MadREP in the News

Check out the Madison Region Economic Partnership's recent newsworthy economic development activities.


WCLO: 12/5/22…Info on Broadband

MadREP’s Vice President of Talent and Education, Gene Dalhoff, joins WCLO with details on the group’s efforts to collect accurate data on underserved areas in both urban and rural communities in our Region for the last year. Gene announces an opportunity for Wisconsinites to contribute to a broadband solution.

Wondering about next steps? First, check your speed with MadREP’s speed test and compare it to the national map

WCLO: Rock County Jumpstart hosts Black Business Month luncheon

WCLO Your Talk LogoWCLO

Rock County’s black businesses accelerator is highlighting the good work done by local individuals to foster the growth of Black and Latino-owned businesses.

Rock County Jumpstart Executive Director Genia Stevens says Madison Region Economic Partnership President and CEO Jason Fields will be the keynote speaker for the annual Black Business Luncheon.

Stevens says the event will take place at noon on August 12th at the Beloit Historical Society.

Stevens says several awards will be given out, including the Legacy Award, Business of the Year, Lotus Award, Peer Mentor of the Year, and Mentor of the Year.

While the tickets – which include lunch from Backyard Barbecue – are free, they do need to be reserved in advance on the Rock County Jump Start website.

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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.”

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MadREP joins WLCO’s “Your Talk Show” to Discuss Workplace Vanpooling in the Madison Region

Madison Region Economic Partnership President and CEO, Jason Fields, and Vice President of Talent and Education, Gene Dalhoff, went on “Your Talk Show” with Tim Bremel of WCLO, a radio station based in Janesville with a signal extending to most of the Madison Region. The three discussed MadREP’s new workplace vanpooling pilot program and the state-instituted Main Street Bounce Back program, among other economic development topics.

To help small business owners, MadREP, in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, has been granting $10,000 to eligible business owners who locate or relocate to a vacant space. This program was recently extended to the end of the year, and grants will continue to be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been disbursed. While these grants can be a big help to any business, Jason Fields believes that they could be even more impactful when combined with access to the resources and knowledge necessary to maintain a sustainable business, and he plans to supplement this program in the future.

MadREP also discussed their partnership with Enterprise to begin offering workplace vanpooling to businesses in the Madison region. VP of Talent and Education, Gene Dalhoff, was inspired by Dodge County cheese producer, Paul Scharfman, who created a vanpool program for his business to galvanize the rural workforce that wanted to work, but just couldn’t find reliable transportation. Scharfman started his venture in 2018 to transport workers in the rural surrounding area to his business in Reeseville, a town of approximately 700 residents. The cheese producer’s innovative strategy found him all the employees he needed, as well as a waitlist of people wanting to work for him.

MadREP is looking to recreate Specialty Cheese’s success throughout their eight counties, starting with a pilot program of a handful of vans subsidized by MadREP. Our hope is for the program to reach 100 vans to help businesses and workers in the region who are experiencing challenges with transportation, a win-win proposition for the Madison Region.

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

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