Economic Development

WisPolitics: U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Backs Wisconsin’s application for a regional Tech Hub, calls on Biden Administration to deliver Hub for Wisconsin

Source: WisPolitics

WISCONSIN – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today announced her support for Wisconsin’s application to bring a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub (Tech Hub) to Wisconsin. The Tech Hub program is an economic development initiative created by the Baldwin-backed CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin worked to secure an initial $500 million to fund the initiative aimed at driving technology- and innovation-centric growth and creating good-paying jobs.

Under the Tech Hubs program, the Economic Development Administration will first designate promising Tech Hubs across the country and award strategy development grants to accelerate the development of future Tech Hubs. From there, EDA will make at least five implementation awards to selected Tech Hubs. Since the program’s creation, Senator Baldwin has been working to bring a Tech Hub to Wisconsin. The Tech Hub program was modeled off the Brookings Institute report that identified Wisconsin as the top destination for a regional hub.

“Wisconsin has a rich history of innovation, backed by world-class research institutions, a robust Made in Wisconsin manufacturing economy, and the necessary pipeline of new talent to continue growing for the future,” said Senator Baldwin. “I was proud to support the legislation that created Tech Hubs, and am now proud to support Wisconsin’s application to bring a Tech Hub to the Badger State. Wisconsin is a leader in biotech and personalized medicine, and bringing a Tech Hub to Wisconsin will bolster our state as a growth center in this cutting-edge industry, accelerating advances in health care, spurring economic growth in our communities, and creating good-paying jobs in the process.”

Wisconsin’s application comes from a consortium of 15 public and private partners organized by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to bolster Wisconsin’s leadership in personalized medicine and biohealth technology. Personalized medicine has the potential to transform medical care with customized treatments for each patient, combining genomic innovation, advanced imaging technologies, big data analytics, AI computing, and other cutting-edge technology to provide effective, affordable, and equitable health care.

Consortium members include: Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the University of Wisconsin System Administration, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, GE HealthCare, Rockwell Automation, Exact Sciences Corporation, BioForward Wisconsin, Employ Milwaukee, Accuray, Plexus, WRTP Big Step, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Madison Area Technical College, the Madison [Region] Economic Partnership (MadREP), and Milwaukee7.

“Wisconsin has always been at the center of research, innovation, education, and manufacturing that changes the world, transforms people’s lives, and enhances their economic and personal well-being,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “Wisconsin is now at the forefront of one of the most dramatic advances we’re seeing in medical care – personalized medicine. We owe it to the people of our state – and the world – to continue to build on that momentum.”

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MadREP & Livability Media Launch 2023 Madison Region Economic Development Publication

MadREP is pleased to continue our partnership with Livability Media and introduce our 2023 Madison Region Economic Development publication

Each year our organization collaborates with Livability to create targeted content for talent and business attraction. We consider both larger national trends monitored by Livability and our experiences here in the Region when architecting the publication.

This year in particular, we focused more heavily on the Region’s growing rural and smaller industrial communities. Both locally and nationally, site selection activities have trended towards large developable plots of land, which are typically more available outside major metros.  

The 2023 Madison Region Livability Media content, in addition to promotion by Livability, will be a resource for economic developers throughout our Region as they navigate attracting large employers to more rural areas while demonstrating that the local workforce has access to amenities like quality healthcare, outdoor recreation, family-friendly events and foodie hotspots.

Navigating Digital Technology Career Pathways

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the demand for skilled professionals in the technology sector is at an all-time high. From software development and cybersecurity to data analysis and IT management, the realm of digital technology offers a diverse array of rewarding career pathways. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Career Pathways program connects students with career-based education and learning opportunities to better prepare them for life after graduation.

Digital Tech Industries Madison Talent & Career Pathways
The Wisconsin State Capitol building can be seen out of the windows at Filament Games offices in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Credit: Livability Media

Digital Technology Pathways in Wisconsin

DPI has recognized the critical importance of digital technology in today’s economy and has outlined a comprehensive framework of digital technology career pathways. These pathways are designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the ever-changing tech landscape.

