despite its...
‘Until every part of the state is hooked up’ —Governor unveils broadband initiative in Amery

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vowing to continue to work with the private sector until “every part of the state” is connected to high speed internet, Gov. Scott Walker unveiled an enhanced broadband expansion grant program during a visit to Northwest Communications in Amery Oct. 12. Northwest Communications’ President and General Manager Mike Jensen announced that his company plans to install 1,000 miles of fiber optic service in the next five years. Jensen said that fiber would reach 70 percent of their customers by the end of the project. “We have 360 miles of fiber optic cable in our warehouse,” he said. “If I did my math...
Lights on for SunTuria Solar array

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Farms, homes and businesses powered by Polk-Burnett Electric Co-operative are now drawing electricity from a solar array tucked between cornfields behind the co-op’s Centuria office. “As far as we know it’s the first utility-scale solar project in our service territory of Polk and Burnett counties,” said Steve Stroshane, general manager of Polk-Burnett Electric Co-op, at the ribbon-cutting celebration last week. Dubbed “SunTuria Solar,” the 1.25-megawatt array is expected to produce 2.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power about 200 homes. The 4,800-panel array is owned and operated by solar developer SoCore Enegry. SoCore is leasing the 10 acres on which...
Osceola awarded $500,000 for fab lab

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced it would award $500,340 to the Village of Osceola to build a fabrication laboratory, or fab lab.  The funds will go to the Mill Pond Learning Foundation, the entity raising money for the lab, for which the village acted as a fiscal agent in the grant application process, noted capital campaign advisor John Martin. The fab lab has become a satellite project of the Mill Pond Discovery Center. Initially conceived of as part of the combined library and municipal building, organizers moved plans for the fab lab to a building near the new...
Cardinal LG announces 25 new jobs for Amery area

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cardinal LG of Amery, WI is experiencing explosive new growth and has the need for 25 additional production and Supervisory staff to meet business demands, according to a release sent by the company. Cardinal LG In Amery currently employs over 200 staff from Amery and the surrounding communities at it’s 290,000 square foot facility on Griffin Street.    The facility is part of Cardinal Glass Industries headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn., which has 42 facilities located around the U.S. and employs approximately 6,000 people. The Amery facility produces laminated safety glass & hurricane impact glass for a multitude of residential window manufacturers. Cardinal...
Grant Money to Support Entrepreneurs

Monday, October 30, 2017

Momentum West has launched a grant program to support entrepreneurial growth in ten Wisconsin counties. Each county’s EDC has the opportunity to apply for, and receive, $1,500 to support initiatives aimed at increasing entrepreneurship in the area. Funds will be awarded in the 2017 calendar year. The EDC can run these programs on their own or in conjunction with other organizations so long as they are spent in 2017 on clear activities for entrepreneurs. To find out how these funds will be spent in Polk County or to share your ideas, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation by emailing or...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New talent initiatives director position to oversee statewide efforts to attract, retain highly skilled workforce MADISON, WI – In a joint initiative aimed at addressing Wisconsin’s workforce development needs, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) today announced the creation of a new position that will lead and coordinate statewide efforts to attract and retain talent for both organizations. The new talent initiatives director will work with WEDC and the UWS Office of Economic Development to help align local, regional and statewide talent and workforce initiatives. The director will engage with organizations to provide insight and policy...
Export Development Grant Program can lead to international success

Monday, October 23, 2017

Manufacturing & Logistics In November 2015, the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development partnership launched the Export Development Grant Program presented by JPMorgan Chase. The program provides financial assistance to small and medium enterprises – both those new to exporting and experienced exporters – to enter new markets by accessing resources, overcoming obstacles and seizing on opportunities internationally. The program provides matching funds of up to $5,000 per company. The funding can be used for a multitude of export-related purposes and may also be combined with grants offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Companies are asked to provide a narrative explaining how...
Groundbreaking was Held for the Greater St. Croix Innovation Center

Monday, October 23, 2017

Groundbreaking for the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center (SCVBIC) was held on May 10th at the Sterling Ponds Corporate Park. The business center represents a collaborative partnership between UW-River Falls, Chippewa Valley Technical College, the City of River Falls, and regional economic development partners. The facility will be completed by early 2018 and will be available for training seminars, workshops, classes, and event space. Entrepreneurs and business owners will also be able to access Small Business Development Center Consulting, University resources, business advisors and networking opportunities. The SCVBIC will also have space available to rent, creating a convenient location for...
Business Guidance for Manufacturers

Monday, October 16, 2017

Are you in the manufacturing sector? Are you looking to grow your business, improve your operations, or enter a new market? If so, receiving business guidance, tips and tools can make all the difference in your success. The UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center is working to uncover new pathways to greater profitability and growth and will share that information with your business at no cost. Their objective is to help Wisconsin manufacturing companies succeed in the local and global marketplace. As such, they can help with profitability concerns, business growth, employee development, technology, research, process solutions and sustainability. Learn more by visiting...
We’ve Moved!

Monday, October 09, 2017

Polk County Economic Development Corporation moved to a new location in Balsam Lake on May 1st. We invite you to stop by our offices at: 100 Polk Plaza Suite 226 Balsam Lake, WI 54810 Office Phone:  715-405-3400 Email: Website: Our offices are in the Polk County Government Center. The location is easily accessible by our members and provides us with additional space to host meetings and events. With ample parking, it is easy for members to visit. Additionally, many of the government departments are located here, allowing for further collaboration regarding issues of economic development and community growth. This includes the Administration and Finance department responsible...
Steve Healy Retiring

Monday, October 02, 2017

The Polk County Economic Development Corporation team and Board of Directors would like to send a warm thank you to our retiring Executive Director, Steve Healy. Having served our EDC and community for the past seven years, Steve has guided our organization through continued growth. With his constant commitment to helping small businesses get started, assisting companies as they grow and creating economic opportunities, our entire area has benefited from his leadership. Prior to serving as our Executive Director, he was the President and CEO of Pierce-Pepin Electric Cooperative and served on the Board of Directors for the Momentum West regional...
Partnership with Small Business Development Center

Monday, September 25, 2017

The UW-Extension Polk County is now working with the Small Business Development Center at UW-River Falls. Through this exciting partnership, free business consulting will be offered to local area businesses. Both entrepreneurs and established business owners can benefit from these consulting services. They are fifty minutes long and entirely confidential. During these sessions, business owners can ask questions about business loans and get help creating a loan package. Sessions at the Polk County Government Center in Balsam Lake will be held on May 4th, June 1st, July 13th, and August 17th. You can schedule an appointment by calling 715-485-8600. For more...
Connecting Workers with Hiring Companies

Monday, September 18, 2017

Workforce development is critical to the growth of our economy. This requires robust training programs, connecting workers with hiring companies, and increasing the skillset of the available workers. Workforce Resources, Inc. plays a critical role in achieving these goals by managing the region’s Job Training Partnership Act and Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, among others. Their mission is to “align the needs of a diverse workforce with the needs of businesses for a strong, sustainable regional economy.” If you are a business looking to expand your workforce or increase the skillset of your current workers, reach out to Workforce Resources, Inc....
Meet Our New Executive Director

Monday, September 11, 2017

Join us in welcoming our new Executive Director, Vince Netherland to the Polk County Economic Development Corporation team. Vince has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Purdue University and brings valuable insight to our organization. Formerly with Eli Lilly and Company, he has been serving as the President of Mosquito Maximus, LLC since 2015. His leadership skills and experience make him well-able to continue guiding our EDC into the future. Our members and the community at large look forward to the implementation of his vision while building upon the hard work and foundations laid by Steve Healy...
WEDC to Discuss Supply Chain Opportunities with Foxconn

