Economic Development in Rural Wisconsin
On Wednesday, October 26, and Thursday, October 27, 2011, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, CAP Services, Inc., Community Bankers of Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, U.S. Small Business Administration and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority co-sponsored a conference entitled "Economic Development in Rural Wisconsin: Developing a 21st Century Response to Compete in Today’s Global Marketplace." The purpose of the conference explored and discussed policies that speed, strengthen and enhance economic development in Wisconsin's rural areas to increase their competitiveness and support new market development in today's global economy.
Supporting the flow of loans to creditworthy small businesses and farms is a crucial step in bolstering economic recovery and job creation. The economic recovery began in June 2009, but has borrowing to small businesses and farms rebounded as well? Are bank lending standards and terms easing or constricting? What about the demand for credit? Panelists will discuss the latest data, developments and their impact on the availability of credit to, and demand from, small businesses and farms.
Entrepreneurs are engines of creativity and innovation vital to our economic growth. Consequently, entrepreneurs are disproportionately responsible for job growth in industrialized economies and for rising standards of living. However, for the past several decades, Wisconsin has ranked well below the national average for new firms launched. Panelists will discuss Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial environment and how leaders who create economic policies can strive to encourage the pioneering innovation and risk taking of entrepreneurs.
Misunderstanding – misinformation - it all factors into displaced workers and unemployed college grads looking past rural America as a career pathway. It takes many skilled people to smoothly run a healthy rural economy. Our panel will discuss Wisconsin’s current labor market, the mismatch of skills possessed to skills needed, educational efforts to reach out to displaced workers and the pathway to providing employers with the skilled employees they need.
Rural communities throughout Wisconsin face serious challenges to their continued vitality. Among the most critical is the challenge of rural labor, primarily in agriculture and tourism. Immigrant labor is a growing segment of the local population and an essential factor in community economic health; however, immigration is among the most politically divisive and controversial issues. Panelists will discuss the importance of immigrants to healthy rural economies and their impact on increasing long-run economic growth and U.S. competitiveness, as well as how to bring differing cultures to mutual trust and understanding.
A Reception Sponsored by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and CAP Services, Inc. will be in the Jefferson Room. The Reception includes Hors d’Oeuvres and a Cash Bar. Please Join Us for Networking and Cheer!
Local governments of all sizes are facing many challenges in 2011, partly because of their overwhelming dependence on property tax revenues to fund their operating budgets. Rick Mattoon examines the likelihood of local governments defaulting on their debt or filing for bankruptcy. Despite the challenging fiscal environment today, the vast majority of local governments are not likely to do either, if history serves as a guide for the future.
Employment opportunities are critical to a sustainable rural economy. Presently, high-technology fields requiring math, science, or engineering backgrounds are in need of a skilled workforce. What is the high-technology industry? How can rural communities build an infrastructure and create opportunities that will attract and keep a skilled workforce? Panelist will discuss resources and technology available to communities looking to move their economies forward.
With dwindling resources at all levels of government, is the era of taking a collaborative and regional approach finally at hand? If so, does such a coordinated effort truly reduce duplication; provide focus on regional priorities and solutions; and improve local capacity to undertake projects that individual communities could not otherwise accomplish on their own? How do communities within a region develop a collective attitude of collaboration and cooperation? How does a region establish a recognized and respected voice on economic issues and establish priorities and policies? How does this regional concept directly provide a positive impact for the community, employers and employees to be gainfully employed and flourish?
The rural economy has collided full force with globalization. Many rural communities are struggling as low-cost global competitors challenge rural America’s commodity industries. Many are searching for new competitive advantages for a new rural economy. In order to embrace globalization, Rural America’s new economic frontier may require a new business model, a remodeled financing model and fresh policy ideas built upon technology and developed by entrepreneurs. This panel discusses the impacts of globalization on the rural economy, its future and how it plays out here in Wisconsin.
Last Updated: 11/04/2011