Walworth County Economic Development Alliance Newsletter
February 2017
Walworth County Economic Development Alliance
Advocate. Catalyst.
Facilitator. Resource.
The best way we can help the local economy is by visiting with businesses to help match resources, create productive networks, and discover new opportunities.

           WCEDA Offices     
       New WCEDA Office
Located on the Gateway campus in the South Building on the corner of Centralia and County. Hwy. H, Room 105

SBA October Workshops
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Madison and Milwaukee

March Webinars


WWBIC Business Consulting
No Cost
Schedule Appts.
Gateway Campus - Elkhorn


Gateway Business Consulting
No Cost
March Appts. Available
9:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.


EIGERLab Innoaation Tuesday
What is Intellectual Property? When to  patent, trademark, or copyright
$10.00 (food provided)
5:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Tech Tutorial
Abram Library
9:30 a.m.

Apprenticeship Forum for Manufacturing
7:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m.

Lean Marketing
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
UWW - Whitewater



2017 Walworth County  Business Expos and Job Fair
8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Lake Geneva

Quickbooks Online Class - Beginners
February dates available
WCEDA Offices

Fundamentals of Supervision
February dates available
(6, two-hour classes)
WCEDA Offices

Connect Communities
East Troy - 3rd Tuesday @ 3:30 p.m.
Elkhorn - 1st Thursday @ 7:30 a.m.
Click here for more info. 

WWBIC to Deliver Free Business Classes at Badger High School
WWBIC joined forces with Badger High School and area partners to offer free business classes to community members in the area. This will be a great resource for small businesses. For more information, click here.



Change Management
Soft Skills
Customized Training
On-site training available
 Click here for more information.

East Troy Community Development Alliance (ETCDA)

Elkhorn Economic Development Alliance (EEDA)

The City of Elkhorn recently hired the firm Redevelopment Resources to conduct a market study to assist in its economic development efforts. The EEDA will be seeking input from business owners and residents. For more information, or to get involved, click here
Wisconsin is currently phasing in a state income tax credit for manufacturers and farmers. These two sectors are currently taxed at 7.9% but will be eligible for a 7.5% tax credit by 2016. Click here for more information

WCEDA Welcomes
New Members
To become a member, click here

Wisconsin Tax Bulletin

here to see new tax laws and other tax-reIated informaiton or details.

Virtual Tenant Program
Great program for startup businesses, especially those in technology related areas. Whitewater University Technology Park (WUTP) will offer a number of valuable services for virtual tenants who are working from home or in another location. For a nominal monthly fee of $100, virtual tenants To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
Walworth County Business Mentor Network
What studies find with the companies that conduct formal plans is that their revenues are double those that do not conduct plans, and more importantly, their profits are 2.5 times those that do not conduct plans. Obviously, there is a strong case to be made for the value of planning. The good news is that Walworth County have a network of mentors who are ready and willing to help businesses in their planning process. And, the bonus is that these mentors do not charge for their services. Click
here to see a video of these mentors. And, click here to find out about the business mentor network that is available to you. 


"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
~ Maya Angelou

Apprenticeship Forum for Manufacturers - A Great Way to Develop Talent

Your business is invited to join us on Thursday, March 30, 2017 for the Apprenticeship 101 Forum focusing on manufacturing apprenticeships. The state has listened to suggestions to make this process easier for businesses to utilize. Apprenticeships can be valuable tools to develop your workforce. You won't want to miss this opportunity for your company to learn more about apprenticeships, how to participate, and how to connect with local manufacturing talent. For More Information: or Event Details: 7:30-9:30 a.m. Full breakfast included. There is no cost to attend this event, but registration is required. Co-Hosted by: Gateway, State of Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. For more information or to register, click here.

Entrepreneurship Over Easy - LEAN MARKETING
On April 11th at UW - Whitewater, Management Lecturer David Gee will present a program on lean marketing. This concept is a pillar of the lean startup movement, and it can energize market discovery and growth in organizations of any size and life cycle stage. We will provide a quick tour through some of the first principles of lean marketing with a focus on value creation through customer participation, continuous learning, leveraging technology and efficient use of resources to achieve maximum results. For more information or to register, click here.

Walworth County Business Expo and Job Fair 2017

DON'T MISS OUT! The 2nd Annual Walworth County Business EXPO and Career Fair is the ideal opportunity to promote your products,  and services to neighboring businesses across the county. Exhibitors will be on display to showcase their products, meet decision makers, and reconnect with past customers and clients.  Attendees can learn about job opportunities, leading products and services, and the latest best business practices. Last year nearly 500 people participated in this event. Click here for more information or to reserve a booth. Early bird special and member discounts available. Click here for more details. And, for sponsorship opportunities, click here. Renowned speaker John  Blumberg will give a Keynote presentation from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Expanding Your Employee Pipeline

Nearly 50 business and community members attended a recent event hosted by WCEDA to talk about a program that will establish a talent pipeline between the education and business community. The group was a good mix of educators and business professionals. WCEDA will lead this effort which will focus on connecting Walworth County students with Walworth County businesses. However, Inspire Southeast Wisconsin covers businesses and schools across the seven counties that make up the Milwaukee 7 region. The aim of the event was to bring awareness of the program and talk about how it will be implemented in Walworth County. The event was recorded on video. To view the link, click here. For more information, click here. WCEDA's Derek D'Auria will be reaching out to local businesses in in the coming months to discuss their participation in the program.county for career opportunities. 

