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Northern summit shows state partnerships work PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

Protecting the environment and promoting economic development are critical to the northern region’s economy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is here to help every working day and at special events, including  the annual Governor’s Northern Economic Summit.

Business, industry and tribal leaders, along with educators and elected officials, attended the two-day economic development summit at the Four Seasons Island Resort near Pembine Dec. 16 and 17.

Gov. Scott Walker delivered the keynote address and attended panel discussions with all eight Cabinet secretaries, including DNR Deputy Secretary Matt Mo­ron­ey.

The annual economic development conference un­derscores the importance the governor, DNR and our staff put on customer service, protecting our precious natural resources and people, along with facilitating economic development and job creation.

As the governor and secretary noted last year, northern Wisconsin has its own unique set of economic challenges and opportunities. The summit provides a forum for the administration to meet with the business community and area leaders to discuss how we can collaborate at local and state levels to boost the economy and job creation in this region.

Agenda highlights included:

• Conversation with leadership: Nine state agencies  provided eight- to 10-minute briefings on key initiatives and issues from their department and how those pertain to northern Wisconsin. Time for open forum questions was provided as well as an informal “shirtsleeves” forum with agency leadership .

• General session keynote address: Jerry Murphy, New North executive director, presented the regional economic development agenda for 2014, including talent development, business development and branding for the regional economy.

• Labor and employment: Leaders from the Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Technical College System and the University of Wisconsin System discussed strategies that will benefit northern Wisconsin including Wisconsin Fast Forward, the In Force Network and education’s impact on economic development.

• Natural resources and businesses: DNR staff presented information to assist businesses in navigating the permit process for the DNR Small Business Assistance Program, which serves as a resource for small businesses needing guidance with environmental compliance.

• Agriculture and businesses: Leaders from the Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College discussed food hubs and how they create economic opportunity.

• Regulatory reform and businesses: Directors from the Office of Business Development, part of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, shared how the organization works to give business a voice in guiding government reforms and support business interests from within government.

• Sustainability and businesses: Public Service Commission leaders presented information on Focus on Energy, a program that helps small businesses lower their energy costs by funding renewable projects and provides access to programs on energy efficiency.

Here in the North, we pride ourselves on hard work, being good neighbors and partnerships, which is why the governor and DNR  take part in the annual economic summit to answer your questions and update and inform you on programs and services to help the great North Woods and its people.

John Gozdzialski

DNR Northern Region


Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:56 PM

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