On November 9, at the new Reedsburg Country Club, the Sauk County Development Corporation brought County and regional leaders together. The discussion centered on our workforce, business retention and expansion, regional economic development programs, and how partnerships build community capacity in Sauk County. Presenters Ed White of SCDC, Paul Jadin of MadREP and Todd W. Johnson, UW River Falls; entertained and informed the audience with different aspects of the same theme: Building strong communities. How? Through collaboration, workforce training, education, business retention & expansion, local, regional, state, and federal partnerships and programs, plus embracing Placemaking concepts emphasizing unique attributes to renew each municipality, attracting new employees and businesses.
- Ed White, explained how new partnerships are growing thanks to Business Retention and Expansion meetings with local businesses. Workforce education & training is helping build a stronger workforce in Sauk County. One success story is the latest ESL/ELL partnership programs with Madison College, Reedsburg and UW Sauk County, Baraboo. Testimonials by successful ESL graduates were well received by the audience.
- Paul Jadin, covered the depth of successful programs available in the eight-county MadREP region, focusing on how Sauk County can benefit. Programs range from databases of available business sites and buildings, details on top employers, identifying commuting patterns and gold shovel certified sites, plus the benefit of Fam (familiarization) Tours, site selector outreach programs, unique sector reports on regional business growth, and publicizing our region at national programs like America’s Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) in Texas and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP); as well as explaining State and Federal, and International programs available to Sauk County businesses and communities.
- Todd Johnson, built interest in the Placemaking concept (recently done at the “Design Reedsburg” event) and how these programs he conducts bring local people together to make their community special. Placemaking has taken on a life of its own going beyond basic community comforts that Millennials want in their neighborhoods. The Placemaking programs that Todd organizes were highlighted as success stories on bringing people together to remove barriers in their towns. Placemaking can help reinvent local businesses, shopping areas, housing developments, internet access, parks, and services using natural strengths in a community to create a more vibrant, friendly culture where people want to come together to live and work.
Please see the supporting documents on Paul and Todd’s presentations for more ideas. SCDC’s Fall Leadership Forum continues to offer program that engage your community!