Contact: Mark Maley, 608-210-6706
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has received two awards of excellence from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s largest economic development organization.
WEDC received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for the development of a micro website that promotes foreign direct investment in Wisconsin and a Silver Award for its role in advancing NEWaukee’s YPWeek initiative, part of an effort to attract and retain young professionals in Wisconsin.
In addition, The Water Council received a Gold Award for The BREW, a seed accelerator program for water technology startups that is supported by WEDC.
“These awards from an international organization that promotes economic development best practices are a testament to how WEDC, in concert with its key partners, is continually developing new and innovative ways to address the economic challenges and opportunities in Wisconsin,” said Tricia Braun, deputy secretary and COO of WEDC. “As a public-private partnership, WEDC has the flexibility and agility to develop programs to meet the unique needs of the business community, which is exactly what we did with each of these award-winning initiatives.”
WEDC received the Gold Award in the category of Special Purpose Website for its micro-site—Invest.InWisconsin.com—that is designed specifically to encourage international investment in Wisconsin. The site provides potential foreign investors with detailed information on the state’s location, infrastructure, transportation, business climate and workforce. It also highlights Wisconsin’s leadership in key industries—manufacturing; energy, power and control; food and beverage; water technology; and bioscience.
The site’s content, which includes videos, industry data and company success stories, is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese, reflective of Wisconsin’s priority international markets.
WEDC and NEWaukee, a Milwaukee-based social architecture firm, earned the Silver Award in IEDC’s Human Capital category for YPWeek. Held in April, the week features events across the state that focused on engaging millennial workers in activities and experiences that are important to them while educating their employers on the significant role these functions play in retaining their workforce.
“We believe the work we have done with WEDC and our partners across the state to produce YPWeek is critical to creating an ecosystem for current and future talent to easily choose Wisconsin as their home,” said Angela Damiani, CEO and co-founder of NEWaukee. “We are grateful to WEDC for having the vision to invest in this type of network alignment and we are honored to receive this recognition from the IEDC.”
The Water Council, one of WEDC’s partners, took home a Gold Award in the Entrepreneurship category for communities with a population greater than 500,000. The BREW, a first-of-its-kind place-based global seed accelerator for water technology startups, was created by The Water Council and WEDC in 2013. The goal of the program is to unleash unique water technology startups, expand Milwaukee’s global water hub by accelerating results, and inspire action to create further opportunity in the water industry.
“Earlier this year, we made a commitment during the White House Water Summit to launch 75 water technology startups over the next five years,” said Elizabeth Thelen, director of entrepreneurship and talent for The Water Council. “This award reaffirms our work as a world-class water technology accelerator and we are very grateful for this recognition.”
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards, which were presented this week at the organization’s annual meeting in Cleveland, recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.