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. 

Know Your Wisconsin Segments

In 2020-21, the Wood Industry Collaborative worked with Discover Mediaworks using the Know Your Wisconsin platform to develop simple communication in four easily-digestible videos that highlight positive stories and facts-based information about the forest products industry. The videos highlight everything from cellulose products, more traditional products, forest habitat and recreation, and a wonderful asset right here in Wisconsin, the Wood Technology Center of Excellence - an extension of Northcentral Technical College. Check them out and give them a share!