FAM TOUR SERIES: Site Selector Feedback-the good, the bad, and the ugly…

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This is part of a series of posts on site location consultants.  Please see previous articles “What do Site Selectors Look For?” and “Site Selectors: Who Are They?”.

Media Contact:
Lauree Frechette
Red Shoes PR
(920) 574-3253
lauree@redshoespr.com

 

Site selectors share insights on I-41 Corridor’s economic outlook
“Wisconsin has a strong history of starting companies and building things that endure”

APPLETON, Wis. (Oct. 21, 2016) – The future is bright for Wisconsin’s I-41 Corridor, according to the four site selection consultants visiting the area for a familiarization (FAM) tour, which took place Oct. 18 to 20, throughout the five-county region. The tour, hosted by the Wisconsin I-41 Corridor Marketing Collaborative, is an event that allows site selector consultants to scout potential locations for business to flourish.

After three days of visiting with area business leaders and learning about the region’s strongest assets, site selector consultants discussed the I-41 Corridor’s position as a place for business. During a public debrief at the Appleton International Airport’s Platinum Flight Center, the site selectors provided the following insights:

  • Interactions with community members demonstrated residents believe they have a strong quality of life and passion for their communities.
  • Regional collaboration is a key component to success and is evident within this region.
    • “Economic development is a marathon not a sprint,” said site selector William Mellor. “It does have a positive ROI over time, and the region should continue to invest in economic development.”
  • Business retention and attraction is the number one priority for area businesses and will make talent attraction easier in the future.
  • Certain statistics, like the low unemployment rate throughout the region, might cause site selectors to overlook the area.
    • “Some people might look at a 3.4 percent unemployment rate [and] think it is tough to find skilled workers in that area and then move on,” said site selector Jerry Szatan.
  • The I-41 Corridor Marketing Collaborative needs to do more to share the positive success stories of the region.
    • “Sharing local content, whether it’s hiring success stories or a company’s expansion, gives site selectors a way to look at a community besides its statistics,” said site selector John Castro.
  • Wisconsin can set itself apart from other states by focusing on retaining talent, making infrastructure consistent, improving the permitting and approval process in local government and having a strong support structure for entrepreneurs.
    • “Wisconsin has a long history of starting companies and building things that endure,” said Szatan.
  • “The value of taking a regional approach to economic development, like the I-41 Corridor [is that it] brands the region to those who may not be familiar with it,” said Szatan.

The site selection consultants participating in the tour represented firms from Illinois and Texas. To learn more about Wisconsin’s I-41 Corridor, visit www.I41corridor.com.

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The I-41 Corridor Marketing Collaborative represents Brown, Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet and Fond du Lac Counties. Its mission is focused on pursuing business development growth opportunities through the attraction of new employers and investment to the region. Organizations included in the initiative are: Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation, Fox Cities Regional Partnership, Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Greater Green Bay Chamber and The New North.