Wisconsin - 12/10/2015  Wisconsin Companies Invited to Join Trade Venture to Germany
Madison Area - 12/3/2015  MadREP Report December
Wisconsin - 11/19/2015  WEDC may have illegally awarded $21 million in tax credits
Ken Notes: Arghhh! First I want to thank The WSJ and Cap Times for running my comments - Only thing worse than WEDC is no WEDC. - and I stand by them. But wouldn`t a simple public data base outlining: what was lent, who it was lent to, why it was lent, Where the money came from, and the current status of the loan or grant - make sense. We know that the press, legislature, and others will not rest until every stone is turned, so why not come clean all at once, admit mistakes, correct errors, develop new policy, and get on with the business at hand. The WEDC head has to make a strong statement to save the organization.
Madison Area - 11/19/2015  MadREP Report: November 18 , 2015
11/12/2015  Republican Assembly speaker says he`s receptive to overhauling WEDC
Ken Notes: Since I have only been writing about this for seven years, I obviously need a larger platform. Keep reading, WEDC seems to be a theme this week...
11/12/2015  EDITORIAL: Shut down Scott Walker`s WEDC before the next jobs fiasco
Ken Notes: I have suggested dramatic change for WEDC since before it was created. But when a company was hinting at leaving Lafayette County WEDC was still my first call. The Lafayette Company stayed and WEDC did help. I do suggest that WEDC should have been in a more communicative. WEDC needs to be fixed and I will not even point to one the articles I have written in the past that suggests this. That said, the only thing worse the the WEDC that we have is no WEDC at all. The ability to direct funds in a timely manner is imperative. A link to federal funds is crucial. Even the communication to the legislature is needed. The BAD: WEDC does not track the loans or grants they make, the communication is partisan, they do not work closely enough with the development professionals or elected officials at the local level, and they shoot their wounded. It is a mess but a strong leader could fix it. Should fix it. And if fixed, it would be a needed tool in a State with few tools at is disposal. The new mantra should be Prioritize, Justify, Track, Communicate...
Wisconsin - 11/12/2015  WEDC should have seen bread crumbs of Oscar Mayer closing, Mark Pocan says
Ken Notes: Why are not WEDC and Mark communicating with all major employees in the state and his district. It seems to me the company in this case was looking to consolidate for efficiencies and improvements. The Madison site did not offer what they needed and I am not sure cash was the issue. I have mentioned a few times that if we offered tax breaks based on new jobs we would create a level playing field for all companies in the state. Mark rather than blame WEDC, pick up a pen and draft meaningful legislation that creates real incentives for real jobs.
Wisconsin - 11/12/2015  Sen. Tammy Baldwin calls for federal investigation into some WEDC loans
Ken Notes: Really OUR Senator shooting our businesses. I need to point out that a lot of troubled loans were made under previous administrations as well. We need to fix the problems not shoot the wounded (my apologies for using the same bad analogy twice in one newsletter. We need new politicians across the board this partisanship has fractured our ability to function...
Wisconsin - 11/12/2015  Turnover at WEDC continues with 3 vice presidents announcing departure last week
Wisconsin - 11/5/2015  Racine, WEDC collaborate on funding of tech entrepreneurs
Wisconsin - 10/22/2015  Senate confirms new WEDC chief officer
Ken Notes: I have written a lengthy article for the last several with little avail so I will leave this on alone. Google my name and WEDC for articles from the past....
Wisconsin - 10/15/2015  Warrants allege Green Bay businessman defrauded WEDC for more than $1 million
Ken Notes: OUCH! We have to create a VERY PUBLIC data base of all WEDC loans, grants, and expenditures. We must track the current status of every penny. We have to have LOCAL field representatives doing some of the due diligence withe their reports and records on file. The process is too political and too closeted. That said I STILL support the ideas and mission behind WEDC. Why? because run correctly we can use the organization to create a level playing field supportive on new business, growing old businesses, and JOBS...
Wisconsin - 10/8/2015  OPINION: Our View: State should focus on fixes to WEDC
Ken Notes: Green Bay Press Gazette offers advice....
Wisconsin - 9/24/2015  WEDC awards increase as job creation numbers fall
Ken Notes: Again, I believe a change of course is necessary but the tools seem to me in place... Bipartisan is the key but still not even on the agenda...
Wisconsin - 9/17/2015  Wisconsin Democrats propose new economic development model to replace WEDC
Ken Notes: I may have mentioned the need for a bi-partisan effort, alas this is not it. Why not a bi-partisan committee to review ED practices and make recommendations with the outcome being a bill supported by a super majority of the committee.
Wisconsin - 9/17/2015  MADISON- Senate leader recognizes WEDC successes
Ken Notes: They have done some good work...
Wisconsin - 9/10/2015  WEDC did not track job creation, auditors tell panel
Ken Notes: ONE MORE TIME, enlist the local ED professionals as part of the WEDC team(Pay part of their salary and benefits), Develop a simple grant tracking system, use tax credits more effectively (job based), and build strong regional and local ED teams... This can be done, is done elsewhere, and works in those states recognized for outstanding development support and job growth...