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will provide an overview of supply chain (contract vender) opportunities associated with Foxconn Technology Group at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 18, 2017 at the Cashman Conference Center, WITC-New Richmond campus, 1019 South Knowles Avenue, New Richmond, Wisconsin. Tricia Braun, WEDC’s chief operating officer, will provide details on Foxconn, its economic impact, and how local businesses may become involved in the supply chain. Braun brings nearly 20 years of economic development leadership experience at WEDC. Prior to her current position, she served as WEDC’s vice president of economic development and regional development and attraction director....
SEO Tips to Increase Your Exposure

Monday, September 04, 2017

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for your business presence online. Without it, you could have a website that doesn’t come up in a local search. For most local businesses, it is important to come up in a local search more than a national one. To make this possible, use the name of your town or Polk County on your website when writing content. For example, “Visit XYZ dentist in Polk County”. This is a simple step that can help you to show up when someone conducts a local search. Also, make sure that when designing your website, your meta tags...
Receive No-Cost Consulting for Your Business

Monday, August 28, 2017

As an entrepreneur starting up or established business owner, there will be times where you need business advice, help connecting with the right resources, or tools to help you grow. The Small Business Development Center is here to help by offering no-cost consulting services. Everything is strictly confidential so you can ask questions and seek guidance on a variety of business issues. They also offer educational programs to increase your skillset or that of your team. The consulting sessions are held at the Polk County Government Center in Balsam Lake and are 50-minutes long. You can register for them by calling...
Kage Innovation relocating operations to Polk County

Friday, August 25, 2017

Minnesota company to occupy new facility in Osceola MADISON, WI. Aug. 18, 2017 – Kage Innovation LLC, which invents and manufactures custom snow removal and lawn care equipment, is relocating its operations from Minnesota to northwestern Wisconsin, company and state officials announced today. Kage Innovation, which was founded in 2006 and develops new equipment technology for snow removal operators, landscaping contractors and other grounds managers, is moving from Oak Park Heights, Minn., to Polk County. The company broke ground Friday on a 26,400-square-foot facility in the Osceola Airport Industrial Park. “Wisconsin is Open for Business, and it is great to see Kage Innovation...
Business Service Award Winner

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cardinal Accounting & Tax, LLC has won our Business Service Award for 2017. Local CPA, Martin Dikkers serves individuals, families and businesses in our area with a primary focus on serving the business community.  They offer payroll and bookkeeping services in addition to tax preparation and filing. Customers have said Mr. Dikkers is, “Not only an efficient and knowledgeable professional, but an active and dedicated member of our community.” Tim Van Meter, Owner — Van Meter's Meats and “...always goes the extra mile and gives top-notch service.” Julie Buck, Owner — JB Studios Photography, LLC. You can learn more about Cardinal Accounting...
The good things in life

Monday, August 14, 2017

More people are leaving big city life behind and moving to small towns. It’s not hard to understand. Small town life lets people slow down. It has loads of benefits, like affordability and enhanced sense of community. Small towns also tend to have more green space. Clear Lake is a good example. The charming Wisconsin village has a 260-acre park featuring two small lakes and an abundance of fish. The park enables picnicking, camping, hiking, boating and swimming. The Clear Lake-Clayton Trail also runs through town. The 11-mile multi use trail is open year round.Clear Lake has wonderful community events such...
SEO Tips to Increase Your Exposure

Monday, August 07, 2017

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for your business presence online. Without it, you could have a website that doesn’t come up in a local search. For most local businesses, it is important to come up in a local search more than a national one. To make this possible, use the name of your town or Polk County on your website when writing content. For example, “Visit XYZ dentist in Polk County”. This is a simple step that can help you to show up when someone conducts a local search. Also, make sure that when designing your website, your meta tags...
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Executive Director Opening: Pierce County Development Corporation

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Pierce County Development Corporation is inviting applications, nominations, expressions of interest and inquiries for the position of Executive Director. A detailed position description can be found here. We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a passion for business development and significant business experience. The position will require approximately 30 hours per week and part-time administrative support. Compensation will be commensurate with prior experience and consistent with the independent contractor status for the incumbent. Please direct all correspondence and questions to : Larry J Dokkestul PCEDC Board Chair C/O  Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services PO Box 420, Ellsworth WI 54011-0420 Direct:  715-273-2403 Fax:  715-273-2019 Applications should include a...
Winner of the Small Business of the Year Award

Monday, July 31, 2017

Have you been introduced to Great Northern Innovation? The winner of our 2017 Small Business of the Year Award, they manufacture wear media and vibrating screens for the mining industry. They have been steadily growing and are increasing their operations with a manufacturing plant in Polk County that is set to create 35 new jobs. “Great Northern Innovation is very excited to be putting down roots in Milltown, and we look forward to contributing to the local economy and job force as we grow together into the future,” said company President Gabe Feuerhelm. You can learn more about Great Northern Innovation...
Small towns can be big on culture

Monday, July 24, 2017

The arts are a vital part of the economy. They promote creativity and innovation, which enrich civic life and ultimately fuel entrepreneurism. We don’t typically think of small towns as being artistic centers. But Amery, Wisconsin is a perfect example of how the arts can thrive in a small town. Amery is included in the book “The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America.” The population of just under 3,000 supports a vibrant arts organization. The Northern Lakes Center for the Arts is the hub. The center has been operating in Amery for more than 25 years, hosts a chamber orchestra, theater...
Take to the trails

Monday, July 17, 2017

Recreational trails are a wonderful resource. They allow people be active and to get outside to experience their natural environment. They’re also a great investment for the economy, as they improve health and livability. Turtle Lake is a quaint Wisconsin town conveniently located at the crossroads of Hwy 8 and 63. It features two scenic multi-use trails. The Cattail Trail runs through town on its 18-mile route from Amery to Almena. The Northern Railroad Trail is accessed in Turtle Lake and runs for 13 miles to Cumberland. The trails can be used for a range of activities, such as walking, biking,...
Happy life, successful business

Monday, July 10, 2017

  Quality of life has become a key factor in deciding where to locate a business. It makes sense: happy employees are more motivated and productive. The Village of Balsam Lake is the county seat of Polk County, Wisconsin and offers tremendous quality of life. The friendly village is nestled on a large lake, providing scenic beauty as well as fantastic fishing. Area trails provide opportunities for hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ATVing and snowmobiling. Balsam Lake also has great entertainment options, whether you like movies, gambling or shopping. Balsam Lake has a business park with incentives such as tax and energy savings....
Why Your Business Should be on Google Maps

Monday, July 03, 2017

  Google Maps is one of the most popular apps on the iStore and downloaded by millions of people. It is used as a navigation tool but also to find businesses in the area. If someone is on the road and looking for a specific type of restaurant, store, or activity, they are likely to use Google Maps on their phone. If your business is listed, you have the opportunity to gain a new customer. If not, you could lose out on business without realizing you had the opportunity to earn it. A Google Maps listing is completely free and easy to...
Available Properties for Sale or Lease

Monday, June 26, 2017

Find a new home for your business in the Greater St. Croix Valley. If you are in need of warehouse or office space, we have available properties that are easy to access, listed at affordable rates, and ready to occupy. If you prefer to purchase, there are several loan programs that can help you to do so. Some available properties include an office/warehouse in Somerset, warehouse in Centuria, Main Street business with a warehouse in Bay City, industrial building in Cedar Falls, warehouse and office in Centuria, and a virtual spec building in Menomonie. This real estate flyer contains square footage...
Celebrating Wisconsin cheese

