Three regional economic development projects received statewide recognition from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association.
The Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, the Grand Kakalin project in Kaukauna and New North Inc. received Community and Economic Development Awards, recognizing their efforts to improve the local economy.
New North Inc., a regional economic development organization that represents the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, received the Economic Development Initiative Award for its Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace project.
The Supply Chain Marketplace allows businesses to post a free listing describing their company and capabilities, allowing businesses seeking suppliers for a project to reference the listing. The project was so successful, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. took it statewide, and Foxconn is using the tool to identify suppliers for its massive production facility in southeast Wisconsin.
“We see the Supply Chain Marketplace as the place where companies can go to take concrete steps to diversify into specific market sectors and core industries of the state,” New North Executive Director Jerry Murphy said. “We believe that the Supply Chain Marketplace serves as a primary ‘Wisconsin’ showcase for companies seeking supplier solutions, now and in the future.”
The Menominee Nation Arena received the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse award, which honors innovative real estate development or reuse projects that have had a positive impact on the community’s economy and increased tax base. Since opening in late 2017, the arena has increased the tax base by $17 million and created 120 full- and part-time jobs for the community.
Greg Pierce, president of Fox Valley Pro Basketball, said the project created a ripple effect in the community that will be felt throughout the region.
“Landing an NBA G-League team and constructing a 3,500-seat arena that welcomes national sports and entertainment acts year-round is a project whose impact will be felt for generations,” he said. “We are grateful for the support of the city, our local economic development partners, private investors and Fox Valley sports and entertainment fans who helped make this happen.”
The Grand Kakalin Project in Kaukauna received the Public-Private Partnership Award, which honors projects, programs or initiatives that have been successful because of exceptional collaboration between the public and private sectors. In Kaukauna, Stadtmueller & Associates worked with the city to preserve the historic Eagle Mill. The 82,000-square-foot building is home to Kaukauna’s new library and office space.
Randy Stadtmueller, president of Stadtmueller & Associates, said the project helped the community grow
both in jobs and connecting the city to its history.
“The Grand Kakalin project has not only preserved a piece of our past, it has breathed new life into our downtown district and has had a critical domino effect in creating new jobs and spurring development,” he said. “Whether as an employee in Kaukauna’s downtown, a pedestrian enjoying the river views, or as a resident visiting the Kaukauna Public Library, the Grand Kakalin project has changed for the better how we interact with the Fox River and our city’s history.”
Other recipients of the 2018 CEDA Awards were: Business Retention and Expansion – Duluth Trading Co.; Economic Driver – Generac Power Systems; and Talent Attraction – UW Health. To see a list of all the finalists, go to weda.org/events/awards.