Advance Now is a comprehensive, action-oriented regional economic development strategy that will systematically move the Madison Region’s economy forward. The eight-month strategy development process will engage public- and private-sector leaders to define a shared vision for sustained economic growth. The project will culminate in a detailed implementation plan that includes tangible performance metrics, capacity assessments, and one-to-five year action plans.
In many ways, The Madison Region is poised for tremendous success. We enjoy an exceptional quality of life, paired with assets in research and innovation, natural resources, and an educated, creative workforce.
The region’s assets have not translated into widespread economic prosperity and job creation. Although the region has historically benefited from a strong economy, we are falling behind on the road to economic recovery.
- The Madison Region was outpaced by four of five peer regions in employment and business growth, and our
per capita income is dropping at a higher rate than our peers. (MadREP’s 2010 State of the Madison Region Report)
- Wisconsin ranked #43 in Forbes’ 2010 Rankings of the Best States for Business.
- The Madison MSA ranked 327 out of 392 nationwide for projected employment growth through 2014. (Moody’s)
- The state ranked #42 for new firm creation, #28 for entrepreneurial activity, and #25 in venture capital investment. (Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance; The Kauffman Foundation; National Venture Capital Association)
Historically, the Madison Region has applied an outdated economic development model with competing, fragmented growth plans. With at least 90 separate economic development plans already in place throughout our region, Advance Now will fill a crucial role in stitching these plans together into a unified, comprehensive action strategy that enables us to compete on a larger regional scale in today’s global marketplace.
Advance Now will position the Madison Region as one of America’s leading job creation engines and most livable communities. We must focus on building a world-class business infrastructure as seriously as we invest in our quality of life. To this end, we’ll focus on such outcomes as business retention and expansion, sector development, and capital attraction.
Advance Now will produce a tangible implementation plan that garners real results focused on our region’s growth industries. With outcomes built specifically for the Madison Region and tied to economic drivers, the strategy will recognize assets and define what our region will be known for globally. In addition, the strategy will enable MadREP to obtain a federally-approved Economic Development District (EDD) designation for the Madison Region, creating funding opportunities such as seed money for revolving loan funds, planning grants, and infrastructure funding.
MadREP will partner with the Atlanta-based economic development consulting firm Market Street Services, led by founder and CEO Mac Holladay, to develop Advance Now. We’ll also engage public- and private-sector leaders from Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk Counties in strategy creation and implementation.
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