Monday, June 19, 2017

Americans love our cheese. We each eat an average of 35 pounds of cheese annually. Wisconsin is the top producer of this wholesome dairy product, providing 26 percent of the U.S. cheese supply. Clayton, Wisconsin has long been a cheese town. In the 1930s, Italian cheese was the main product; in the 1960s, the village produced so much blue cheese it became known as the "blue cheese capital of the world." Today the village is a predominant producer of pizza cheese. Clayton Cheese Days celebrates this legacy each year with wonderful community activities like a street dance, tractor pull, parade, corn hole...
The lure of lake life

Monday, June 12, 2017

A number of studies have demonstrated that being in nature can enhance well being. Recent research indicates this effect is intensified if the natural settings include bodies of water. One marine biologist characterizes the calming effect water has on the brain as "blue mind." Milltown, Wisconsin area residents are fortunate to live in close proximity to 13 lakes—all are within 8 miles of town. Several are popular for recreation, such as Balsam, Half Moon and Antler lakes. Popular activities include boating, fishing and swimming. Half Moon Lake hosts an annual fishing competition. Area residents can enjoy peaceful lake living and still have...
From the Office of Business Development: Training Grant Opportunity for Small Business & Construction Trades

Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) - Office of Skills Development (OSD) will be releasing Grant Program Announcements (GPAs) under Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative for both Small Business Occupations and Construction Trades and Related Occupations. Wisconsin employers and workforce partners are encouraged to start preparing innovative and collaborative customized training grant applications. Grantees may be awarded up to $400,000 to upskill construction trades and related occupations and up to $50,000 to upskill workers in small business settings. Application details follow: Worker Training Grants for: Small Business Occupations Construction Trades and Related Occupations Grant Applications Open: June 09, 2017 Deadline to Apply: June 30, 2017...
How to Use Video Marketing for Your Business

Monday, June 05, 2017

Video marketing can be an incredibly valuable tool for your business both in generating exposure and improving your search engine optimization. Most people think they need to hire a professional videographer to create videos but that’s not the case! You can create a simple video using your smartphone or one of the free online services like Wideo. Keep in mind that you are the subject matter expert for your business and industry. For example, if you are a plumber, you could create a short video with a tip for how to spot or stop a leak. By speaking into the camera...
Meet Our Energy Innovation Award Winner

Monday, May 29, 2017

Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative is the winner of the 2017 Energy Innovation Award. As an electric cooperative, they provide dependable and affordable electricity to homeowners and businesses in the county, currently serving over 20,000 customers. They are innovators in the energy sector as well, bringing solar to our community. Through a partnership with Dairyland Power Cooperative, they are developing the first utility scale solar in our area. This project will provide solar energy to meet some of the energy needs of cooperative members. This will help to diversify the energy sources used by our county to ensure a stable energy supply and...
Cardinal Accounting and Tax, LLC Recipient of Business Service Award

Monday, May 22, 2017

L to R Vince Netherland, Executive Director, Martin Dikkers, CPA and Partner, Theresa Schuknecht, CPA,  Dustin Moeller, CPA and Partner,  and Jami Flanigan, CPA and Managing Partner, and Steve Healy, Retiring Executive Director. LUCK – Cardinal Accounting and Tax, LLC recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County.  The 2017 Business Service Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 16, 2017. State Representative Adam Jarchow presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf...
Cardinal LG Recipient of Large Business Award

Monday, May 22, 2017

L to R Vince Netherland, Executive Director, Jarite Dorenbush, Plant Manager, Joey Monson-Lillie, Human Resources Manager, and Steve Healy, Retiring Executive Director. AMERY – Cardinal LG recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County.  The 2017 Large Business Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 16, 2017. State Representative Adam Jarchow presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senator Shelia Harsdorf and State Representative Adam Jarchow. ...
Great Northern Innovation/RockShield Rubber Recipient of Small Business Award

Monday, May 22, 2017

Vince Netherland, Executive Director, Gabe Feuerhelm, President, Lonnie Feuerhelm, CFO, And Steve Healy Retiring Executive Director. MILLTOWN – GreatNorthern Innovation/RockShield Rubber recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County.  The 2017 Small Business Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 16, 2017. State Representative Adam Jarchow presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senator Shelia Harsdorf and State Representative Adam Jarchow.  In addition Scott Bolstad, Office...
Meet the Winner of the Large Business of the Year Award

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cardinal Glass received our Large Business of the Year Award at our annual banquet. Cardinal Glass creates insulating glass, coated glass, laminated glass, custom tempered glass and float glass. They produce the highest quality products and have earned a reputation as being a company that homeowners and builders can depend on. They have a research and development center here in Wisconsin and are focused on using technology to improve the quality of their products while minimizing their impact on the environment. Cardinal Glass is an industry innovator, growing, and we are pleased to have given them the Large Business of the...
State leaders to join Governor Walker in awarding fab labs grants throughout Wisconsin

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lt. Governor Kleefisch, UW System President Cross, WEDC Secretary Hogan among those taking part in “Fab Lab Day” announcements. Madison – Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and key state leaders traveled throughout Wisconsin to present more than 20 public school districts with a total of nearly $500,000 in grants that will enable them to start or expand local fabrication laboratories, or fab labs. “This unified show of support from the leaders of state government and all levels of education is a clear indication of the important role fab labs play in providing students in every region of the state with hands-on...
SunTuria Solar/Polk Burnett Electric Cooperative Recipient of Energy Innovation Award

Monday, May 22, 2017

L to R Vince Netherland, Executive Director, Ed Johansen, Operation Manager, Stacy Bergmann, Executive Assistant, Steve Stroshane, General Manager, Joan O’Fallon, Director of Communications, Heather Gerber, Accounting Manager, Todd Schulte, Member Services Manager, and Steve Healy, Retiring Executive Director. CENTURIA – SunTuria Solar/Polk Burnett Electric Cooperative recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County.  The 2017 Small Business Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 16, 2017. State Representative Adam Jarchow presented a...
Economic Development in Polk County

Monday, May 15, 2017

Economic development is a high priority in Polk County and something we actively work to facilitate. Economic development goes far beyond initiating programs to helping businesses with day to day challenges. Whether this means working to create strategic plans, connecting business owners with skilled workers, or opening the door to new business opportunities, we are here to assist you. We promote local businesses and their expansion along with recruiting new businesses. The state and region has resources to help with financing opportunities that makes it possible to achieve some of these goals. We also have low tax rates and a competitive...
WCCO is ‘Goin’ to the Lake’ in Amery

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

With those words, WCCO-CBS TV, out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, informed Paul Shafer, Executive Director of the Amery Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), that they would be filming one of their popular ‘Goin’ to the Lake’ segments in Amery this summer. WCCO does ‘Goin to the Lake’ segments on weekends in June, July and August. They travel out to communities in their viewing area and feature a different city each weekend during their news casts over 2 evenings. It’s been a popular segment for a number of years with ‘Frank and Amelia’ visiting a number of cities in our area, including New Richmond,...
Where have all the welders gone?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Local businesses aim to increase student interest in trades. Sparks flew, hammers pounded and bricks met mortar as students from across Polk County tried their hand at welding, driving nails, masonry and other skilled trades. Organizers of the inaugural Construction Skills Career Day, held at the Polk County Fairgrounds, hope the interactive exhibits will increase student interest and remind educators that it’s a viable career path. “We want to expose kids to jobs in the trades,” said Neil Bakke, vice president of Amery-based Monarch Paving. “There’s a shortage of people entering the workforce, and we want to show educators there are good paying opportunities here in...
Tips for Managing Your Social Media

