Competitive Wisconsin, Inc.: Wisconsin best in the Midwest according to national business survey

Contact: Bill McCoshen
Executive Director
Competitive Wisconsin, Inc.
(608) 258-8411

Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. credits third straight national ranking improvement with stronger focused state leadership

MADISON – Wisconsin’s business climate is more attractive to businesses, according to a recently released national study. The national business climate survey released by Site Selection magazine, a trade publication on corporate real estate strategy and economic development, ranked Wisconsin 13th nationally for its business environment. The survey also shows Wisconsin topping all neighboring Midwest states in its attractiveness to businesses.

Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI) leaders say these findings continue to reinforce the improving business environment across Wisconsin. A strong ranking and significant upward movement in the recently released Site Selection Magazine is proof positive of Wisconsin’s improving business climate. CWI credits committed state leadership and Wisconsin’s strong dedication to enhancing the state’s business climate as the reasons for the substantial improvement in business rankings. The national survey also reiterates findings of CWI’s recently released BE BOLD 2 study, as well as CWI’s Be Bold: The Wisconsin Prosperity Strategy, released in 2010.

“The new Site Selection ranking is additional proof that Wisconsin is making significant progress,” said Scott VanderSanden, president of Competitive Wisconsin and president of AT&T Wisconsin. “CWI’s Be Bold: The Wisconsin Prosperity Strategy has played a key role in the turnaround and several of its major recommendations, including creating the new quasi-government entity, WEDC; streamlining and augmenting state incentive programs; the development of a first-ever state marketing campaign; and the implementation of a ready sites and building database, have helped improve Wisconsin’s business environment.”

The Site Selection Magazine improved ranking comes on the heels of other rankings showing improvement in Wisconsin¹s economic climate, including CNBC ranking Wisconsin 17th in America¹s Top States for Business 2012 report, an improvement of 12 spots in the last two years in best states to do business, and CEO Magazine earlier this year announcing the state improved its ranking from 24th to 20th as the best states to do business.

CWI has been instrumental in examining Wisconsin’s economic climate; discussing opportunities and challenges in the area of business competitiveness; helping expand the state’s capital structure; and developing strategic business and economic initiatives. This focused approach, combined with strong leadership from state officials, continues to contribute to Wisconsin’s increasingly positive business environment.

“The Site Selection ranking is very important because it uses tax data as well as rankings from professional site selectors as the primary criteria. Wisconsin is quickly closing in on a top 10 business ranking and has clearly turned the corner with the folks that help businesses decide where to locate. Governor Walker and members of Legislature that supported his pro-growth policies deserve credit for this dramatic improvement,” said Bill McCoshen, executive director of Competitive Wisconsin and former Wisconsin Department of Commerce Secretary.

CWI recently released BE BOLD 2: Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool, a comprehensive study undertaken in partnership with the globally renowned talent development and acquisition strategist, ManpowerGroup. Talent development is the next critical area for improvement if Wisconsin is going to continue its economic development improvements. BE BOLD 2 examined Wisconsin’s current workforce climate and made a number of strategic recommendations designed to make Wisconsin competitive and positioned for continued business growth and economic prosperity. BE BOLD 2 underscores the need for immediate action on three strategic fronts including, energizing the links between economic development and workforce/talent development; revolutionizing and leveraging the collection of, and access to, real-time information about jobs, skill requirements, career pathways and economic outcomes; and mobilizing talent development and acquisition abilities in support of Wisconsin employers and promoting our successes to attract talent and job creators to the state.

CWI is convening the 2012 Economic Summit Series beginning in Waukesha on November 15. The Waukesha Summit will examine Jobs and Talent — The Development and Acquisition Challenges and Opportunities. Additional summits will be held elsewhere in the state this winter. Information on the Summit series can be found online at The series will examine the recommendations put forward in the BE BOLD 2 study and develop strategic policies for briefings with the Governor and Legislature in 2013.

Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. is a nonpolitical consortium of agriculture, business, education and labor leaders in Wisconsin who work together to focus attention on the state’s competitiveness. CWI’s mission is to improve the economic climate of Wisconsin in order to encourage the expansion of existing businesses and enhance the possibility of developing and attracting new businesses.