Calling All Artists and Aspiring Artists
As one of Wisconsin's Connect Community villages, East Troy is participating in a Giant Postcard initiative. It's a fun way to draw residents, visitors, and tourists around your community through the use of social media. The initial goal is to display 8 giant postcards across the community. Each postcard is 4' x 8'. Eventually, the community would like to see 20 throughout the village. Each postcard will be sponsored by a business and will give recognition to the artist. Area artists and aspiring artists are encouraged to submit concept renderings for these postcards. The East Troy Economic Development Alliance will select the top 8 submissions to be transferred to the postcards. If you are interested to participate, please submit your concepts by March 21st. The deadlines to make submissions have been extended to March 21st. For more information, click here.

Workforce Development News
Unemployment Rates and Wages
The most current unemployment rate for Walworth County was 3.6%. This compares to Wisconsin at 3.7% and the U.S. at 4.5%. Fourth quarter wages were up 2.9% than a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Degrees, Certificates, Business Solutions and Training 

Gateway Technical College has nearly a hundred different degrees, technical diplomas, or certificate offered at its various locations across, Walworth, Kenosha, and Racine counties. Click here to see programs of study. And for a quick overview of Gateway programs and certificates, click here. It also offers a wide array of business and workforce solutions that can be customized to the needs of individualized businesses. Click here for more details. Gateway was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce for being an innovative college. It's a great asset for our communities. EMPLOYEE ASSESSMENTS are a great way to identify skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace. Gateway can bring these assessment tools to your business. Click here for more information.

Free Online Courses Now Available to Walworth County

Hundreds of online courses are now available, free to residents of Racine and Walworth counties, thanks to a partnership between the local libraries and the counties' job centers. The Gale Course platform offers programs in a variety of areas such as business, computers and writing. Fifteen public libraries in the Lakeshores Library System, Racine County Workforce Development Center,and the Walworth County Job Center provided funding to support a region-wide subscription. Click here to read more about this opportunity.

Wisconsin Companies Must Cope with a Shrinking Workforce

Imagine if you looked up one day and a quarter of the employees at your company were suddenly gone. They weren’t laid off and the business was still in good shape financially, but one of every four workers was no longer on the staff. How would that change the way work gets done? How would you keep up with demand? How long would the business remain healthy? Businesses in almost every industry across Wisconsin are facing the possibility of losing large numbers of employees to retirement in the coming years and in many cases, the departures have already started. More than 23 percent of the state’s workforce is older than 55, a figure that’s more than doubled in the past 20 years and reaches as high as 30 percent in some sectors. To read more, click here.

Access to Capital News

Hometown Entrepreneur Loan Program (HELP)
Are you having trouble getting a loan? Are your revenues under $1 million? WCEDA may be able to HELP. We have a loan program through the USDA for small businesses called the Hometown Entrepreneur Loan Program (HELP) that aims to help small business access capital. Many times we can work with banks or other programs like SBA or WHEDA to make a loan work for companies. Click here to review the application, or click here to have someone contact you about this program. Click here for additional funding sources for small businesses and startups.
Crowdfunding for Startups
Obtaining funding is one of the biggest hurdles that most entrepreneurs will have to overcome. If a bank loan won't cover what you, and you don't have connections to investors, it can be tough to know where to begin. Online crowdfunding, raising smaller amounts of money from multiple backers, has become an increasingly common solution to this dilemma because it allows startups to reach out to a large number of potential investors at once. To learn more, click here.

Kiva Zip is a program that makes small micro loans to entrepreneurs. Rather than assessing your credit history and financial statements, Kiva Zip uses your character and trust network as a measure of your credit worthiness. Almost 63,000 people have supported a small business owner through Kiva Zip. Click here to learn more about how this program works.

Other News

Export Development Grant Program
Milwaukee 7 Export Development Grant Program will provide approximately 30 companies with monetary awards up to $5,000 that will support the company’s next steps to going global. Qualifying expenses will be reimbursed at 50% and may be combined with grants provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) any other potential grant programs. Click here for more information.

Federal News Updates
  • Producer Price Index
  • Local Employment Dynamics
  • Real Earnings
  • Business Employment Dynamics
  • U.S. Import and Export Prices Indexes
  • Employer Costs for Employee Compensation
  • Consumer Price Index
Click here.

Increasing Demand for Locally Produced Food
A surge in consumer demand for locally-produced food is creating jobs and opportunity throughout rural America for farms as well as the small businesses that store, process, market and distribute food locally and regionally. Industry data indicate that local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014 and estimate that the market value could hit $20 billion by 2019. To read more, click here. To access a guide to locally grown foods, click here.
Will 50% of Current Jobs Be Automated in the Next 15 Years? 
Almost half of all jobs could be automated by computers within two decades and “no government is prepared” for the tsunami of social change that will follow, according to the Economist. Specifically the Economist points to new tech like driver less cars, improved household gadgets, faster and more efficient online communications and ‘big data’ analysis to areas that humans are quickly being superseded. And while new start-ups are raising billions, they employ few people - Instagram, sold to Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, employed just 30 people at the time. To read more on this story, click here.
4 Trends to Keep in Mind When Blogging for 2017
As you know being successful online means being at the mercy of every algorithm update and trend that the channels we choose to publish across makes.Whether you are starting from scratch or just keeping your blog game going from previous years, here are 4 things to implement immediately:Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), mobile-first indexing,voice search, and Google’s Penguin 4.0 update:. To read more about this, click here


Copyright © 2017 Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, All rights reserved.

Derek D'Auria, Executive Director | Email | 262.741-8134
Cathy Anderson, Executive Assistant | Email | 262.741.8508