Wisconsin - 9/10/2015  Walker job-creation officials promise to do better
Madison - 9/10/2015  WEDC needs private sector solutions
Ken Notes: Interesting!
Wisconsin - 9/3/2015  OPINION: To get economic development right, shut down WEDC
Ken Notes: Nope, keep WEDC and draft legislation governing the operation.
1. Track everything.
2. Employee (partial) and partner with Local ED Professionals.
3. Use tax credits to base grants on new employment.
4. Work with developers to generate new projects.
5. Work with legislature and UW system to keep grads in the state...
Wisconsin - 8/27/2015  WEDC CEO Reed Hall to leave troubled agency on Sept. 25
Ken Notes: As I have mentioned several times before, this is not a solution to WEDC`s problems. The solution is to revisit how all distributions are made, tracked and reported. We need to focus on not only new companies but old ones that are growing our economy. We need the public private partnership that was promised when the new WEDC was created. In fact my 2012 article stands up pretty well...
Wisconsin - 8/27/2015  CEO Reed Hall`s departure latest shake-up in WEDC`s top ranks
Wisconsin - 8/20/2015  WEDC committee recommends additional checks for award recipients
Ken Notes: This sounds like more work, more cost, and what happens when the company is not in compliance? If we used tax breaks based on employment we would not need the extra layers of inspection because a company that dose not maintain the prescribed employment level would simply lose the credits.
Wisconsin - 8/20/2015  OPINION: Private sector works better than WEDC
Ken Notes: Interesting...
Wisconsin - 8/13/2015  Has WEDC created jobs? We don`t know
Ken Notes: Why don`t we demand our leaders offer solutions or ideas before we allow them to openly throw stones at the programs they are managing. I have suggested the following for WEDC:

1. Tax incentives based on new jobs.
2. A database or report detailing loans made, status, and repayment or forgiveness
3. Bring local ED professionals into WEDC like the UW Extension program.
4. Work with private sector lenders to guarantee a portion of loans to improve due diligence and share risk

I at least am trying to make positive suggestions, it seems our elected officials are shilling for votes and control and do no care about actual improvement. Oh and if a senator does not know an answer he or she better find out - ignorance has never been an excuse.
Wisconsin - 8/13/2015  Ex-WEDC employees say politics, haste tripped up job-creation agency
Ken Notes: Shouldn`t this be a goals 101 thing. create Jobs, improve reporting, make money available to all businesses, grow Wisconsin, improve federal funding...
Wisconsin - 8/6/2015  Republicans propose eliminating legislators from WEDC Board
Ken Notes: At the very least the liaison role is worth staying on the board. Instead of jumping ship, I would be asking my legislative board members to ask their colleagues to recommend new goals and programmatic changes to change the course. Have I ever mentioned a new jobs tax credit????
Wisconsin - 7/23/2015  WEDC debates whether to change policies to reflect current practices
Ken Notes: Arghhhhhhh! Please please please consider tax credits for NEW jobs for all companies old and new! No jobs no credits need the money up front work with the private sector to create partial loan guarantees. Allow non profitable companies with increased employee base to sell or trade the credits...
Wisconsin - 7/9/2015  WEDC awards $500,000 in tax credits to Kapco
Wisconsin - 7/2/2015  WEDC board member: I don't think there is any smoking gun here
Ken Notes: Using the metaphor I used last time. "When you need to change the ships course firing the captain is not always the best option."
Wisconsin - 7/2/2015  EDITORIAL: Reed Hall should not take fall for WEDC
Ken Notes: Yep...
Wisconsin - 7/2/2015  OPINION: Someone should pay for bad WEDC loans
Ken Notes: I definitely have opinions on WEDC, but repaying loans for companies that fail is NOT one of them. It remains clear that around 50% of new businesses are not in business five years latter. banks know this and survive and so should the state. I still like incentives based on tax breaks for job creation. We would both fund successful business and give startups help regardless of what side of the survival coin they fall.
Wisconsin - 6/25/2015  OPINION: Scott Walker`s Jobs Program Didn`t Work
Ken Notes: It could! Change WEDC the focus from pick and choose favoritism to new jobs:
  • Offer growing companies incentives based on growth.
  • Include local ED professionals in the WEDC tent.
  • Empower local units of government to create both new jobs and increased property tax revenue.
  • A publicly accessible data base of outstanding loans and grants and their status.
  • Recognize all businesses in the State.
  • Encourage emerging markets without betting the farm on them.
  • Bring all developers, business leaders, the private sector and local officials into the game...
Wisconsin - 6/25/2015  Scott Walker, Democrats at odds over call for WEDC chief to resign
Ken Notes: Arghhhh!!! It is not about the CEO unless he or she can change the direction of the organization and restructure the mission. This is all budget/board driven so the CEO`s hands are tied. In the past, it was when the organization tried to change course that the CEO asked to leave. So now dismissing one who is at the helm steering through the storm they were told to makes little sense. The board, legislature and executive office needs to chart a new course and the CEO needs to implement it.
Wisconsin - 6/25/2015  WEDC from the private side
Ken Notes: Read This!!!!