Monday, May 08, 2017

Your business has a lot to say and connecting with your customers, community members and prospects online is an excellent way to get your message out. Social media is free to use and allows you to engage in real-time. The only question is – how will you manage it? Without a clear strategy, you may get off to a great start and then stop for lack of time or direction. To make it easier, craft a seasonal strategy based on what you know will happen in your business or with your customers. For example, if you run a restaurant, you can...
Netherland named new Executive Director of Polk County EDC

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

NEWS RELEASE May 4, 2017 Netherland named new Executive Director of Polk County EDC Healy to retire from organization following seven years as executive director Balsam Lake, Wis. – The Polk County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors announced that it has hired Vince Netherland of Balsam Lake to be the next executive director of the organization. Netherland will succeed long-time PCEDC executive director Steve Healy who announced earlier this year he would be stepping down to retire. Steve Healy, current executive director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, will be retiring later this spring. Steve has served in this role since February 2010. Vince...
Annual Awards Banquet in May

Monday, May 01, 2017

Join us for the Polk County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Awards Luncheon on May 16th from 11:30 to 12:00. Held at Paradise Landing in Balsam Lake, this is our premier event to celebrate the success of businesses within our community. Awards are being given to the Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, and for Business Service and Energy Innovation. We are fortunate to have many talented and growing businesses in Polk County, some of which will be featured at our banquet. You can still attend this exciting event for $20 per person. RSVP by May 10th to...
CEOs Rank 2017 Best & Worst States for Business

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For the 13th year in a row, CEOs weigh in on what each of the 50 states has to offer your business. While there is a level of constancy when it comes to the very best and very worst states for business as ranked by CEOs, there is plenty of jockeying for position within the ranks, and even some leaping and plummeting. Because of how CEOs view business climates, because states themselves have varying priorities and because of the slow pace of change in many state governments, the same states have held top five spots for six years running. Continue to full article. 
Remaining small despite growth

Monday, April 24, 2017

In 1982, entrepreneur Dennis Frandsen started a bank. Since then, Frandsen Bank and Trust has evolved to encompass 30 locations throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. All this time, Frandsen’s community-focused philosophy has stayed true. Frandsen bankers are adept at needs assessment, relationship building and delivering solutions for businesses. Frandsen Bank and Trust of Luck was recently rewarded with the PCEDC Business Service Award for its efforts. Bank President Charvey Spencer was on hand to accept the award. “Our customers have told us that we are big enough to meet all their needs but small enough to care. We think that says...
Promoting green businesses

Monday, April 17, 2017

  The International Energy Agency reports solar could eclipse fossil fuels and other various forms of power generation to be the world’s primary source of electricity in by 2050. Crystal Ball Farms Organic Dairy is taking the lead among Polk County businesses in this arena. Owners Barb and Troy Derosier installed 564 solar panels at the farm in Osceola in September. The 151-kilowatt array provides upwards of 95 percent of the organic dairy farm’s electricity. The business has also converted from propane to natural gas, which reduced their cost by 50 percent. The Derosiers may ultimately replace the natural gas with methane...
Startup Weekend Coming in April

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Entrepreneurs are welcome to attend Startup Weekend April 7-9 at University Research Park, organizers announced recently. Similar to past years, the three-day event will give entrepreneurs the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures, as well as the chance to network with other like-minded individuals. Participants will hear from industry leaders such as Rachel Robinson and Emily Purdom of DotCom Therapy and Emmanuel Buah of Airfordable. The pitch demos that conclude the weekend will be judged by Karen Hitchcock of HealthFinch and Molly Lahr of American Family Ventures. Continue to full article.
Business Plan Contest entries reflect market trends — and state’s economic diversity

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest has always been a canary in a high-tech coal mine, chirping out alerts about the kinds of businesses emerging in the state’s economic sectors. This year’s contest, in which the pool of entries has been trimmed to fewer than 50 contestants, is no exception to the rule. The list of semifinalists reflects efforts to solve market and social problems, big and small, while also signaling the increasing diversity of Wisconsin’s economy. The survivors are a microcosm of Wisconsin innovation, with finalists pushing the envelope in traditional sectors — manufacturing and agriculture — as well as information technology,...
Explore the City of Trails

Monday, April 10, 2017

  Getting outside in nature has restorative power. Among the many benefits, research shows it helps relieve stress, boost the immune system and sharpen concentration. St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin residents benefit from the town’s abundance of options for outdoor recreation. One-third of the city, which is situated along the picturesque St. Croix River an hour outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul, has been set aside for activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, and biking. It is dubbed the “City of Trails,” because it features networks of trails including the St. Croix Riverway as well as the multi-state Gandy Dancer and Ice Age Trails. St. Croix Falls...
Veterans can earn up to $500 for entrepreneurship training

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Veterans and their immediate family members can receive up to $500 for the Wisconsin SBDC Network’s Entrepreneurship Training Program, thanks to a state grant and partnership with Bunker Labs Wisconsin. The opportunity is part of a larger, multi-organization effort made possible through a $238,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs that includes a "Muster Across Wisconsin" tour. Up to 36 veterans or their spouses/children are eligible for a $250 registration reimbursement and an additional $250 upon successful completion of the course and their business plan. Continue to full article. 
Tom Still: Technology helps drive 'Holy Trinity' of Wisconsin economy

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Agriculture, manufacturing and tourism are the "Holy Trinity" of the Wisconsin economy and may always be so, given the state’s tradition of excellence in all three sectors. Technology increasingly drives each of those sectors, however, and is slowly building an impressive standing of its own in terms of the jobs and value it adds to the Wisconsin economy. Several recent reports make the case: An advance version of the “Cyberstates” report from CompTIA, the nation’s largest leading tech association, showed Wisconsin cracking the 100,000-job barrier in 2016 for the first time. The report, which draws upon a mix of public and private...
Banish the winter blues

Monday, April 03, 2017

When the temperature starts to drop and the days get shorter, it’s hard to resist the temptation to curl up on the couch with Netflix. But the secret to surviving and thriving through a Wisconsin winter is to get out and enjoy the snow. Dresser, Wisconsin is home to Trollhaugen Resort, which makes getting out to enjoy the outdoors easy to do. The 60+ year resort features 24 runs and two terrain parks to entertain alpine skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Add in cross-country ski trails and 10 lanes of snow tubing and you have winter fun for the whole...
Check out Centuria

Monday, March 27, 2017

  Centuria, Wisconsin is a small town with great amenities, particularly for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. The 98-mile Gandy Dancer recreational trail runs through town, offering the chance to snowmobile in the winter or hike and bike the rest of the year. Nearby Long Lake offers opportunities for boating and fishing. The annual Memory Days celebration in July adds to Centuria’s small town charm, with stock car races, craft sales, kiddie parade, street dance and more.  To top it off, Centuria residents enjoy low tax and utility rates and the village owns an industrial park, which makes the location attractive for prospective...
Strong leaders, strong economy

Monday, March 20, 2017

  “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” ~Sheryl Sandberg A lasting impact is what we’re aiming for. That’s why the PCEDC has recruited a board of directors representing key leaders in our community with a diverse set of skills. A strong board helps us fulfill our mission to strengthen the region’s businesses and overall economy. Brian Elwood is one of our newest board members. Elwood is Xcel Energy’s community relations manager. In this role, he works with a variety of stakeholders St. Croix, Polk, Pierce and portions of...
Rural broadband boost

