WEDC: Twenty cities selected for WEDC ‘Connect Communities’ program

Contact: Tom Thieding, 608-210-6767

Program will help communities revitalize downtown and urban commercial districts

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will assist 20 communities with revitalizing their downtowns and urban commercial districts through the organization’s new “Connect Communities” program.

The communities selected include: Antigo, Berlin, Cambridge, Cashton, Chilton, Crandon, Deerfield, Edgerton, Greenwood, Hartford, Hartland, La Crosse, Menasha, Menomonee Falls, Menomonie, Mosinee, Plymouth, Pulaski, Sheboygan and Superior.

“Downtowns and urban commercial districts play an important role in their communities and in Wisconsin’s overall economy,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, vice president of economic and community development with WEDC. “Successful commercial districts don’t just happen. They need to be planned and nurtured, and the Connect Communities program helps these communities move forward.”

The communities selected to participate in the program each needed to have an organization that focuses on downtown/urban commercial district issues, have certain information technology capability and make a commitment to majority of training opportunities.

WEDC will provide participating communities a range of services and resources including a network group to receive new ideas from others participating in Connect Communities; participation in a Main Street Executive Director Workshop; an on-site visit from a WEDC Community Account Manager to assist in identifying needs and offering assistance; and involvement in many ongoing training programs.

The Connect Communities program is a complementary program to WEDC’s Wisconsin Main Street Program, a downtown revitalization program targeting the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional downtown business districts.

About Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), formed in 2011 as a public-private entity, leads economic development efforts for the state and nurtures business growth and job creation by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. In addition to Wisconsin’s strong legacy industries of agriculture and manufacturing, recent growth has occurred in water technology, renewable energy, bio-sciences, health care, and food processing. In 2012 Wisconsin was ranked No. 20 in Chief Executive Magazine’s “Best States for Business” and No. 17 as a top state for business by CNBC. WEDC partners with 650 economic development organizations throughout Wisconsin to serve businesses looking to start, grow or relocate. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and international business development. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.