In October of 2016, a diverse stakeholder group of business, government, and educational leaders came together to discuss the history of economic development in and around Eau Claire County. A link to those who attended is available here. All of these individuals through the organizations they represent and the work they do have an interest in the continued prosperity of the region.
The group began by reviewing the history of economic development in the region; identifying a practical vision for the future; and identifying what strategies were best for arriving at that vision. The process diagram below provides a visual summary of the work of the stakeholder group.
The Economic Development Summit Summary Report provides a summary of this process and the results of the three meetings that were conducted
The process was intended raise awareness of economic development activity, provide a platform for further discussion, thereby moving us from where we are to where we hope to be as it pertains to Economic Development. Economic Development is not a means unto itself – it is a tool for working towards the prosperity of the region. The belief is that by taking the time to have strategic community discussions, we (community) collectively will be able to focus and develop strategies that are deliberate in moving our community forward.
What we learned from a cross section of community leaders?
There is a perception that our community suffers from a fragmentation of efforts; and a lack of a shared understanding in the realm of economic development.
The stakeholder group recommended the creation of a co-leadership economic development board to discuss the overall strategic direction to define what success looks like and create a cohesive, easy to navigate approach to economic development.
A memorandum of understanding has been drafted for each of our local economic development partners to consider as our region looks to continuing the conversation.
Click on the timeline to enlarge