Monday, March 13, 2017

Did you know that less than half of adults living in rural areas of the U.S. have access to broadband Internet at home? This contrasts with two-thirds of adults living in cities. Since the Internet plays a role in education, business and many other aspects of life, this has major implications for rural economic development. That’s why Wisconsin is investing in rural broadband networks. In fact, the state tripled the amount of grant money available to expand broadband in underserved areas last year. Polk County is fortunate to be one of the areas benefitting from this expansion of broadband services. Find out...
Building business success

Monday, March 06, 2017

  Joe Berghammer started JJR Construction in 1977 in Clayton, WI. The company began with projects like garages and turkey barns and has evolved into building residential homes and other multi-million dollar projects. Though the company eventually changed its name, becoming Berghammer Builders, its business emphasis on quality and honesty has remained the same. The company now employs six office staff and about 20 personnel in the field. It has expanded to serve the entire state of Wisconsin as well as parts of Minnesota. Berghammer Builders is now offering mini-construction seminars and classes for area youth in order to get interested and excited...
Rewarding businesses that contribute to the economy

Monday, February 27, 2017

Schaffer Manufacturing, Inc. in Turtle Lake started in 1993 as a one-man weld-repair shop and has grown exponentially since. The company now employs 85 people, has operations in Milltown and Centuria and provides customized heavy steel and sheet metal fabrication to manufacturers nationwide. PCEDC bestowed Schaffer Manufacturing with the 2016 “Large Business Award” in recognition of the company’s contributions to local economic and community development. When President and Owner Steve Schaffer accepted the award, he noted that integrity and high standards are a part of the region’s heritage and he spoke of the Shaffer’s role within the community. “…we understand that true...
Failure is the first step

Monday, February 20, 2017

Successful entrepreneurs know an important secret: failure is a prerequisite for business growth. Failure is a harsh lesson. But the best lessons are. It’s important to understand challenges as a learning opportunity. The Polk County EDC exists to help businesses succeed and grow. We have resources, connections and expertise geared towards helping companies overcome the many inevitable failures involved in building and running a business. Learn more about the importance of attitude in business success and find out about business enemies like fear and the idea of perfection from Entrepreneur magazine:  
Dreams on tap: Amery Ale Works becomes labor of love for local entrepeneur

Monday, February 13, 2017

When city dwellers Jenna Johnson and her then husband first fell in love with the property that used to be Quietwood Antiques several years ago, they had big plans for romantic barn weddings and happy ever afters. But before they could make those things happen, she ended up single, displaced in the woods of northwest Wisconsin far removed from the city life she’d always known and the software developer job she telecommuted to every day. Like most divorcees, Jenna took some time to step back and find herself again. Her five-acre property in Black Brook Township was the perfect spot for that,...
The best of all worlds

Monday, February 13, 2017

Frederic, Wisconsin touts itself as “the best of all worlds!” It has a pleasant small town atmosphere with exceptional quality of life, yet it’s also within easy driving distance to bigger cities. Frederic is only an hour and a half north of the Twin Cities and an hour and a half south of Duluth-Superior. It’s home to the second largest library in the county, has an active arts organization and features exceptional opportunities for recreation. Residents and visitors have easy access to 40 acres of public parks, a 20-acre lake and the Gandy Dancer Trail. Fun events like Frederic Family Days, Gem...
The charm of small town life

Monday, February 06, 2017

The best small towns exude a particular charm. They're places where people are connected; where you can feel like you're part of a community. They have their own time-honored traditions. Luck, Wisconsin is such a town, with events like music in the park, where you can enjoy live music with neighbors each Tuesday evening throughout the summer. In July, residents enjoy the weekend-long Lucky Days, with a parade, tractor pull, classic car show, bingo, 5k, softball tournament and more! Luck residents know how to liven up winter as well. The town's Winter Carnival in February features an ice castle, pageant, a medallion...
Family Farm Success Story

Monday, January 30, 2017

For the first time since the Great Depression, family farms are making a comeback. That’s because today’s consumers are paying closer attention to where their food comes from and how it’s grown. Crystal Ball Farms Organic Dairy in rural Osceola is a prime example of modern family farm success story. In 2016, they received an award from the Polk County EDC award for their commitment to use energy wisely. Crystal Ball Farms  grows crops to feed its cows and processes milk in-house with a focus on freshness and quality and products are delivered the same day they’re produced. PCEDC is proud to...
Got An Idea For A Technology-Based Business?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Get valuable early-stage feedback by entering the 14th annual Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest! The contest is designed to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage of tech-based businesses in Wisconsin. The contest links up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a statewide network of community resources, expert advice and mentoring, management talent and possible sources of capital. Deadline for online entry is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 31. To get started, contestants must create a simple account at Contestants use their account to gain access to mentors throughout the process, as well as review the judges' comments and feedback. Give it a try - you've got...
Greater St. Croix County Valley Legislative Day Scheduled for February 8

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Leaders from Dunn, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties will travel to the state capitol in Madison on Wednesday, February 8, for the annual Greater St. Croix Valley Legislative Day. A wide variety of representatives from business, industry, education, and civic organizations join together each year to discuss common issues impacting the region. Teams of 2-3 people will meet with legislators representing all areas of Wisconsin, to thank legislators for past support, and to discuss current issues of greatest concern to the St. Croix Valley. "The Greater St. Croix Valley Legislative Day is a great opportunity to engage legislators from all...
Municipalities - Take Note! CDBG & READI Grant Application Trainings

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The State of Wisconsin offers several Community Development Block Grant opportunities that can benefit your community. In addition, the brand new Rural Economic Area Development Initiative (READI) focuses on economic development, housing and job training in rural communities. Learn more about each program by visiting the links above. The first training will be held January 24th in Chippewa Falls. Get the full training calendar here. Registration is required!
Nominations Open for 2017 Top Rural Development Initiative Awards

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Great things are happening in rural Wisconsin! Share your story with Wisconsin Rural Partners-now accepting nominations to recognize 2017 Top Rural Development Initiatives.   Any project, activity, or even a whole community in rural Wisconsin is eligible. Initiatives can be in agriculture, economic or community development, business, education, health, energy, environment, philanthropy, tourism, the arts or any other field. Visit the Wisconsin Rural Partners web site to nominate a project today! Nominations are due February 3. The Top Rural Development Initiative Program began in 1998, to help uncover and share the great things happening throughout rural Wisconsin and serve as a capacity building tool...
Polk County Job Center - An Employer Resource Parnter

Sunday, January 29, 2017

As an Employer, do you need help: Recruiting skilled workers? Training current and new employees? Retaining employees? Downsizing? We have services available to assist employers with employment, retention and training needs. Services include: Help with recruiting qualified employees Applicant screening Needs assessment and job analysis Partnership with area vocational schools, colleges, Wisconsin Job Service and economic development services to help find the "right" employee Learn how to benefit from "Hire Vets First" Out-placement training assistance On-the-job training assistance Utilize internet/JobNet for posting job openings statewide Financial assistance - tax credits, subsidies, and paid internships Labor market, labor law, and ADA information For more information, contact Bonnie Fredrickson at 715-485-3115 or  
Youth + Science + Technology = YES!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wisconsin YES! (Youth Entrepreneurs in Science) is a statewide youth business plan contest modeled after the successful Governor's Business Plan Contest. Public, private and homeschooled students (middle- and/or high-school) across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through the website. Entries that advance to Phase 2 of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary. To get started, student contestants will need to create a simple account. Students use the account to gain access to mentors throughout the process,...
Supporting small businesses