Wisconsin - 6/25/2015  WEDC made 27 awards totaling $124.4 million without proper review
Ken Notes: Having worked with WEDC, timing is a huge issue and often commitments are made at the front end of the process to keep a project on track prior to the paperwork which and take months. We need to examine and improve the process. The answers are not simple but banks do it so we should be able to as well. Again for the record I like tax credits based on employment increases. No jobs no payout. If you need the money up front a bank should be able to examine the plan and front the cash if it is a sound investment.
Wisconsin - 6/11/2015  Legislative Audit Bureau Report on WEDC
Ken Notes: Please read the brief report so you know what everyone is talking about. Do not rely on the press, or me for that matter, to fill you in...
Wisconsin - 6/11/2015  $700,000 WEDC loan to aviation company unpaid
Ken Notes: I actually have no comment...
Wisconsin - 6/11/2015  Assembly Democrats offer resolution calling on WEDC to produce loan documents
Wisconsin - 6/11/2015  Author of proposal to abolish Legislative Audit Bureau says it is not a response to scathing WEDC audits
Ken Notes: Agencies are supposed to have fiscal responsibility in place now some do not. Has anyone noticed we do not have a performance report of departmental outcomes related to the budget? We spent this to accomplish this! Plus WEDC is now semi private so an Open Books concept may not work. The Legislative Audit Bureau is an independent arm that looks at more that the financials and is needed to keep us on track.
Madison - 6/4/2015  OPINION: Scrutinize WEDC loans, not food stamp recipients
Ken Notes: My vote remove the politics from BOTH. And work with the private sector for administration and compliance.
Wisconsin - 5/28/2015  Republicans have concerns about 2011 WEDC loan to struggling business
Ken Notes: Why yes, yes it does -- and it would not be that hard... My 2012, yep 2012, plan is HERE. Share this, I think it stands up well...
Wisconsin - 5/28/2015  Dane County District Attorney reviewing state audit of WEDC
Ken Notes: No politics here!
Wisconsin - 5/21/2015  Joint Finance Committee set to take up WEDC, Medicaid changes Thursday
Ken Notes: This remains very political which is too bad. My plan, a tax credit for new job creations open to all companies, would eliminate the politics and the need for monitoring, the companies would have to only prove their employment levels are up form an established baseline and the credits would fall to the corporate income tax. A friend suggested a friendly amendment that the jobs pay a sustainable wage (i.e. $15/hour ish)and that seems fair to me. You could still draft the whole plan on a postcard. We have also suggested that WEDC bring local ED professionals into the system via a program like the UW Extension.
Wisconsin - 5/21/2015  Lipstick on WEDC
Ken Notes: Ouch...
In 2012 I wrote A new role for the WEDC
...Before that, at the time the "New WEDC" was created I championed the concept and supported an old friend and good businessman Paul Jadin, but did suggest a bigger tent and a level playing field. Alas politics won out, I was ignored (so was Paul by the way), and four years later we still have the SAME problems. It is time to restructure and redefine the role of WEDC in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin - 5/21/2015  Scott Walker dumps budget proposal that would have exempted WEDC records
Wisconsin - 5/21/2015  Scott Walker still not receiving WEDC award letters
Ken Notes: Why do we let so many little things fall through the cracks like this???
Wisconsin - 5/14/2015  Scott Walker scraps agency mergers hours after critical audit
Madison Area - 4/9/2015  WEDC`s Lisa Johnson to become CEO of BIOforward
Ken Notes: A loss for WEDC - congrats Laura!
Wisconsin - 4/2/2015  City of Racine Receives $ 1 Million State Grant for Machinery Row Redevelopment Project
Wisconsin - 4/2/2015  Brandon Duck to take over WEDC CFO job
Ken Notes: Welcome home!
Oak Creek - 3/26/2015  Oak Creek's Drexel Town Square lands $1 million state grant
Wisconsin - 3/19/2015  WEDC under fire again for not tracking loans, losing top executives
Ken Notes: Title a little misleading here - the "attack" was from Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, one person. Let's wait and see who they hire and how the get back on track...
Wisconsin - 3/19/2015  WEDC chief Reed Hall and Water Council President Dean Amhaus discuss Milwaukee-area economic development
Wisconsin - 2/26/2015  WEDC to provide $9M in tax credits to Exact Sciences
Wisconsin - 2/26/2015  New Statewide Initiative Aims to Attract, Retain Young Professionals
Ken Notes: Good idea...
Wisconsin - 2/5/2015  WEDC 2014 Report on Economic Development
Wisconsin - 2/5/2015  Lost body parts no barrier to corporate welfare at WEDC
Ken Notes: I would love to see a real article on this topic, but this is just sensationalism. There are issues with WEDC and the loans it grants and we should explore them. I even believe we have some serious problems to deal with. Unfortunately this article address none of them. Here, I will ask some real questions:
Can expanding companies (more Wisconsin employees) be assured of economic or tax credit support?
In looking at your WEDC 2014 Report on Economic Development I see great descriptions of programs and objectives of each, Thank You. Is there a list or file of existing loans and grants, their performance, job growth, and returns?
What role does my local ED Professional play in presenting, facilitating, and administering these programs?
