Thrive: Publishes new report — Advance Now Competitive Assessment

CONTACT: Betsy Lundgren, Marketing Coordinator

608.443.1961 | [email protected]

A detailed look at the Madison Region’s competitive position, based on economic research and public input from 1,500+ leaders and residents

Thrive, the economic development partnership for the eight-county Madison Region, publishes the Advance Now Competitive Assessment, a detailed look at the Madison Region’s demographic, socioeconomic, and economic trends in recent years. This report marks the completion of the first development phase of Advance Now: Madison Region’s Strategy for Economic Growth, a comprehensive, action-oriented regional economic development strategy that will systematically move the Madison Region’s economy forward.

Researched and written by consultants from Atlanta-based Market Street Services, the Competitive Assessment details the region’s competitive position as compared to the metro areas of Austin, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as the state of Wisconsin and the nation. The realities of the regional economy, well-being of residents, and growth and development of the community are examined. These quantitative findings are paired with qualitative research consisting of 1,537 responses to a community-wide survey, 12 focus groups, and 12 one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders from throughout the Madison Region.

The report will be shared with attendees at Thrive’s 2011 State of the Madison Region: Advance Now Community Leadership Summit on Thursday, November 10, 3:30-5pm at the Monona Terrace in downtown Madison. Attendees will be asked to respond to the Competitive Assessment findings, sharing their perspective and priorities to help guide the Advance Now strategic planning process.

The attached Executive Summary outlines key findings of the Competitive Assessment, organized by the categories of People, Prosperity, and Place. The full 180-page report is available for download at http://advancenow.thrivehere.org/assets/files/114112_CompetitiveAssessment_FullReport.pdf.

ABOUT ADVANCE NOW: Advance Now: Madison Region’s Strategy for Economic Growth is a comprehensive, action-oriented regional economic development strategy that will systematically move the Madison Region’s economy forward. The eight-month development process engages citizens, as well as public- and private-sector leaders from throughout the region, to define a shared vision for sustained economic growth. The project will culminate in a detailed implementation plan that includes tangible performance metrics, capacity assessments, and one-to-five year action plans. More details can be found at advancenow.thrivehere.org .

Support for Advance Now is provided by American Family Insurance, Madison Gas & Electric, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

ABOUT THRIVE: Thrive is the economic development partnership for the eight-county Madison Region, established to grow the region’s economy in ways that preserve and enhance quality of life. We are committed to providing businesses and communities with efficient access to capital; growing the industries and sectors that comprise our region’s greatest assets; informing smart decision-making by delivering valuable research and data; and collaborating across communities to share best practices and promote our region. The Madison Region includes Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk counties.

ABOUT MARKET STREET SERVICES: Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Market Street Services, Inc. was founded in 1997 as an alternative to the traditional community and economic development consulting firm. The company’s experience and perspective is firmly rooted in the knowledge gained from being practitioners in the field, rather than looking “from the outside in.” The firm’s founder and CEO, J. Mac Holladay has more than 30 years of experience in community and economic development, both as a Chamber professional and as state economic development director. Market Street’s staff has worked with clients throughout the country to not only devise measurable, achievable strategies, but also have first-hand experience in clarifying what is needed from an organizational standpoint to successfully implement those strategies.