The WEDC 2021 Annual Report, published last month, showcases the organization’s successes in its mission to work with Wisconsin’s businesses and communities to build an economy that works for everyone.
The agency’s priorities have shifted and broadened as the pandemic highlighted, and in some cases heightened, preexisting economic disparities. Along with helping companies to weather and rebound from the pandemic, WEDC has made equity and inclusion part of its strategic priorities, as well as a sustained focus on workforce solutions—both those that help companies grapple with the current labor shortage and those that help workers participate fully in the economy, with initiatives such as providing affordable child care and equipping workers with new skills that match the available jobs.
The report also includes a section on the Office of Rural Prosperity, which was created in 2020 to bring more equity to the state’s economic development approaches from a geographic perspective, ensuring that rural communities were not left behind as funding and effort flowed to urban areas.
Titled “Making Strong Connections,” the report also gives attention to WEDC’s longstanding priorities, which include encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, fostering global trade and investment, supporting the growth and development of existing businesses, and helping Wisconsin’s communities thrive as places people want to live and visit.