Finally who has the authority to "promise or authorize" these programs?
Wisconsin - 1/22/2015  WEDC chief cautions lawmakers to approach agency merger thoughtfully
Ken Notes: WEDC should bring options and ideas to the table. My two cents:
- Include Local ED Professionals..
- A Project Tracking and Performance Website..
- A communication Network for Development Professionals and Business..
Wisconsin - 1/22/2015  Wisconsin companies invited to join WEDC trade trip to East Africa
Wisconsin - 1/22/2015  EDITORIAL - Keep WEDC`s focus on jobs
Ken Notes: I agree, but of late I am not sure they have focused on anything...
Wisconsin - 1/15/2015  Gov. Scott Walker -- State of the State speech
Ken Notes: Having been involved with both, both could be upgraded but serve different roles. I would merge local ED professionals into a new WEDC system more like the UW-Extension. Make the programs more accessible and uniform and the tracking an reporting open to all. housing and development would better be merged with workforce development and other social programs. Just a thought...
Wisconsin - 1/15/2015  Gov. Scott Walker proposes eliminating lawmakers from new WEDC board
Ken Notes: This would actually make the board more partisan and more political. We need a board that represents the business community balanced by the taxpayer. We need a budget, reporting on: grants, loans, investments and expenditures. A level playing field, and the incorporation of local ED professionals. Why not create an elected head or board like the supreme court, or DPI. Of course that would also be very political...
Wisconsin - 1/15/2015  Walker says proposed mergers would take effect next year
Wisconsin - 12/18/2014  WEDC hires new VP of international business development
Wisconsin - 12/4/2014  OPINION: WEDC promotions a waste of money
Wisconsin - 11/20/2014  State jobs agency launches $1.58M paid marketing effort to lure new business
Wisconsin - 11/20/2014  Wisconsin companies invited to attend WEDC trade trip to Canada
Wisconsin - 10/16/2014  WEDC slammed in report on privatization of public services
Ken Notes: Biased yes, but why are we such an easy target? Can't jobs and economic development be a bipartisan all hands on deck issue. We are way too focused on campaign funding and not focused on working on the real problems. We could have a great economic development team in place if we only used the players we have on the field. This is sooo easy to solve... We have great employers great potential employees let get them together and start growing again.
Wisconsin - 9/11/2014  Top WEDC exec threatened resignation, says boss was causing deep and lasting harm to agency
Ken Notes: I have written about the potential for WEDC since day one. My friend Paul was a political sacrifice and politics has ever since steered the ship. It is time to sever the political cord and develop a network of economic development professionals across the state and then provide them with the tools they need to get the job done. Here is what I wrote in 2012 from BizTimes...Oh and this from 2011 when they created the new WEDC...and in 2010...
Madison - 9/4/2014  Madison software developer Forte Research Systems receives $550,000 state loan to grow
Ken Notes: I hope they do well, but if they fail we have no way to collect, I still favor a "pay as you go plan using tax credits". Of course this was my TIF strategy as well - Does it work -- One word EPIC!
Wisconsin - 8/14/2014  WEDC website wins praise
Wisconsin - 8/7/2014  Wisconsin invites companies to join trade trip
Ken Notes: I worked with the Czech Republic as a Mayor and was very impressed.
Wisconsin - 7/24/2014  Outreach to Asia a top WEDC priority, Hall says
Ken Notes: I hope the Asian market is not watching our political ads... Just a thought...
Wisconsin - 7/17/2014  OPINION: Scott Walkers job creation program is ineffective
Ken Notes: Have I mentioned lately that we need a bipartisan program to Incentivize (now a real word I looked it up) new jobs with a simple tax credit. Make this program available to companies old and new. Use WEDC to promote the program and encourage growth then TRACK THE RESULTS. My program is cheaper, more effective, and has no political benefits to either party - Alas it will therefor never be considered. At least rather than throwing stones I am offering alternatives.
Wisconsin - 6/26/2014  WEDC puts moratorium on historic tax credits
Fond du Lac - 6/19/2014  Fond du Lac Receives $400,000 State Grant for Retlaw Theater Redevelopment
Wisconsin - 6/12/2014  OPINION: Only 5,840 `actual` jobs from Walker`s WEDC
Ken Notes: Again we were slow enter and will be slow exit... I will suggest - one more time - a plan to provide tax cuts to businesses new and old that expand their employment base. I like 2K per new employee for 10 years -- but hey pick a number ANY number and just do it! WEDC can then promote the plan, work with local EDC's, chambers, and communities. WEDC can alos provide the conduit for federal and other programs for business. If you have a plan we would love to post it as well. It does seem that there are a lot of complainers offering little in the way of solutions.
Wisconsin - 6/12/2014  WEDC to host global trade mission to Singapore and Indonesia
Mount Horeb - 6/5/2014  WEDC awards $250,000 grant to village of Mount Horeb for Innovation Center
Ken Notes: Great for the area. I live in DT clothes and predict they will be the next lands end.
GREEN BAY - 5/15/2014  $100,000 state grant to help boost entrepreneurship in Green Bay area.