Digital Media Technology: This pathway focuses on creative and visual aspects of technology, including graphic design, web development, and multimedia production. Professionals in this pathway contribute to the visual appeal and user experience of websites, apps, and digital media platforms.

Information Support and Services**: This pathway is centered around IT support, network administration, and systems management. Experts in this field ensure the smooth functioning of technology infrastructure, troubleshoot technical issues, and manage data systems.

Programming and Software Development: As the backbone of the tech industry, this pathway involves designing, coding, and testing software applications. Software developers create innovative solutions that drive industries ranging from healthcare to entertainment.

Data Science and Analytics: Data is the new gold, and this pathway focuses on extracting insights from vast datasets. Data scientists and analysts interpret complex data to inform business decisions and drive strategic growth.

Cybersecurity: With the increasing frequency of cyber threats, this pathway is dedicated to safeguarding digital assets and information. Cybersecurity experts protect systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access and attacks.

IT and Computer Science: This comprehensive pathway covers a wide range of IT roles, from hardware and software management to computer science principles. Professionals in this field lay the foundation for technological advancements and innovation.

A Career in Digital Technology

Diverse Opportunities: The digital technology sector offers an array of career opportunities, catering to different skill sets and interests. Whether they’re a creative thinker, a problem solver, or an analytical mind, there’s a pathway for everyone.

Skill Development: Each digital technology pathway requires specific skills and competencies. By pursuing relevant education and certifications, students can build a strong foundation in their chosen field and stay competitive in the job market.

Continuous Learning: The tech industry is dynamic, with new technologies and trends emerging regularly. Lifelong learning is essential to stay up-to-date and adaptable in this ever-changing landscape.

Industry Demand: The demand for tech professionals is consistently high, and this trend is projected to continue. Graduates and experienced professionals alike can find ample job opportunities in various industries.

DPI’s Digital Technology Pathway provides valuable insights into the diverse and exciting world of tech careers. From digital media and programming to cybersecurity and data science, the pathways outlined by the DPI offer a roadmap to success in the digital technology sector. By choosing a pathway aligned with the student’s skills and interests, pursuing relevant education, training, and embracing continuous learning, they can embark on a rewarding and fulfilling career in the dynamic world of digital technology.

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.

Exploring the Thriving Advanced Manufacturing Pathways in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has long been known as a hub for manufacturing, with a strong legacy of industrial expertise. In recent years, the state has taken significant steps to strengthen its position as a leader in advanced manufacturing. This commitment is reflected in the various pathways and programs offered to students through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and MadREP. DPI’s Advanced Manufacturing Pathway highlights the demand for skilled workers and presents exciting opportunities for careers in the manufacturing industry.

Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathway

The Madison Region’s Advanced Manufacturing Pathway is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in the rapidly evolving field of advanced manufacturing. This pathway equips students with a comprehensive understanding of the industry, from the basics of manufacturing processes to the intricacies of emerging technologies. By offering a wide range of courses, including hands-on learning experiences and industry certifications, the pathway ensures that students are well-prepared for successful careers in advanced manufacturing.

The Advanced Manufacturing Pathway Curriculum

The curriculum for the Advanced Manufacturing Pathway is thoughtfully designed to offer students a well-rounded education in the field. It covers various essential topics, such as computer-aided design (CAD), robotics, automation, material science, quality control, and supply chain management. Students gain practical skills through hands-on experiences, including working with cutting-edge machinery and utilizing advanced software programs commonly used in the industry.

One notable aspect of the pathway is its focus on integrating technology into manufacturing processes. This emphasis reflects the industry’s current trend of automation and the increasing demand for workers who can effectively operate and maintain advanced manufacturing systems. By equipping students with technological proficiency, the pathway ensures they are ready to tackle the challenges of the modern manufacturing landscape.