Monday, January 23, 2017

Wisconsin State Representative Adam Jarchow was raised in rural western Wisconsin returned to the area after earning his J.D. from the University of Florida Law School and beginning a law practice. He has said his top priority in the Assembly is to do everything possible to create family-sustaining jobs in the region. The PCEDC is honored to have Representative Jarchow’s service as a board member. In addition to his legislative experience, Rep. Jarchow has a unique program where he spends a day each month working at a small business in his district. The “Working with You” program helps Rep. Jarchow stay in...
A vision for Polk County prosperity

Monday, January 16, 2017

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” ~Warren Bennis Eric Dueholm, past president of the Polk County EDC, has been a member of the board since 2007, which means he has a comprehensive understanding of the organization and has long been working to translate its vision into reality. Dueholm is a veteran of the commercial real estate industry and is currently a partner with The Terrace Group based in St. Paul, where he works as a commercial real estate consultant. He's adept at helping companies with site selection, lease and sale negotiation and strategic planning. Dueholm also has expertise in...
Our members make us stronger

Monday, January 09, 2017

Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." This sentiment is true for business and overall economic growth. We are stronger together. In April, Central Bank merged with MidWestOne Bank. The combined bank is headquartered in Iowa City and has 44 locations, serving the greater Twin Cities metropolitan, Western Wisconsin, Eastern Iowa and Southwest Florida. Learn more about this merger: Despite this phenomenal growth, MidWestOne Bank has kept a customer-centered, hometown approach to banking. This local approach is evident in its support and active participation as a Polk County EDC member. We’re...
Find the right site

Monday, January 02, 2017

Polk County has an array of available real estate for businesses looking to relocate and expand. Whether you need office space, a warehouse, or a shovel ready site, there are options. The Polk County EDC website has great tools to help potential businesses find real estate in the area as well as customizable data reports from each of our communities regarding quality of life, demographics and workforce information.
Community leaders help us grow

Monday, December 26, 2016

An active and engaged board of directors is vital to the success of any nonprofit organization. Volunteer leaders make a serious commitment in taking on the role of board member. With this role comes a pledge to contribute skills and expertise towards the cause. Polk County EDC is fortunate to have some excellent board members working on our mission to promote business growth in our region. Keri Uzpen, branch president of the St. Croix Falls MidWestOne Bank, joined the board in October 2015. Uzpen grew up in Osceola and plays an active role in the community. She's a member of the...
Unemployment rate falls lowest of the year

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The unemployment rate in Polk County fell in September to 3.4 percent, down from August’s rate of 3.8 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate in the county all year. It is also the lowest September rate in Polk County since 1998. According to Wisconsin’s WorkNet, 24,147 people were working in the county in September. This is the highest number of employed people in the county ever in September since records were kept online 1990. Click here for the complete article.
Wisconsin companies invited to explore international business growth in Canada

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is leading a global trade venture to Canada from April 30 to May 5, 2017, with stops in Toronto and Montreal. As a large, advanced economy with well-developed infrastructure, Canada is an ideal first market for new-to-export companies and one that seeks innovative, advanced technology product and service solutions. In Canada, Wisconsin companies will find a friendly market with many potential buyers for their products and services, especially if they offer innovations that solve problems for companies in their respective sectors. Click here for the complete article.
Calling All Innovators: Governor’s Business Plan Contest Now Open for Entries

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The contest helps connect innovators throughout the state with resources, mentoring and prospective sources of capital to encourage entrepreneurs in the startup stage to set up shop in Wisconsin. Finalists receive more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. To enter, entrepreneurs must submit a preliminary 250-word idea abstract by 5 p.m. on Jan. 31. More than 70 judges in the finance, sales, marketing, research and technology sectors will score and provide feedback on the entries. After the preliminary stage, the judges will determine which startups should move on to subsequent rounds of the contest, which will require entrepreneurs to explain...
Governor Walker announces new rural economic development initiative

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A new grant program offering financial assistance for rural economic development has been announced by Governor Scott Walker. At his Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit last week, Walker announced the Rural Economic and Area Development Initiative (READI) as a three-part program with a total of $10 million to help rural areas grow economically. "We want to make sure while the economy is improving, it's improving in every part of the state," Walker said. Click here for the complete article.
Teamwork helps us all prosper

Monday, December 19, 2016

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." ~Andrew Carnegie The Polk County EDC was founded to promote economic development, growth and retention of our businesses. But the organization can't achieve these lofty goals on its own; it requires partnership with private industry, the county and our municipalities. . That's why we invite leaders in the area to participate in our mission to help Polk County grow and thrive. The support of our members is integral to our...
Location, location, location

Monday, December 12, 2016

Finding an ideal location for your business is critical. But achieving the right mix of qualities tailored to your specific enterprise is a challenge. For some businesses, affordability is a primary concern. For others, good access to customers is key. Depending on your business, there may be countless other characteristics to consider, such as zoning, proximity to suppliers and whether the potential site has room for growth. With our new real estate tool, Polk County EDC is making such information more readily available to buyers. If you’re looking to sell office or industrial space, we’ve made it simple to and submit...
Incentives for start-ups

Monday, December 05, 2016

While it's generally recognized that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, finding financing for a new business or unproven business idea can be difficult. Thankfully, a number of helpful incentives exist for start-ups in Polk County. If your new business is struggling to get debt financing, the Micro Loan Fund Program could help and  Revolving Loan Programs are available for businesses in the area. Also, a Technology Enterprise Fund can help new and emerging technology companies in areas such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, chemicals, computer hardware and computer software. Find out about these helpful opportunities and more by visiting the...
Polk County’s EDC in Dresser

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Polk County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is an organization that was founded by the county board in 2004. Its purpose is to assist the communities of the county by doing what it can to help its businesses. After a test run prior to its establishment the board found that the benefits of having an organization dedicated solely to providing “technical expertise, [a] clearly defined, single point of contact, better focus, monitoring, consistency, continuity, [and] potential growth” for local businesses was important enough to create it.  The executive director of the EDC Steve Healy attended the Nov. 7 Dresser village board...
Sign up for news

Monday, November 28, 2016

Did you know the Polk County EDC has a monthly email newsletter? It features a business and board member of the month, highlights important news articles pertaining to business in Polk County and offers pertinent information for business owners and managers to help them become more successful. We encourage you to read current and archived issues of the e-newsletter. Stay up to date on relevant events and the latest news by signing up today!
Tools to enable entrepreneurism

Monday, November 21, 2016

Did you know that the number of small businesses in the United States has nearly doubled since 1982? It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur! The bad news is that nearly 50 percent of start-ups close within the first year. But given the right mix of resources, tools and advice, many of these businesses could have had a different outcome. That’s why Polk County EDC has prioritized linking area entrepreneurs with resources. We started by assembling a range of useful business tools on our website. Whether your business needs mentoring, funding or information on taxes, business climate and more, we may...
Arrow Building Center buys Fullerton in Osceola

Thursday, November 17, 2016

As you may have read recently, the Fullerton Lumber Company no longer has a presence in Osceola. They have decided to focus on other aspects of their business including  “the design and manufacture … [of] ‘quick build’ facilities for major national franchisors and food retailers” according to their press release. The operations of the business that was previously Fullerton’s Osceola lumberyard was acquired by Consolidated Lumber Company, dba Arrow Building Center (ABC). The Osceola yard, located on 35 north of town, still owned by Fullerton, is closed. However, ABC purchased all of the location’s “resources, inventory, and equipment” and hired the...
From natural resources to tourism, Fox continues to serve community

