Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: Kicks off third year of Certified In Wisconsin Program

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Kicks Off Third Year of Certified In Wisconsin Program

Program plays key role in attracting new development to Stevens Point, Prescott

MADISON, March 18, 2014 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has launched the third year of its Certified In Wisconsin Program, in which the agency works with local officials to certify sites as “development-ready” to enhance their marketability.

A Certified In Wisconsin site is one that has been reviewed and approved by WEDC as meeting certain development criteria. WEDC is utilizing Deloitte Consulting to evaluate sites that are determined ready for development and meet certification requirements. The certification process provides detailed documentation about a site’s price, availability, utilities, access, and environmental standing—information that allows companies and site selectors to make informed decisions.

Once a site is certified, WEDC works with local officials to actively market the property by making a public announcement of the certifications, developing marketing materials, and including information on InWisconsin.com.

The state has 13 Certified Sites in Beaver Dam, Beloit, Chippewa Falls, DeForest, Fitchburg, Howard, Janesville, Menomonie, Prescott, Stevens Point, Verona, West Bend and Wisconsin Rapids.

In the last six months, two of the sites have attracted major development projects.

In October, Service Cold Storage, a refrigerated warehouse facility, broke ground in the East Park Commerce Center, a certified business park located in Stevens Point. The $10 million development is slated to bring 30 jobs to the area.

In February, United Natural Foods Inc. announced plans to build a $38 million distribution center in the Eagle Ridge Business Park in Prescott—a project expected to create up to 314 new jobs. The company conducted a multistate search and selected the Certified In Wisconsin site to build its second facility in the state.

“I doubt very much whether any national business site locator and broker could have known about the Eagle Ridge Business Park location without the benefit of WEDC’s Certified In Wisconsin Program and its highly visible website,” said Prescott Mayor Mark Huber. “The program was the ‘lightening rod’ that helped to make our business park location visible to business site selectors and brokers.”

“The early successes we have seen in Prescott and Stevens Point make it clear that this program is what companies and site selectors are looking for as they consider options for relocation and expansion,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Pre-certifying commercial and industrial sites not only enables companies to find the ideal location for their development, but also gives them the certainty to know they can begin building there immediately.”

The deadline to apply for the Certified In Wisconsin Program is April 14. Municipal officials or property owners seeking more information can visit
or email [email protected] for information on how to participate. The website includes complete details on the program, including an archived webinar and a list of FAQs.

About the 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 inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.