In November 2003, the Walworth County Board of Supervisors approved funding to support a modest economic development program, designed to take a comprehensive look at economic development throughout the County.
In 2004, Walworth County formed an Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) consisting of representatives of each city, village and town, as well as representatives from higher education, public utility and business, to engage each of the stakeholders in a discussion to determine the most appropriate way for Walworth County government to promote economic development.
Following several strategic planning sessions and a study of Walworth County’s economy, a consensus began to develop that an opportunity existed for Walworth County government to serve as the catalyst for public and private leaders to come together to support economic development through a single county-wide organization.
To that end, following several discussions by the Walworth County Board of Supervisors, funds were allocated to form such a county-wide organization. In late 2005, Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) opened its doors, and has since worked towards the strategic goals set out by the Economic Development Advisory Committee.
Adopted Strategic Goals (2003)
The EDAC adopted the following strategic goals:
Improve the tax base within the county to relieve homeowners from paying an increasing share of the cost of providing government services.
Improve wages for workers in Walworth County which are currently the lowest in the 7-County Southeastern Wisconsin region.
Stem the documented “brain drain” which is occurring among the young people of Walworth County who obtain four-year degrees, but then leave the county because there are insufficient jobs.
Walworth County Economic Development Alliance is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Walworth County residents by working with public and private sector partners to advance efforts that create jobs and build private sector investment in our communities.
What We Do
WCEDA provides services that revolve around four distinct areas.
Business Retention – Arguably one of the most important aspects to economic development, WCEDA is dedicated to meeting with businesses throughout Walworth County and working with them to resolve issues that may cause them to consider relocating outside of the area.
Business Expansion – Studies show that over 80% of new job growth in a community will come from existing businesses. To ensure that our local businesses have the resources necessary to begin an expansion process, WCEDA works with private and public sector partners on a regional and state basis to provide assistance selecting suitable sites and buildings, aggregating state regional and local data, navigating the development process, as well as identifying and applying for financial resources and incentives.
Business Attraction – WCEDA works to attract new job opportunities to Walworth County by marketing the various benefits available to businesses that locate in our local communities.
Business Startup – Entrepreneurs are an important aspect of our local economy. In an effort to assist them finance their business endeavors, WCEDA maintains a revolving loan fund designed specifically for companies with less than $1 million in gross sales and fewer than 50 employees. As an added service, WCEDA assists startup businesses as they search for suitable space to set up operations.