Thursday, November 17, 2016

For over 28 years Julie Fox worked for Interstate Park here in the St. Croix River Valley. For the past 28 years she held the title of Natural Resource Educator and prior to that she worked, while in high school and college, in other positions for the park. This work was all part of the Wis. Department of Natural Resources. Now Fox has moved from Natural Resources to Tourism, a transition that utilizes a surprising amount of Fox’s expertise and experience from her career at Interstate Park.  At the park, Fox explained, she was “primarily in charge of the Interpretive Program,...
Cultivating online connections

Monday, November 14, 2016

In a recent Pew Research Center study, 21 percent of Americans reported being online “almost constantly” during their waking hours. While this might seem extreme, it also demonstrates the incredible opportunity organizations have to connect with constituents online. That’s why Polk County EDC is embracing all forms of online communication. As a first step, we recently revamped our website: It's user friendly and packed with a wealth of helpful resources and great information for area businesses. We have also begun LinkedIn and Facebook pages and will be adding more information in the coming days and weeks. We encourage you to follow...
Dairyland Power Announces More Solar Projects

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Two new projects will be located in northwest Wisconsin and one in northeast Iowa La Crosse, WI— Dairyland Power Cooperative has finalized agreements for three additional utility-scale solar generation projects, bringing Dairyland’s total number of solar installations under contract to 15. The three new projects will increase the total solar generation from 15 megawatts (MW) to 20 MW in the Dairyland cooperative system. “Dairyland is celebrating our 75th anniversary this year and the 15 solar projects are an exciting example of our commitment to providing safe, reliable and sustainable energy far into the future. The current amount of solar generation in Wisconsin...
WEDC Seeks Companies for China Trade Venture

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

MADISON, WI. Nov. 8, 2016–The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) invites representatives from Wisconsin companies to join a trade venture to China March 18-25, 2017. The trade venture will include visits to Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing, China’s three top cities for global business connections. With a greater metropolitan area population of 34 million, Shanghai is China’s business and financial hub. Located in eastern China at the mouth of the Yangtze River, it is home to the world’s busiest container port. Tianjin is China’s fourth-largest city, and one of its fastest-growing cities. Located half an hour from Beijing by high-speed train, it...
Milwaukee Biz Blog: How others view Wisconsin matters in a global economy

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

If you think you’re having trouble making sense of this year’s presidential election, imagine being a visitor to the United States this fall. About three-dozen people from Germany – members of the federal parliament, business leaders, academics and a few journalists – received a short but intensive course in American politics last week in a tour that passed through Wisconsin. By the time they reached the end of their journey Thursday, the group had heard enough about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. They wanted to talk about why companies should set up shop in Wisconsin versus the East or West coasts. It was...
Quanex Building Products Hosts Manufacturing

Friday, October 07, 2016

LUCK – Quanex Building Products of Luck hosted their first annual Manufacturing Day Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Manufacturing Day offers educators and students the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in manufacturing, and the community to explore a manufacturing company in their neighborhood.  The event included a facility tour with an inside look into Quanex’s manufacturing facilities in Luck. Cindy Stoner, Human Resources Manager, welcomed guests and stated that “Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of Manufacturers”.  Almost 20 guests and visitors attended the event including students,...
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Schaffer Manufacturing Earns Certification in Global Standard For Quality Management Systems

Friday, October 07, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Contact:   Steve Schaffer Schaffer Manufacturing 715-825-6017 Schaffer Manufacturing Earns Certification in Global Standard For Quality Management Systems Milltown, WI (Oct. 5, 2016) ­– Steel and sheet metal fabricator Schaffer Manufacturing has achieved certification in ISO 9001:2008, the global standard used to evaluate and preview an organization’s performance around quality management and continuous improvement. The certification is confirmation, following a comprehensive third-party audit of Schaffer quality systems, that the company fulfills the requirements set out in eight quality management principles critical in meeting or exceeding customer requirements. The Schaffer certification process included evaluating company systems and performance against established best practices in these areas: Customer...
Middle East Trade Venture Provides Opportunities for Wisconsin Companies

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will lead a global trade venture to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Doha in Qatar early next year, with a goal of connecting Wisconsin companies with potential buyers, distributors and other partners in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets. The countries that make up the GCC—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE—are among some of the wealthiest in the world. Although much of the region’s wealth has accumulated thanks to oil and gas exports, world economic trends are forcing them to diversify their economies, and these countries are spending heavily to...
Idle Sites Redevelopment Program to Provide Grants for Abandoned or Underutilized Properties

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now accepting applications for a grant program to assist Wisconsin communities looking to revitalize and develop industrial and commercial sites that have been abandoned or require extensive improvements. The Idle Sites Redevelopment Program, created in 2013, will offer Wisconsin communities grants of up to $500,000 for implementation of redevelopment plans for large industrial or commercial sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for at least five years. Up to $2.3 million in funds are available through the program this year. “The Idle Sites Redevelopment Program is an extremely effective vehicle for cultivating communities for...
WEDC Launches Grant Program to Advance Entrepreneurship Statewide

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is accepting applications for a new grant program designed to advance the climate for entrepreneurship throughout the state. The Entrepreneurship Support program is open to nonprofit organizations and communities for activities and projects that promote entrepreneurship and deliver key services and resources to Wisconsin entrepreneurs. While WEDC has a variety of programs to support the formation, development, growth and financing of technology-based and growth-oriented startup and early-stage businesses, the new initiative provides funding to organizations and communities whose efforts may not meet the eligibility criteria for existing programs. Click here for the complete article.
For business people, LinkedIn is critical

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mike Mallwitz is a no-nonsense executive who for years swore by an old-school communications method: picking up the phone and calling. Now, however, Mallwitz is increasingly relying on a different approach: LinkedIn. As president of Busch Precision Inc., a nearly 110-year-old Milwaukee machine shop and rebuilder, Mallwitz says he’s particularly interested in congratulating people for their accomplishments. Maybe he sees a customer featured in a news story, or hears about a former employee who got hired for a new job. Click here for the complete article.
2015 traveler spending up in the Greater St. Croix Valley; state’s tourism spending up 4.39% to $11.91 billion

Friday, May 20, 2016

The 2015 traveler spending in St. Croix County increased 6.03% to $99.7 million according to an annual analysis released April 29th by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. St. Croix’s $99.7 million from travelers resulted in total business sales of $166.8 million, reflecting a 5.41% increase from 2014. This spending supported an estimated 1,828 jobs (+4.56% from 2014) in St. Croix and generated $12.7 million in state and local tax revenues (+5.96% from 2014). Statewide, travelers spent an estimated $11.919 billion in 2015, a 4.39% increase from 2014. Total business sales from tourists were estimated at $1.929 billion (+4.42% from 2014). Tourism...
Going Global: Spotlight on Wisconsin Manufacturing in April

Friday, May 20, 2016

From the shores of California to Milwaukee’s downtown business district and onto Hannover, Germany, Wisconsin’s manufacturing prowess is on full display during the month of April. Global business leaders along with representatives from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) have or will take part in three high-profile events this month including the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment held in San Diego April 3 – 6, Chief Executive’s Smart Manufacturing Summit, which took place in Milwaukee April 5 – 7, and international trade fair Hannover Messe, taking place April 25 – 29 in Hannover, Germany. Click here for the complete article.
Momentum West tackles regional workforce shortage