Meeting the Demands of the Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry in Wisconsin is experiencing a significant demand for skilled workers. It remains a critical sector in the state, offering numerous job opportunities across various subfields, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and more. As advanced manufacturing continues to evolve, the need for a highly skilled workforce becomes even more crucial.

The Advanced Manufacturing Pathway addresses this demand by aligning its curriculum with the industry’s evolving needs. It fosters a collaborative approach between educational institutions and industry partners, allowing students to gain practical experiences through internships, apprenticeships, and other work-based learning opportunities. This collaboration ensures that students receive relevant training and exposure to real-world manufacturing scenarios, thereby enhancing their employability and career prospects.

Preparing Students for a Bright Future

The Advanced Manufacturing Pathway offered by the DPI presents a unique opportunity for students to embark on a rewarding and prosperous career in the manufacturing industry. By acquiring valuable technical skills, hands-on experience, and industry certifications, students graduate with a competitive edge that enables them to succeed in the ever-evolving world of advanced manufacturing.

Moreover, Wisconsin’s commitment to fostering strong partnerships between educational institutions and industry leaders ensures that the pathway remains aligned with the changing demands of the manufacturing industry. This adaptability is vital, as it enables students to stay ahead of technological advancements and continue to contribute to the growth and innovation of the manufacturing sector.

The Advanced Manufacturing Pathway offered to students in the Madison Region opens doors to exciting opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing. By combining a comprehensive curriculum, hands-on experiences, and collaborations with industry partners, the pathway equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the advanced manufacturing landscape. As Wisconsin continues to strengthen its position as a manufacturing powerhouse, the Advanced Manufacturing Pathway plays a fundamental role in cultivating a skilled workforce that will drive innovation and propel the industry forward.

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.

The Cap Times: How a former Army strategist plans to close economic gaps in Madison

Economic Development Cap Times LogoSource: The Cap Times

Tonnetta Darcel Carter has spent years solving complex problems in finance and logistics, including as an Army chief of staff involved in some of the earliest troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

Madison Region Economic Partnership, or MadREP, this summer named Darcel Carter as its chief strategy officer for the organization’s new Bridge Wisconsin initiative, which aims to provide economic support and opportunities to rural businesses and entrepreneurs of color.

MadREP is an economic development agency spanning eight counties in south central Wisconsin, including Dane County. The organization provides technical support and opportunities to emerging and minority-owned businesses, attracts businesses to invest in the Madison region and expands export and foreign direct investment opportunities for existing local businesses.

Darcel Carter previously worked with local venture firm gener8tor and served as development director for the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Hope to Health Campaign. She is also the founder and CEO of alternative asset consulting firm Carter Wilson Group, which provides venture and economic development strategies.

Darcel Carter spoke to the Cap Times about her experience in finance and her plans for the Bridge Wisconsin initiative.

First off, could you tell me a little bit about yourself?

My educational background is in finance. I went to (UW)-Whitewater for undergrad. During my second year in school, I joined the Army National Guard, originally as an engineer, and then later became a chief of staff.

During that time, I deployed twice. I spent some time in the Middle East traveling across Afghanistan, where I really focused on demobilization — bringing our troops back home — in 2014. We sent probably close to 20,000 troops home during my time over there.

I then was deployed to South Korea in 2018 under President Trump. That was really what we call a real wartime analysis. So if things were to go haywire during President Trump’s time in North Korea what role would the U.S. play, and what would that involvement look like?

To be at the age that I was, it was very eye opening and (I was) learning how to be a strategic thinker and find creative ways to solve very, very complex problems.

I was (later) appointed to the Board of Veterans Affairs for the state of Wisconsin under Gov. (Tony) Evers, and I’ve been in that capacity since 2019. My bread and butter is really, how do we support our veteran families and our veterans as they’re transitioning to civilian life? That could be supporting veteran entrepreneurs, veteran-owned businesses and things of that nature.

