OUR PROJECTS

2019 Update: 2015-2019 Vision For Prosperity Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
2018 Cover.png

Visions Northwest  serves as the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) committee for the Northwest Regional Planning Commission’s (NWRPC) Economic Development District (EDD). The 10-county EDD was designated by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in 1973. The EDA requires the completion of a short-term 5-year CEDS to be updated annually for all federally recognized EDDS. The CEDS Strategy Committee uses a variety of assessment tools that shape the regional development and goals and objectives that drive the regional CEDS. 

 

2019 Annual Update: Northwest WI Region's "Vision for Prosperity" CEDS

 
Northwest Wisconsin Skills Gap Analysis

In 2015, Visions Northwest partnered with the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board (NWWIB), UW-Superior's Department of Business and Economics, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), which provided the funding for the project, to create the Northwest Wisconsin Skills Gap Analysis of the labor market in the region. The purpose of this project was to study the labor market in ten Northwest Wisconsin counties, Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn, in order to ascertain whether the region is experiencing a skills gap. Skills gap was defined as a state of the labor market characterized by a significant misalignment of occupational competencies, including knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs), required by employers and those actually held by workers. 

 

 
Public Utility and Infrastructure Inventory
 

In 2016, Visions Northwest was awarded a $50,000 Capacity Building Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to contract with Northwest Regional Planning Commission, who also provided $10,000 match funds, to complete an inventory and evaluation of existing natural gas, sewer and water, and broadband in Northwest Wisconsin. The goal of this study was to gain an understanding of existing infrastructure conditions and how these conditions could impact and possibly restrict future economic development throughout the region. Through GIS data development, the creation of an Internet-based map server accompanies the analysis to allow economic development officials, business owners, and communities to visually see capacities and service areas.

 

The analysis accompanies an Internet-based map server application that identifies existing industrial/business parks and the utilities they are served by within the 10-county planning region. Data for the service boundaries was provided by municipalities and service providers. 

View the Analysis

View the Map Server

Northern Wisconsin Wood Industry Collaborative
 

One of the high regional priorities of Visions Northwest is to expand our wood products potential throughout the region. The forest products industry is the number one employer in many counties throughout northern Wisconsin. Over 64,000 people throughout the state are employed in this industry which generates over $24 billion in goods and services totaling 14 percent of all manufacturing jobs. Northern Wisconsin’s Wood Industry Collaborative represents 18 counties across the Visions Northwest and Grow North regions and is comprised of economic development, workforce development, education, state agencies and wood industry representatives. 

The Wood Industry Collaborative is a unique partnership involving two state economic development regions looking to advocate and promote business growth through advancing existing and emerging markets in order to ensure the success of northern Wisconsin’s largest industry. The group is in the process of completing their strategic plan, which lays out goals and strategies to raise the level of awareness of the wood industry, educate and grow the workforce, and form legislative partnerships. This collaborative effort seeks to connect the wood products industry with economic development, workforce development, and public agencies to encourage growth in investments, training, and jobs throughout the region. 

 


 

Inspire Northward

One of the high regional priorities of Visions Northwest is to expand our wood products potential throughout the region. The forest products industry is the number one employer in many counties throughout northern Wisconsin. Over 64,000 people throughout the state are employed in this industry which generates over $24 billion in goods and services totaling 14 percent of all manufacturing jobs. Northern Wisconsin’s Wood Industry Collaborative represents 18 counties across the Visions Northwest and Grow North regions and is comprised of economic development, workforce development, education, state agencies and wood industry representatives. 

The Wood Industry Collaborative is a unique partnership involving two state economic development regions looking to advocate and promote business growth through advancing existing and emerging markets in order to ensure the success of northern Wisconsin’s largest industry. The group is in the process of completing their strategic plan, which lays out goals and strategies to raise the level of awareness of the wood industry, educate and grow the workforce, and form legislative partnerships. This collaborative effort seeks to connect the wood products industry with economic development, workforce development, and public agencies to encourage growth in investments, training, and jobs throughout the region. 

Visions Northwest was awarded a $73,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to support the deployment of Inspire Northward, an initiative aimed at addressing our workforce needs across the region. Through the grant award, Visions Northwest will contract for services from the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board (NWWIB) to lead the outreach and onboarding efforts to employers and school districts. Inspire Northward is an additional platform that works with Career Cruising/Xello, an Academic Career Planning software implemented in school districts across the region. The Inspire platform will virtually connect area businesses to their future talent pool through online profiles, virtual career coaches, and work-based learning activities for high school students and educators. Inspire Northward will be used to increase engagement between businesses and students in several ways, including interactive messaging with local professionals, job shadowing, interviewing opportunities and internships. The grant award went into effect February 1st, 2018 and will span a 24 month effort to engage regional stakeholders. 

If you have Inspire Northward related questions, please contact Melissa Rabska, Inspire Northward Administrator at 715-682-9141. 

 

Visit

1400 South River Street

Spooner, WI 54801

Call

T: 715-635-2197

F: 715-635-7262

Partner of 

© 2020 by Visions Northwest