Friday, May 20, 2016

From newspaper front pages to Facebook newsfeeds, the same images will appear in the coming weeks: smiling college graduates adorned in caps and gowns, flanked by proud parents. Unfortunately — especially in our part of the state — once the gown is back on the rack and dorm room contents are packed into the car, that car is often headed away from employers who need these graduates to stay. “Too many of our graduates go back to where they came from or larger metropolitan areas to start their careers,” says Steve Jahn, executive director of Momentum West, the organization charged with...
Local Wisconsin Main Street Organizations Recognized at Annual Awards Ceremony

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Friday recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2015 at the 25th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center. Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, was on hand to recognize the efforts by Main Street volunteers and staff for the historic preservation and downtown economic development efforts of communities in Wisconsin. Click here for the complete article.
Discovery Center, class help farmer with fence cart invention

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Discovery Center at UW-Stout takes pride in helping entrepreneurs flesh out ideas for products or businesses. “We have a good process — an initial feasibility study — that asks people the right questions. We can get a good idea if it’s going to fly or not,” said Roger Gehring, a development engineer with the Discovery Center. Click here for the complete article.
Polk County EDC Board of Directors tours Schaffer Manufacturing and Great Northern Innovation

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

During their August board meeting, members of the Polk County Economic Development Corporation met with leaders from Schaffer Manufacturing, a custom metal fabricator, and Great Northern Innovation, which manufactures vibrating screens and wear media for the mining industry. Schaffer Manufacturing specializes in heavy fabrication, sheet metal fabrication, engineering, and inventory management and has 86 full time employees. Great Northern Innovation is in the process of leasing a new 22,000-square-foot building and is expected to create up to 35 jobs. During the PCEDC board visit, Steve Schaffer, Vice President of Schaffer Manufacturing, discussed the steady growth of the company which began in a...
Polk County’s July Unemployment Rate at 4.4%

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

On August 26th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary July 2015 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. Polk County’s rate was estimated at 4.4%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 5.2%. DWD said unemployment rates decreased in all 72 counties compared to July 2014. The rates ranged from 3.2% in Dane County to 11.6% in Menominee. St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to Polk County referenced above, Pierce County’s preliminary rate in July was estimated...
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Leadership Wisconsin Seeking St. Croix Valley Leaders

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Leadership Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s prestigious statewide leadership development organization, is currently accepting applications for their Signature Program, a two-year leadership journey that will have a lasting impact on both the participants and the communities around them. For leaders in the St. Croix Valley the program is an opportunity to connect with and learn from a cohort of talented and driven people from across the State.  The program has a number of alumni in the area including, Pete Kling and Dan Draxler, both with Bremer Bank; Greg Zwald, Owner of White Pine Berry Farm in River Falls; Heidi Clausen, Regional Editor of The...
18 New Communities Accepted into WEDC Downtown Revitalization Program

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has accepted 18 municipalities, including Balsam Lake in Polk County, into its Connect Communities Program, an initiative that works with communities to advance downtown and urban corridor revitalization efforts. With the latest members, there are now 43 participants in the Connect Communities Program, which provides access to resources and training to help downtown organizations pursue revitalization and redevelopment efforts. Since the program was launched in January 2014, participating communities have reported adding 175 net new businesses and more than 500 jobs, as well as $30 million in private investment. For a complete list of new communities, click...
WSTA recognizes Lakeland Communications with Gigabit Community Award

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The state’s premier telecommunications industry association recently recognized Lakeland Communications with their Gigabit Community Award. The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) held its 105th Annual Convention in Lake Geneva, WI. As part of the event’s closing general session, the WSTA recognized member companies who have all-fiber optic networks allowing broadband speeds of 1 Gigabit per second (1Gbps) to their customers. Crystal Morley, Sheri Thorsbakken, John Klatt, and Todd Roehm accepting award “Lakeland Communications joins other WSTA members who are setting the standard in Wisconsin for gigabit broadband and cutting edge broadband enabled products and services,” said Bill Esbeck, executive director of WSTA. “This...
Polk County’s May Unemployment Rate at 4.7%

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On June 24th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary May 2015 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. Polk County’s rate was estimated at 4.7%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 5.7%. DWD said unemployment rates decreased in all 72 counties compared to May 2014. The rates ranged from 3.4% in Dane County to 10.9% in Menominee. The May 2015 preliminary unemployment rates decreased in all of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with population bases of least 25,000 residents compared to May 2014. The May 2015 rates...
Northwestern Wisconsin Manufacturer to Expand

Saturday, July 18, 2015

WEDC approves $180,000 in state tax credits to help Great Northern Innovation grow in Polk County Great Northern Innovation LLC, which manufacturers vibrating screens and wear media for the mining industry, is expanding its operations in Polk County-a project expected to create 35 new jobs in northwestern Wisconsin. The company, located in Milltown, manufactures rubber screen media and wear components that are used in mining and aggregate operations. The company will lease a new 22,000-square-foot building and purchase additional equipment for the production of the wear parts to meet the growing demand for its products. Construction of the new facility is expected...
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Competitive Wisconsin, Inc.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

BE BOLD 3: the latest step in a public-private collaboration that works The BE BOLD process is driven by a robust collaboration that results in visionary strategic economic strategies, strategies that identify opportunities to strengthen Wisconsin’s economy and help our businesses, educational institutions and governments work together more effectively. OBJECTIVE Grow jobs and wealth more rapidly by creating smarter, stronger links between high performance behavior and high positive-impact collaborative strategies and governmental practices. RATIONALE Like BE BOLD I and II, BE BOLD III addresses critical issues that affect Wisconsin’s economy and the future wellbeing of its citizens. This year, in keeping with that obligation, BE...
C-AIRE Compressors Recipient of Innovation Award

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

C-AIRE Compressors (C-AIRE) was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2015 Innovation Award was presented by Steve Healy; Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Trollhaugen’s Convention and Event Center Tuesday May 12, Carin Hockert-Hedeen CEO accepted the award on behalf of C-AIRE. C-AIRE has designed a unique riser mounted dry pipe sprinkler air compressor that is scheduled to launch this summer.  The compressor has three unique characteristics:  Very quiet operation (60DBA), easy to install, and a 1 gallon storage tank...
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Entrepreneurs, Risk-Takers, and Leaders

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Americans, in general, are not afraid to take a risk.  Beginning with, for example, the adventurers and pilgrims who sailed the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of years ago to begin a life in what they called the ‘New World.’  They left their previous way of life and most of their belongings to take a chance on a dream.  Their urge to explore, expand west, and to create something better is a trait that has passed through generations and still exists throughout America in the form of entrepreneurs…people who risk their money, time, and heart to start a new business. As I tour...
Polk County EDC Board meeting hosted by Polaris in Osceola

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

he Polk County EDC held its monthly Board of Directors meeting at the Polaris facility in Osceola. Kevin McCormack, Manufacturing and Engineering Manager for Polaris led a very interesting tour of Polaris’s facilities at their Osceola, Wisconsin facilities. Pictured Left to Right: Adam Jarchow, Bakke Norman, Eric Dueholm, Colliers International, Jim Richison, Bremer Bank, Kelly Hibbs, Sterling Bank, Steve Stroshane, Polk Burnett Electric Cooperative, Josh Hallberg, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Bruce Noll, Eagle Valley Bank, Tom Braml, CenturyLink, Steve Healy, Executive Director. Missing from the photo Brian Elwood, Xcel Energy, John Richards, Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Co., Matt Johnson, Chet Johnson and...