WEDC requesting $5 million annual funding boost

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is requesting a $5 million boost to its annual funding through fiscal year 2021.

In a letter to Gov. Scott Walker, WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan says the request is being made “to build on our inter-agency efforts to retain and attract talent to Wisconsin.”

“Allocating $5 million annually will allow the state to continue to broaden its reach to targeted audiences as part of a collaborative effort to ensure a strong talent pipeline,” he said.

For the biennial 2019-21 budget, WEDC is requesting $93.1 million in total. About $40.7 million of that number would come from general purpose revenue, while $52.4 million would come from the state’s economic development fund and an environmental fund for site assessment grants.

That $93.1 million total would be higher than the $76.8 million appropriated to WEDC in the 2017-19 budget cycle.

WEDC’s budget request includes a section on performance measures, which shows WEDC surpassed several goals for 2017 and 2018 but fell short on others.

In 2017, WEDC had a goal of assisting 2,710 businesses, 206 communities and 67 partner organizations. The anticipated jobs impact was 14,973 jobs. WEDC assisted 4,256 businesses, 129 communities and 71 partner organizations in 2017. The actual impact of that assistance was 22,077 jobs.

For 2018, WEDC had a goal of helping 3,782 businesses, 162 communities and 69 partner orgs. The anticipated jobs impact was 13,423. WEDC actually assisted 4,072 businesses, 134 communities and 71 partner groups in 2018.

The actual jobs impact for those 2018 activities was 30,827, but that’s affected by the Electronics Information and Technology Manufacturing Zone enacted after WEDC’s board of directors approved the FY18 budget and operations plan. Excluding the EITMZ program, that jobs impact number was 17,827 jobs.

For 2019, WEDC has a goal of assisting 4,576 businesses, 167 communities and 63 partner groups. The anticipated impact of those activities is 15,105 jobs.

See the budget request here:

–By Alex Moe