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Visions Northwest
Quarterly Beacon

Illuminating the Path to Economic Growth in Northwest Wisconsin

September 2016

Earlier this Summer, Visions Northwest submitted an application to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for our base funding for fiscal year 2017. The application, along with priorities identified in our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), serves as an outline for our plan of work throughout the course of the year. This past year has served as a building year for our organization and as we look toward the future, we intend to continue to lay the foundation that will help to improve the overall business climate for our unique Northwest Region of Wisconsin. To learn more about our initiatives and projects, please visit

RIsE Breakfast Sessions: Follow Up

Throughout the months of April, May, and June, Visions Northwest, Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board and Northwest Wisconsin Educators for Regional Development appreciated the opportunity to provide those who attended the RIsE Sessions an opportunity to participate in an important discussion regarding economic, workforce, and education concerns throughout the Northwest Region of Wisconsin. 

Follow-up materials from each of the three sessions are available to view and download on the Visions Northwest RIsE webpage. Materials available include presentations given as well as the complied lists of ideas, recommendations, and priorities generated during the discussions. Information gathered from these sessions will be used by the three entities to help guide strategic planning efforts. Considering the positive feedback and success of the well-attended sessions, we intend to use the framework to host similar events in Spring 2017.

Regional Wood Products Collaborative
Since receiving a $4,950 grant from the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives to assist in the development of a regional wood products collaborative, Visions Northwest continues to explore ways to fully utilize the potential of our forests in Northwest Wisconsin by looking beyond traditional markets and products. In late June, an informal collaboration including members of Visions Northwest, the Natural Resource Research Institute (NRRI), WI Economic Development Corporation, WI Department of Natural Resources, and the Northwest WI Workforce Investment Board (NWWIB) gathered to discuss the current forest products industry and what it will potentially look like in the next 20 to 30 years. The collaborative is working to determine efforts currently underway and to discover if and where potential gaps may exist. Recently, members of the collaborative began familiarizing themselves with the newly formed Wisconsin Wood Marketing Team Plan of Work to determine how the regional collaborative could be involved as a potential partner in their future efforts. 
Mark Your Calendar
Regional Small Town Downtown Forum 
Shell Lake, WI
September 20, 2016 - Registration Required

Small towns have unique issues and needs different from those of larger communities. Forums are intended to bring together those serving and working in and with communities of populations fewer than 1500 to learn from each other. Everyone who cares about the future of rural Wisconsin is invited to attend. The forums are about sharing ideas, learning and networking. These forums are being hosted by: Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, Wisconsin Rural Partners, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, University of Wisconsin - Extension, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Manufacturing Advantage Conference & Technology Showcase 
University of Wisconsin-Stout
September 28-29, 2016 - Registration Required

Are you a small to mid-size manufacturer? Join the showcase this Fall to see: Robotics, 3D Printing, Automation, Additive Manufacturing, Virtual Training Systems …and learn how these technologies and more can impact your manufacturing success. Click here for more information or visit the event website at

Governor's Northern Economic Development Summit
The Waters of Minocqua
November 10th, 2016

This annual event addresses the unique challenges & opportunities of Northern Wisconsin’s economy. More information will be posted at as it becomes available.

Statewide Broadband Boot Camp: Pathways to Action
Hotel Mead, Wisconsin Rapids
December 6th, 2016

Access + Adoption + Utilization = Wisconsin Wins When Everyone’s Online - This boot camp will serve as an interactive meeting of the minds - What do YOU need to move from talk to action on broadband? Final details for this event are still to come. If you have questions, please contact Jennifer, 608-890-4255.
Visions Northwest Key Initiatives
  • Infrastructure Needs Analysis and Funding
  • High Potential Workforce Attraction and Retention Strategies
  • Expand Wood Products Potential
Visions Northwest Regional Economic Development Group serves Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn Counties and includes the five Native American Tribes of Bad River, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Red Cliff and the St. Croix Chippewa.
County Economic Development Links:
Quick Links & Reports

2015-2019 NW WI
"Vision for Prosperity"

NW WI Skills Gap Analysis

County & Regional Economic Summary Reports

Wisconsin Economic Development Guide

Visions Northwest is a proud Key Strategic Partner of WEDC
Copyright © 2016 Visions Northwest, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1400 South River Street | Spooner, WI 54801

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Visions Northwest Regional Economic Development Group · 1400 South River Street · Spooner, WI 54801 · USA

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