Top Ten | WalletHub | 2022’s Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub recently ranked Madison #9 in their Top Ten on the 2022 list of Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family. 

Source: WalletHub

With family needs in mind, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on 46 key metrics that consider essential family dynamics, such as the cost of housing, the quality of local school and health-care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation.

Families move often and for various reasons. In fact, the average American can expect to move an estimated 11.7 times in a lifetime. Moving can be a sign of opportunity, such as a new job or long-term wealth accumulation, but people may also move because of instability such as foreclosure or job loss. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, families will likely be looking for cities that provide the most safety and have the lowest unemployment rates.


Business Facilities | STEM Leaders: This Will Be On The Test

economic development business facilities logo

Business Facilities | Nora Caley

Madison, WI: Helping Students Get An Early Start

To help students discover if STEM courses interest them, in 2015 the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) launched Inspire Madison Region, a software component of the web-based program Xello, which the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) made available to all public school districts. While Xello allows students to learn about specific occupations based on interests and abilities, the Inspire Madison Region component enables students to connect via the interactive platform with mentors and career coaches. Students also participate in job shadowing, internships, and apprenticeships at local employers.

“Through the connections Inspire provides, MadREP is facilitating student awareness of local career opportunities and growing the future workforce in the Madison region,” said Gene Dalhoff, Vice President of Talent and Education. Through Inspire Madison Region, 70,000 students can connect with 500 career coaches as well as over 400 companies, many of which offer career-based learning experiences for students.

Another MadREP and Wisconsin DPI program, Wisconsin Pathways—Madison Region, is a region-wide effort to deliver high-quality career pathways in high schools. The pathways focus on occupations associated with high-skill, in-demand industry sectors. Students complete a pathway by taking a sequence of aligned courses, earning an industry-recognized credential, enrolling in dual college credit classes, participating in career-based and work-based learning experiences, and accessing related Career and Technical Education (CTE) student organizations.

Dalhoff said the pathways offer benefits for high school students and for employers. Students gain education and training that align with the needs of the local job market, and a high school diploma with at least one industry-recognized credential. Employers gain partnerships with a greater number of schools.

Another recent effort is the expansion of Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) in school districts throughout the Madison Region. Fab Labs provide the physical space, equipment, instruction, teamwork, and other resources necessary for students to explore STEM-related topics and engage in projects.

MadREP is working to engage with even more students in the region. “Looking to the future, we will prioritize growing opportunities to support the BIPOC community through economic development strategies and policies that prioritize funding STEM-related endeavors,” said Jason M. Fields, MadREP’s President and CEO. “Students of color need to see themselves reflected in the industry to believe it is possible.”

Originally published on

Daily Citizen | New Horicon business park set to open

Daily Citizen | Kelly Simon

HORICON — Marshland Crossing Business Park makes its debut in Horicon next week more than six years after its inception.

Situated on the far western edge of Horicon, the property features direct access to State Highway 33, over 66 shovel-ready acres of developable land and potential rail connectivity.

The Horicon City Council approved the creation of a new industrial park in July 2016.

The city purchased a 40-acre plot from Cynthia Wrucke, located at W5326 Highway 33, for the purpose of creating a new industrial park. The Horicon Community Development Corporation purchased three separate 40-acre plots from Wrucke in December 2015.

At that time, City Clerk/Treasurer Kristen Jacobson said Horicon couldn’t attract new industrial business because of a lack of available space.

“The city is currently out of vacant land in our industrial park except for a three-acre plot,” she said.

The land was annexed by the city of Horicon from the town of Oak Grove and rezoned to limited industrial and heavy industrial land from prime agricultural land.

The property was also added into the Tax Increment District No. 5, which was created in 2015 to help with the John Deere expansion on East Lake Street.

According to Jacobson, Horicon has completed multiple studies on the site to determine its true development potential and, in partnership with Dodge County, the site received Gold Shovel site verification from Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) in 2021.

Former Mayor Jim Grigg said the project picked up speed in 2021.

“We had approval from the state to put in two inlets and turning lanes along the highway and got that done last summer,” he said.

He said there have been discussions on and off with a couple of interested parties this past year but no signatures were put on paper.

The business park is available for a mix of uses including: manufacturing, warehousing, corporate, restaurant, multifamily, healthcare, and hotel or retail. The city is offering TIF assistance, as well as assistance with utility extensions, site improvements, infrastructure and reduction in land price.