Wisconsin - 4/10/2014  Kestrel Aircraft again missing loan payments to WEDC
Ken Notes: They may come around but just a reminder - eggs... basket... Oh and have I ever mentioned linking incentives to JOBS... 20K per - via 2K per year in tax credits for ten years - any company is eligible. Forward this to your legislator...
Green Lake - 4/10/2014  WEDC Grant Aims to Boost Downtown Green Lake
Wisconsin - 3/20/2014  Meijer could get $5 million in tax credits for Pleasant Prairie distribution center
Ken Notes: Again why not make this a simple formula 20K per new full time employee over 10 years in tax credits. Simple and the results are identical except now the guy down the street gets nothing - not fair...
Wisconsin - 1/9/2014  Documents detail WEDC's offer to Boeing
Ken Notes: Boeing would be nice... I wonder if WEDC touched base with AVISTA in Platteville who does avionics for Boeing. It is ALL about networking!!!!
Wisconsin - 1/9/2014  Legislature`s budget committee grants WEDC funding request
Ken Notes: Why not help fund local EDO's that work with local businesses to create local jobs. Real jobs. Asking the state to facilitate economic development from Madison is like asking a doctor to perform open heart surgery from his home. Some things are best done hands on, on site. Also tie grants, tax incentives and low interest loans to real jobs! The local EDC's are HERE.
Wisconsin - 11/14/2013  WEDC offers $7 million in tax credits for Amazon's Kenosha facility
Wisconsin - 10/31/2013  Madison Chamber's Brandon to WEDC: Stop blaming Doyle Commerce Department
Ken Notes: Stop blaming anyone, WEDC was created as a fresh start, so start over! Build a network, create a level playing field, get bi-partisan support, involve developers, support companies large and small, work with chambers and EDO's, create a pro job legislative agenda, work with our federal officials to bring funds to Wisconsin, reward companies for jobs, be positive, have a story to tell, listen to the employee's as well as the employer's, you don't need a spokesman you need a cheerleader. Wisconsin is a great state TELL EVERYONE! Sorry soapbox but such potential here...
Wisconsin - 10/24/2013  WEDC rapped in national report on public-private economic development groups
Ken Notes: We MUST fix this and fast. Here is my plan again from over a year ago.

Build a fair and level system for distributing grants, tax breaks, loans and other ED incentives
Develop a tracking system for our investments in business based on outcomes
Work more closely with ED Professionals already in the field
Better utilize the resources of our educational systems from K through PHD
Encourage regional solutions to systems and infrastructure needed to support new and growing businesses

Wisconsin is a great place to start and grow a business. We have outstanding resources. We have a excellent educational system. We have good people. WEDC has the potential to be a leader and advocate for these resources and the state or they can continue to try and do all the work and they will find themselves right back where they started.
Wisconsin - 10/17/2013  Superior`s Kestrel Aircraft late on loan payments to WEDC
Ken Notes: Keep reading...
Wisconsin - 10/17/2013  Kestrel Aircraft catches up on loan payments to WEDC
Ken Notes: They are trying their best but articles out of Main suggest a struggle.
Wisconsin - 10/10/2013  WEDC launches online economic impact map
Ken Notes: The new website is bold here: www.inwisconsin.com/inside-wedc/impact/. And of course in our WDNetwork ToolBox.
Wisconsin - 9/26/2013  Budget surplus could alter WEDC funding request
Ken Notes: Why not help local EDO's offset their costs...
Wisconsin / Arizona 9/19/2013  WEDC spokesman leaving agency to start Arizona business
Ken Notes: Tom was one of the hardest working WEDC employees as he almost daily advocated for the agency. Arizona???? You can read most of his work here! inwisconsin.com/newsroom/news-releases/
World - 8/29/2013  WEDC seeks companies to meet with Asia buyers
Wisconsin - 8/21/2013  WEDC Has a Few New Progrmas To Aid in Economic Development
Ken Notes: I have some more detailed PDFs for many of these programs, but best to contact your Community Account Manager at WEDC for details. But Ken, who is my Community Account Manager? Glad you asked - HERE you go. Please tell em Ken sent you!
8/20/2013  Reed Hall trying to put Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on right track
Ken Notes: A lot of good information here. We still have a ways to go but we are moving in the right direction.
Wisconsin - 8/8/2013  Wisconsin startup companies approved for investment tax credits
Wisconsin - 8/1/2013  Emergent Labs launches seed accelerator for interactive gaming and media entrepreneurs
Wisconsin - 7/25/2013  Gov. Walker signs bill affecting WEDC contracts
Ken Notes: Since WEDC is now part private this is a good idea. I shouldn't ask, but wouldn't it also be a good idea to ban legislators from making decisions regarding businesses or individuals that contribute to their campaigns? Just a thought. If this is not posted on someones facebook or LinkedIn I quit...
Wisconsin - 7/18/2013  WEDC leader says improved policies already in place
Wisconsin - 7/11/2013  Stevens Point’s East Park Commerce Center selected as Certified In Wisconsin site
Wisconsin - 6/27/2013  State Senate approves bill to reform WEDC
Ken Notes: Close to my November BizTimes piece... A new role for the WEDC... I wish we had a legislative initiative to bring local ED professionals under the tent.
