How We Operate

When working with WEDC, we’ve been impressed with their responsiveness and flexibility.  The improvements they’re making are helping
us, and the entire business climate in Wisconsin!

—Robert L. Marquette, Bostik

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The Foundation of WEDC

The WEDC foundation was set in motion in January 2011 as the result of a bipartisan study that clearly indicated Wisconsin needed to take a bolder approach to attracting, growing and retaining businesses within the state. In response to the study results, the Wisconsin Legislature called a Special Session to focus on job creation. This session produced 2011 Wisconsin Act 7—a law that created the WEDC as a public-private corporation to replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, beginning in July 2011. The bill removed non-business Commerce responsibilities from WEDC and eliminated program mandates in favor of a larger, more flexible economic development fund.

Organizational Mission

To elevate the Wisconsin economy to be the best in the world by providing a positive business climate, world-class support services and economic development tools to accelerate business start-up, attraction and growth.

Core Values

  • Integrity. We will hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards
  • Honesty. We will tell the truth without qualification
  • Accountability. We will honor our commitments to ourselves, our partners and our investors
  • Results-Focus. We will add value in every action
  • Customer-Centric. We will put the needs of the customer first

At Work In Wisconsin

Creating a Better State for Business

WEDC operates with four guiding principles designed to strengthen the state’s approach to economic development:

  • Be Bold
  • Engage Business
  • Operate as an Extended Enterprise
  • Measure and Be Accountable

By being bold in our approach to economic development, we’ve secured foreign direct investment in Wisconsin companies, advanced the state’s water technology sector, and formed a partnership with the UW System to help connect talent and research activities with Wisconsin business. To foster entrepreneurship in Wisconsin, we’re implementing seed investments and expanding incentives for high-growth startups as part of our approach to building an early-stage investment ecosystem.

A Measured Approach to Success

The operating plan of WEDC reflects a mix of short-, mid- and long-range actions intended to realize benefits today, as well as produce a better economy for Wisconsin tomorrow. Our performance and financial management systems allow greater transparency and feedback, and our individual and partner performance metrics are aligned with top-level organizational goals. It’s all part of our plan for economic vitality and continuous improvement to support business growth in Wisconsin.

WEDC’s divisional structure aligns with the key drivers of our economy:

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation – With a mission to increase startups in Wisconsin
  • International Business Development – With a mission to double exports by 2015
  • Business and Industry – With a mission to advance high impact economic development projects that produce a competitive advantage for Wisconsin
  • Economic and Community Development – With a mission to increase and deploy capital to drive business expansion and relocation

WEDC tracks operational performance using five key indicators. These metrics are controllable by WEDC actions and consist of:

  • Number of businesses impacted by WEDC – We provide business assistance services to drive startup, expansion or relocation to Wisconsin.
  • Number of communities impacted by WEDC – We provide technical and financial services to help communities drive economic development.
  • Number of economic development projects advanced by WEDC – We provide technical support of financial investment for projects that advance target sectors or improve the state’s economic development capabilities.
  • Anticipated job creation or retention – WEDC established an initial goal of realizing 50,000 anticipated jobs created or retained per year as reported by recipients of financial or technical assistance.
  • Investment leveraged – WEDC investments are intended to encourage co-investment and partner participation.

To learn more about how WEDC operates, contact us.