The property is now featured on multiple nationwide site selector websites including MadREP and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s LocateInWisconsin website.

On Tuesday, May 24, at 5 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony open to the public will take place at the property to unveil the new signage.

More information on Marshland Crossing is available at

Article originally published on

Madison365 | Evers adds $25 million to Main Street Bounce Back grants

Economic Development Madison 365 Logo

Source: Madison365

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced Monday that his administration will invest an additional $25 million to a fund making grants to storefront small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Evers made the announcement at events alongside Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. Evers said the programs has already helped more than 4,200 small businesses and nonprofits across all 72 Wisconsin counties. In total, the announcement brings the governor’s total investment in the program to $75 million, which the administration said will enable 2,500 more small businesses and nonprofits to fill empty storefronts throughout the state.

The grants are administered by regional economic development agencies.

recent analysis of state allocations showed that as a share of federal aid received by states, Wisconsin ranks second in the country for aid directed to economic development and first in the country in aid to businesses.

“The impact we’ve had through our Main Street Bounceback Grant Program over the last year has been tremendous, truly helping small businesses and main streets in every corner of our state,”  Evers said in a statement. “We’ve heard from folks from across the state about how these funds have helped them take their businesses to the next level. We’ve also seen firsthand how these investments have helped support local economies in downtowns and communities that are now filled with unique businesses that otherwise might not be there today. I’m proud of our work making strategic investments in small businesses and I’m excited that today’s announcement means we’ll be able to continue our work supporting main streets and communities across Wisconsin.”

The Main Street Bounceback Grant Program was first announced in April 2021, and since, more than 4,200 small businesses and nonprofits across all 72 Wisconsin counties have been approved for $10,000 grants to help them move or expand into vacant commercial spaces.

“From barbershops to candy stores and from physical therapists to local economic development groups, the businesses and organizations that have received Main Street Bounceback grants vary widely,” Hughes said in a statement. “But what we’re hearing from all of the communities where these businesses are opening is the sense of excitement that they bring. Whether it’s a new restaurant, a hair salon, or an accounting business, there’s a feeling that there are new reasons to come to our downtowns and spend a little more time there.”

The deadline for grant applications for the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2022, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until all the funds are disbursed. WEDC is working with nine regional economic development organizations to quickly disburse grant funding to eligible businesses and nonprofit organizations. More information about the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program and how to apply is available on the WEDC website here.

Article originally published on

Building Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways in the Madison Region

Pathways Wisconsin is a statewide effort to deliver high-quality career-oriented programming in high schools that reflects the needs of prospective employers in their communities.

Focused at the regional level, the program is tailored to the specific needs of each of the nine regions. MadREP has taken an active role in Pathways Wisconsin since its inception, adding four pathways (Patient Care, Digital Tech, Advanced Manufacturing and Construction). We expect to add a fifth agricultural pathway this year.

What is Advanced Manufacturing?

The term “advanced manufacturing technology” has been coined for this pathway to encompass the rapidly changing nature of this industry. In its simplest definition, manufacturing takes in raw materials to produce products that are useful for a customer. Advanced manufacturing builds on this definition by utilizing technology to improve products or processes; thereby increasing efficiency, reliability, and quality for newer and better products.

Manufacturing is High Tech

The manufacturing industry has evolved and must now account for data and information integrated into manufacturing technologies, products, and processes. As a result, we must all embrace a broader definition of what it means to build a career in manufacturing.

Industry Subsectors

Each advanced manufacturing industry subsector offers career opportunities for a range of educational skill levels and salaries.

  • Production ($25,030 – $161,870)
  • Engineering & Design ($39,750 – $115,380)
  • Industry 4.0/4th Industrial Revolution ($27,740 – $110,620)
  • Electro-Mechanical ($25,630 – $102,780)
  • Supply Chain ($23,590 – $118,540)

Career Pathways in High School

The pathway must include a sequence of courses, including at least two career and technical education courses and two of the following components: a career and technical student organization, work-based learning, college credit opportunities, and an industry recognized credential.

Get involved!

Businesses in our Region have highlighted talent development as a top concern for several years and it has only increased since the onset of the pandemic. If your business would like to take an active role in cultivating your next generation of talent, fill out this brief intake form to get started.

Reserve Your Spot for the 2022 Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit
This is default text for notification bar