Wisconsin - 6/27/2013  The making of a modern economy
Ken Notes: Not the wrong message, just not enough of a message. Bio and High Tech were dominating the discussion. We needed to be more inclusive regarding our staple industries. I preached it for years, in fact before the new WEDC was created I wrote Tending the economic garden must be states No. 1 priority. Now we are moving in that direction. Promega, EPIC, and many other startups need to be on the list, but there needs to be a list. And it MUST include ag and manufacturing, not to mention retail, beer, and insurance (an industry I always forget).
Wisconsin - 6/20/2013  WEDC sees manufacturing outweighing biotech for future economic growth
Ken Notes: When is it appropriate to suggest I have been preaching this for the past five years now. Glad to see them come around. Old horses know what makes Wisconsin work!
MADISON - 6/6/2013  Access Community Health Centers using WEDC environmental grant for new health facility in Madison
Wisconsin - 6/6/2013  Assembly to take up venture capital bill
Wisconsin - 5/30/2013  OPINION: Top 10 things everyone should know about WEDC
Ken Notes: I do not see one idea for improvement here. It is easy to throw stones - it is tough to build houses. To practice what I preach here is my two cents from before the troubles began!

10.14.2012 - A new role for the WEDC

2.1.2011 - All players in development game need the same tool box, play book

12.15.2010 - If Wisconsin is really `open for business`, we`ll need a business plan

Pre ELECTION 11.1.2010 - Toasters and Aston Martins

08.01.10 The Brilliance Factor


Wisconsin - 5/30/2013  New venture capital bill takes away WEDC authority
Wisconsin - 5/30/2013  Milwaukee Marketplace BID 32 area, Kenosha and Ladysmith and designated “Main Streets”
Wisconsin - 5/23/2013  Expanded website to support business development in Wisconsin
WOW, since 2007, WDNews has obviously been working with the wrong 8,000 people, you know the developers, commercial brokers, ed professionals, local elected officials, UW Professionals, every news outlet in Wisconsin, dozens of commercial listing services, investors and banking professionals. Because the WDNetwork, our Tool Box, and an independent nonpartisan news outlet-- that WEDC uses -- cost nowhere near 450K and promotes growing business from the ground up, supporting the businesses that are here now, and relying on the brilliance that is Kohls, HD, Epic, Lands End, Kohler, New Glarus, KC and so many more to show us the way. Not to mention my favorite resource, Carl Rainey's, Got Moo-la which may actually be worth 450K. The new WEDC tools are in our Tool Box (www.WisconsinDevelopment.com/tools/) which you can add to your website for free! Sort of a Win Win...
Wisconsin - 5/16/2013  WEDC reform package introduced
Ken Notes: Why why why can't we get a strong bipartisan recommendation for the management of WEDC. One based on outcomes, jobs, and accountability. This new proposal is dead on arrival (regardless of merit because of a lack of bipartisan support. In the meantime everyone will point fingers while WEDC struggles and remains rudderless. The WEDC board and CEO should ask for a bipartisan recommendation on structure, administration and oversight so at the end of the day fingers become mirrors and we only have ourselves to blame -- or better yet congratulate.
Wisconsin - 5/16/2013  WEDC seeks companies for trade venture to South America
Ken Notes: Several current WEDC board members did request one-way tickets... Just kidding, If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane... JIMMY BUFFETT.
5/16/2013  Entrepreneur accelerator to support five startups in Milwaukee
Wisconsin - 5/9/2013  WEDC Board members frustrated by continuing problems, lack of communication
Ken Notes: We may need a working board here to over see the day to day operations. We have some great leaders on the board but they have "a day job" that keeps them out of the loop.
Wisconsin - 5/9/2013  EDITORIAL: Fix WEDC before throwing more taxpayer dollars at it
Ken Notes: Please see my 2010 article referenced below. It wound be unfair of me to cast the first stone now, but we had a chance to get this right then and in November of last year I suggested we still do, A new role for the WEDC...
Wisconsin - 5/9/2013  State Debate: Is Scott Walker taking his eye off the ball?, asks In Business editor
Ken Notes: Blogers, myself included, get a free shot at any organization or individual out there. I at least try to offer suggestions for improvement. Here is a PRE WEDC article I wrote on - Tending the economic garden must be states No. 1 priority. In 2010 I wrote, "Currently, there is a proposal to re-create the Commerce Department and spend $500 million to attract new businesses to the state. I believe before we do this, we need to develop a strategy to grow the businesses that are here now and keep them in Wisconsin as they expand. Wisconsin needs to partner with business to make the state stronger. Also, before we spend $500 million to attract new businesses, shouldn’t we take an inventory of what we have now? We often are quick to jump on the hot new technology or the latest scientific breakthrough but spend little on the products or services that are the backbone of the Wisconsin economy." ... Not bad for a blogger...
Wisconsin - 5/9/2013  EDITORIAL: Another audit? No, it's time to reform WEDC
Ken Notes: I believe I said this prior to the creation of WEDC... I need a new newspaper column, because these notes are not enough...
Wisconsin - 5/9/2013  State's newspapers gang up on the WEDC
Ken Notes: Solutions??? Ideas???
