Grow North is representing the region’s economic interests on a wide range of fronts and moving forward aggressively on four key initiatives:
Forestry and Wood Products
Brief description of projects in these area’s are as follows. Initiative work plans are listed on the “Get Involved” page.
With an aging workforce and a skills gap in the current workforce it is imperative that we begin at an early age to engage students. Manufacturing today is quite a bit different than in days gone by. By bringing students on tours of businesses we can show them how it is different and becoming more computerized. One of our goals is to support and promote the use of FAB Labs in K-12 schools throughout the region. Recently, 1st grade students at Three Lakes Elementary School were able to draw Christmas ornament on plain paper, then with teacher assistance they put the drawing into the computer program and then the 3D printer made the ornament for the 1st grader. The students were able to take the ornament they had designed home. That is what we call engaging our youth and our pipeline of future workforce. If you would like to encourage our youth and help foster our future workforce we are looking for people to assist our working committee with ideas and events, please contact us today!
With the importance of broadband being as important as electricity in today’s world, expansion in rural areas is imperative. We are addressing this issue from the bottoms up as well as from the top down. From assisting communities with data collection to speaking with Federal and State Officials to increase funding for expansion grants, Grow North is spearheading the way for broadband expansion. We are currently seeking individuals who are knowledgeable with the technical side of this issue to assist our working committee. If this is you, or someone you know please contact us today!
Forestry & Wood Products
Grow North partnering with New North Regional Economic Development has been awarded a Hardwood Products Strategy grant from the State. This grant will hire an consultant (Don Peterson has been contracted) to create a primary and secondary directory for the Wood Products Industry.
Work will also include a list of the top three Wood Product Trade Shows to attend in the Country as well as creation of a marketing plan. This is phase one; phase two would include creating the marketing materials suggested in the marketing plan and creating a schedule to begin attending trade shows promoting the Regions Wood Product Industry and assets. We also plan to hold round table discussions with industry groups, leaders, and the public to report on progress being made. Also, efforts will be made to encourage and promote the Forestry, Logging, and Wood Products Industry in the K-12 schools. If this is an area that interests you, please contact us today!
For more information, check out the Wisconsin County Forests Association!
Capacity of the Organization
With all the great effort and projects Grow North Regional Economic Development is doing, comes a cost. While our current operating budget is greatly funded through funds from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) we are at the mercy of government administration, spending, and budget. Grow North has really stepped up it’s focus and initiatives beginning in 2014. We are gaining momentum and bringing excitement back to economic development for the Northwoods. It’s no secret, for a long time attention was focused on the states larger Metro areas. While these area’s are still very important, the state is finally recognizing the importance and business climate in the Northwoods. State Officials are becoming more engaged and taking more notice of us. It is imperative we stand strong and continue to have a loud voice as well as continue to engage State Officials. We are so much more than “just recreation” in Northern Wisconsin. Tourism and recreation is huge for us, but we also have amazing businesses, amazing entrepreneurs, amazing schools, as well as very involved community leaders. Grow North plays an important role in all of this. With that being said, the proof is in the actions and projects of the organization. Depending on state budget cuts, Grow North may have to cut some of these very vital projects. Projects that not only affect the business climate of today, but will affect the business climate in years to come. NOW is the time to get the word out about Grow North. Who we are, what we do, how we help businesses and community’s. In order to keep the momentum going and make a difference with today’s business climate, today’s workforce, and future business climate and our pipeline of youth for tomorrows workforce it is imperative that this organization becomes self sustaining. We are currently seeking event sponsorship’s, expansion of our Board of Directors, expansion of our working committee’s, assistance with an awareness campaign to get the word out about Grow North. If you, your business, or an organization would like to see our local community’s that we all call the Northwoods of Wisconsin grow, thrive, and prosper we ask that you get involved by investing into Grow North Regional Economic Development. Contact us today to find out how!!
Along with the above initiatives and projects we also work with regulation, legislation and infrastructure issues.
Grow North follows four main strategies to accomplish our mission and has developed actions to move the organization forward in development of the economy of the region.
A. Strengthen relationships and two-way communication so as to understand economic development issues and be able to act on those issues. Leverage, collaborate and coordinate efforts for the region on Federal, State, and Local levels.
B. Monitor issues that impact economic development in the region, and be a voice to advocate for change.
C. Market the economic strengths and natural assets of the region to those within and beyond the region.
D. Continue consistent presence and dialogue with Federal and State Agencies and Officials.