Could you describe MadREP’s new Bridge Wisconsin initiative? What are its goals?

Bridge Wisconsin’s really reflective of our mission to develop a dynamic economy where people and businesses thrive. … We’re looking to improve the quality of life through a community-based investment.

Looking at collected data and surveys across the region, we are seeing what our region’s greatest needs are. That’s when we really identified our top five priorities, and those are housing, early childhood education, economic equity and investment, workforce development and sustainability.

Why did you decide on those five different priorities?

Digging into two of our priorities — housing, for example — studies project there will be (a need for) an estimated 200,000 (new) homes across the state by 2030.

What we’re seeing is that homeownership is very high for our aging population, and that’s at about 81% for those who are 65 and older. As they’re looking to downsize, but not necessarily want or need assisted living, there’s a shortage of accommodation to offer the amenities they desire.

There’s a very low transition for new families and workers. Housing is just not available across the spectrum. In our region we’re looking to really increase homeownership and close those workforce housing gaps by investing in quality, affordable homes.

We plan to do that by partnering with organizations to train and support developers in our counties to really build in their respective areas. That can be through an array of programmatic and/or funding options.

Digging into the economic equity and investment component — which I’m very passionate about — people of color make up approximately 40% of the U.S. population. Yet, these groups own roughly 20% of businesses. Over the past five years, these groups have, I want to say, had an increase of about 22% (in) revenue, yet only 27% of them get fully approved for financing, which is very, very interesting.

Looking at a snapshot of Wisconsin itself, we are ranked as the fourth worst state for entrepreneurs of color. (Wisconsin is actually ranked second-to-last in economic equality, according to a study from WalletHub.)

These groups make up about 21% of our state’s population, and only own roughly 7.4% of our startups and businesses across the state.

At Bridge Wisconsin, we are really looking to support those small and technical businesses by providing real capital and technical resources, which can include capacity building for those entrepreneurs across our region and the state as a whole.

What are some things you’re going to do to close the gap between the rural and urban area in the eight counties?

I think that’s really why we’ve established these five priorities. Looking at, let’s say, workforce development, what you’re seeing across geography is you really serve just to build a robust talent pipeline inclusive of new workers, as well as how we work to upskill existing workers.

So, it’s how we’re providing training across those industries that we’re seeing are very high in our region.

How can we look at, say, cybersecurity, at IT, at manufacturing? How do we give our residents the tools that they need to be successful in these careers? How do we educate, train and retain a workforce that meets current and projected business needs?

We’re seeing that those are the needs across both geographies. Now, how can we help these groups … to really find advancement?

What does the timeline look like for implementation of Bridge Wisconsin? It’s launching in the fall, correct?

Yeah. With anything of this magnitude, we’re not going to launch each priority all at once; we’ll begin to roll them out as they’re being developed. We’re looking to roll out a few of our priorities over the next three to four months. For sure, in the fall, we’ll have at least one priority launched and up and running if things go as planned. Conversations are going really well, so fingers crossed on hitting the ground running in the next couple of months.

What are the things you’re starting off with?

We’re starting off with our economic equity and investment priority.

What are your plans for raising money for these initiatives or getting money sorted out?

Without sharing way too much, we’re having conversations with some really cool organizations about bringing some potential outside capital to Wisconsin for our city entrepreneurs, as well as working with folks who are already doing the work here, amplifying what they’re already doing.

We’ve identified some great potential funding sources for some of those initiatives already.

What do you hope the business investment landscape for this region will look like in the next few years with the help of Bridge Wisconsin?

How do I answer that question? If I could get everything I want and have everything go my way:

I think the landscape, for one, would have more tech-enabled businesses operating for people of color. We would have an increase in revenue and resources in these counties, especially looking at people of color as well as those who are in areas geographically that just don’t have the access to that funding.

Really, oh, my gosh, it will look like just an increase in the millions (of dollars) for entrepreneurs in southwest Wisconsin.

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