Wisconsin - 5/8/2013  WEDC spokesman quits after financial problems surface
Ken Notes: So now that we have shot the messenger, can we get back to working on the real problems... Rules to play by, a scoreboard, use the whole team, coaches and training, the stadium... A friend also suggest the public needs to become fans.
Wisconsin - 5/2/2013  State's flagship jobs agency (WEDC) failed to follow law, track loans, audit finds
Ken Notes: This is too bad. Biz Times ran an article suggesting improvements back in November -- it still make sense today. This can be fixed, but I am not sure the right people are being listened to.
Wisconsin - 3/21/2013  CEO Hall says WEDC taking responsibility for loan issues
Ken Notes: Lets get behind him here and give him a chance. Many of these issues were around long before the creation of WEDC...
Wisconsin - 3/14/2013  WEDC to provide grants for water tech startups
Ken Notes: Could the great lakes be our oil???
Wisconsin - 3/6/2013  Rural microlending program getting $100K from WEDC
Ken Notes: One small step for man one...
Wisconsin - 2/28/2013  WEDC is the right model
Ken Notes: I agree but I do stand by my ideas for change: A new role for the WEDC...
Wisconsin - 2/28/2013  WEDC: Announces investment tax credit eligibility for emerging businesses
Wisconsin - 2/7/2013  SWIB rejects WEDC request for $200M for startup firms
Ken Notes: New business is risky business. We need risk takers seeking high rewards not a conservatively managed (and VERY well run) fund like SWIB. I am surprised WEDC asked in the first place, of course nothing ventured nothing gained.
Wisconsin - 2/7/2013  WEDC: Seeks companies for Australia trade mission
Wisconsin - 1/31/2013  Governor Walker Announces WEDC CEO
Wisconsin - 1/24/2013  Walker to commit $100,000 for Hispanic businesses
Ken Notes: Why not create a loan fund for all businesses, not that this is bad but 100K will help just a few minority owned businesses...
Wisconsin - 1/24/2013  Wisconsin communities to share ideas on revitalization
Ken Notes: Good idea...
Wisconsin - 1/17/2013  WEDC seeks companies for South Africa trade venture
Ken Notes: I'll go but I need a sponsor...
Wisconsin - 1/10/2013  Jadin: WEDC needed more time but still superior to old Commerce Department
Ken Notes: I agree, but we need big changes and oversight!!!
Wisconsin - 1/3/2013  WEDC waste gets the silent treatment
Ken Notes: Because we need a strong, fiscally responsible, pro business, non partisan, economic development arm in the state. We need to fix WEDC not beat it to death. Here is my article from a while back, A new role for the WEDC...
Wisconsin 1/3/2013  WEDC announces investments in emerging companies
Wisconsin - 12/27/2012  WEDC announces investments in emerging companies
Ken Notes: Now we need to track how they do...
Wisconsin - 12/20/2012  Report had warned of problems with WEDC-like agencies
Ken Notes: Not that the government does that much better with public money. I wrote about how we can fix this A new role for the WEDC, we need leadership and the involvement of those in the field. It is not just WEDC, it is all of us failing to work together on our problems.
Wisconsin - 12/20/2012  Janesville and Beloit Business Parks selected as Certified In Wisconsin sites
Wisconsin - 11/15/2012  A new role for the WEDC
Ken Notes: My article and thoughts on a new direction for WEDC. I hope you take a minute to read this and weigh in on the discussion. Wisconsin's future lies in the balance. Oh, and a special thanks to the De Forest Rotary for allowing me to take this article for a test spin on Wednesday...
Wisconsin - 11/15/2012  Reed Hall: WEDC fixing problems, moving ahead
Ken Notes: So do I...
Wisconsin - 11/15/2012  WEDC awards site assessment grants to Antigo, Ashland, Stevens Point
11/8/2012  WEDC awarded grant for export promotion
Ken Notes: It is a global marketplace. Lets hope Wisconsin is a player...
Wisconsin - 11/1/2012  OPINION: Number of WEDC troubled loans major concern
Ken Notes: I have to agree with much of this. The trouble with most government and the programs they administer is that they are managed from the front end with little concern for the outcomes. It is the nature of the beast, officials collect tax and other revenue and allocate it as they see fit. There is no analyses of ROA because the income does not come from the project it comes from the taxpayer. We, as taxpayers, should be the oversight but until we read about the concerns raised by others we (except for a few) did not know anything about the programs.
Wisconsin - 10/25/2012  WEDC: Small Business Summit in La Crosse Nov. 8
Wisconsin - 10/18/2012  WEDC vows changes on development grants
Ken Notes: If we focus on jobs, fairness, and outcomes, we should have no problems. In fact this may be an opportunity to move forward...
Wisconsin - 10/17/2012  Lawmaker calls for more oversight of WEDC
Ken Notes: If you want to legislate in this area, why not create a set of fair opportunities for new and expanding businesses in the state. I have suggested in the past that, our ED tool box is not complete. All players in development game need the same tool box, play book.
Wisconsin - 9/27/2012  Walker downplays feds' criticism of DOA, WEDC funding
Beloit - 8/23/2012  Shovel-ready sites could boost development
REESEVILLE - 7/19/2012  Specialty Cheese expands in Reeseville
Ken Notes: If Wisconsin plays it's cards right, we can become a Mecca for craft beer, wine and cheese. We could have tasting tours, more events at the sites, and other tourism opportunities! This is good for Wisconsin!
Wisconsin - 7/19/2012  VictorySpark launches seed accelerator to help innovative veteran startups
Ken Notes: I hope we can track the outcomes on investments like this. I would worry that we are funding the program du jour...
Platteville - 7/19/2012  Emmi-Roth expanding cheese making in Platteville
Oak Creek - 7/12/2012  Redevelopment grant for WPC Technologies
Menomonee Falls - 7/12/2012  Redevelopment grant for Village of Menomonee Falls
Wisconsin - 7/5/2012  WEDC Seeks Companies for Foreign Investment
Ken Notes: I wonder if they need a development news aggregator. I'll sell half of WDNews to the highest bidder...
Wisconsin - 6/14/2012  WEDC seeking collaboration and investment during China trip
Ken Notes: China and India are equivalent to the US economy after WWII. strong, vibrant and growing exponentially. Let's hope Wisconsin can be on the supply side of this equation.
Wisconsin - 6/14/2012  WEDC rolls out ads promoting state's business climate
Ken Notes: The add is HERE. They left out WisconsinDevelopment.com and FutureWisconsin.com. On Wisconsin!
Wisconsin - 5/17/2012  Eight entrepreneurial businesses qualify for investor tax credits
Ken Notes: I give to a program world wide called Kiva. They make micro loans to third world entrepreneurs. Could the state fund a program to help entrepreneurial businesses write grants and access funds? The private sector SCORE program is a good model in some areas. Some great start-up ideas die on the vine for lack of knowledge about accessing capital...
Madison - 2/23/2012  WEDC floats program to boost early stage investing
Ken Notes: I like this, but what about older businesses that are struggling? Lets allow them to have a "tax holiday" if they maintain jobs while struggling to return to profitability.
Neenah - 2/16/2012  Commonwealth Management receives Brownfield award for Neenah housing complex
Wisconsin - 2/9/2012  From WEDC - RE: Uploading properties to the Locate In Wisconsin Data Base
Ken Notes: WEDA and WEDC have adopted a new commercial property data base system for Wisconsin (LocateInWi.Com) - Both PropertyDrive.com and Xceligent automatically upload, update, and refresh their files so that users of those services need to do nothing - other brokers, ED Reps, or individuals with commercial properties for sale will need to upload or manually enter their listings. It is very important that more than Madison and Milwaukee are represented as we suggest commercial space availability to those outside the state. A spreadsheet can be used to update the system: Found Here.
Wisconsin - 1/18/2012  Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.: WEDC will shine a spotlight on Wisconsins biotechnology industry at BIO 2012
Wisconsin - 11/18/2011  Wis. Economic Development Corp Launches new web site
Ken Notes: Looks nice. I will update the ToolBox Version below...
Poynette 11/7/2011  $25K awarded for downtown Poynette
Ken Notes: This was reader submitted and shows that planning and redevelopment can be done on a variety of scales. Congrats!
9/1/2011  OVERSEEING WEDC
wisconson - 5/18/2011  Walker's nominees to WEDC have donated to him
Ken Notes: I am not sure this is news. These are good people and heavy hitters in B&I...
Wisconsin - 1/19/2011  OPINION - Dont replace Commerce with boondoggle
Ken Notes: Brett, lets give this a chance. The current program is not working, not responsive, and not in touch with the local EDC's (as you point out). Lets focus on getting this right in a supportive atmosphere while learning from other successes and failures.
Wisconsin - 12/28/2010  Walker unveils plans to replace Department of Commerce
Ken Notes: I hope the process starts with what is working in other states and what we have in place that works here. We can have a great system soon if we work as a team focused on jobs and growth. Can we tie USDA into the mix because I have learned of late that dairy and ag is ripe for growth and is Very big business. Just my two cents from little ol' Lafayette.
Wisconsin -  Certified Site Application Phase II Begins
Ken Notes: WEDC seems to promote these sites heavily. I wish is were a little less expensive to get certified though. I have added the CSP link to the WDN Tool Box. Did you know you can add the WDN Tools to your website for free. Just include a link to http://www.wisconsindevelopment.com/tools/ anywhere on your site. This is the most comprehensive set of economic development tools in the state.
Wisconsin -  WEDC board approves business growth strategies for Wisconsin
Ken Notes: Worth Reading!
Wisconsin -  Early stage program helps 50 companies leverage $44 million investment
Ken Notes: Another good program...
MADISON-  Project of the Week - WEDC
Ken Notes: A weekly feature with links to all the stories and notes on a specific project or topic. Or you can search for your favorite project here.
Wisconsin -  WEDC announces investment tax credit eligibility for emerging businesses
Wisconsin -  WEDC: Wisconsin positioned for growth in aerospace and aviation business
Ken Notes: But let's not forget beer, cheese, beef, manufacturing, insurance, retail....