MadREP Report: June 14, 2018
United Airlines Begins New Service to San Francisco
Daily Nonstop Service Began with A Departure Gate Celebration
United Airlines is now offering customers the first daily nonstop service between Madison and the West Coast with their launch of daily non-stop, year-round service to San Francisco.

The Dane County Regional Airport, led by Brad Livingston and his team, have been working tirelessly for at least the last eight years to bring this coveted non-stop flight to the region. Through its courtship of several airlines, the collection of travel data from its catchment area, the demonstration of clear and impressive growth in the region's economy and the support of the business and government community, that team has been able to land this critical new arrow in the region's economic development quiver. And it did so without the subsidies or guarantees required of other similarly situated communities.

At the celebration of the inaugural flight, MadREP CEO, Paul Jadin, congratulated and thanked County Executive Joe Parisi and Airport Director Livingston and added, "The benefits to our existing businesses, future startups and the higher education community are extraordinary and obvious but we have also enhanced our ability to land new businesses from the coast and have expanded the catchment area significantly because we will see people driving from more than two hours away to use DCRA. This will make the next efforts in Seattle, Houston, Boston and elsewhere a little easier because we will be able to show increasing demand and ability to serve an expanded geography."

"MadREP is an important partner for air service development at the Dane County Regional Airport," said Airport Director Bradley Livingston, AAE. "Collaboratively they provide important workforce and economic data about south central Wisconsin which is provided to our airline partners to foster future growth at MSN."

Flights will depart from the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) daily at 3:11 p.m. on an Embraer E-175 aircraft featuring two-class service, AC power ports, larger over-head bins that can accommodate full sized carry-ons, and Wi-Fi. The Dane County Regional Airport boasts more than 100 daily arrivals and departures. Nonstop service to 15 cities provides access to nearly every worldwide destination. Currently, the region is pursuing additional nonstop routes to Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, and Boston.

MadREP would like to thank and congratulate Brad Livingston for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Dane County Regional Airport and wish him well in his upcoming retirement.
Madison Region MSA Ranks #1 for Indust ry Diversity in United States 


The Madison MSA was named the top metro for industry diversity out of 382 Metro MSAs in the Industry Diversity Rankings published by Emsi Developer, a data reporting tool designed for economic development organizations.

"This is another impressive ranking for the Madison Region/MSA and another example of how it has distinguished itself by excelling in our legacy industries of manufacturing and agriculture while building world-renowned bio-tech, info-tech, health and fin-tech sectors," MadREP president Paul Jadin said. "The report validates the collaboration among our counties as the rural areas are clearly more dense in agriculture and manufacturing while Dane County excels in the new and emerging sectors. By itself, Dane County ranks 10th while, with the other three counties in the MSA, the Region becomes the most diverse economy in the country."

A diverse economy is vital to the health and stability of a region. According to Emsi, diverse economies tend to have lower unemployment rates, less volatility and recover quicker in the event of a downturn.

Are you a Wisconsin business looking for ideas on how to become more sustainable?

Want to get recognized for the work that you've already done? Even if you are just curious to know where your business stands in comparison to others in your sector, the Green Masters Program is a free tool that is available to all Wisconsin businesses!

The Green Masters Program is a completely free, objective, points-based assessment and recognition program that enables Wisconsin businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to evaluate the success of their work in sustainability. Developed by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council and Wisconsin businesses, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Green Masters Program highlights & supports Wisconsin's sustainability leaders. Any business that has taken at least one action in each of nine key sustainability areas: energy, carbon and other emissions, water, waste management, transportation, supply chain, workforce, governance and community and educational outreach, is eligible to apply. The Program is a free tool that helps identify opportunities for improvement, something that consultants charge thousands of dollars for.

Successful applicants receive a certificate of recognition, use of the Green Masters logo, a dashboard graphically showing how your performance compares against others in your sector (free for all new applicants) and the opportunity to network and share best practices with other companies and industries. The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council will also distribute a press release celebrating the accomplishments of anyone that asks.

If you have any questions about the program please feel free to reach out to us at or find out more at:

Gov. Walker: Announces Drexel Building Supply to expand in Columbia County

Governor Scott Walker announced today that Drexel Building Supply Inc., a leading provider of building materials and design services to professional contractors and homeowners, is constructing a new facility in Columbus, a $2.1 million project expected to create 113 new jobs over the next three years.

Poverty Report: 
Study: Wisconsin poverty rose in 2016 despite job growth
The results of a study released Friday shows that Wisconsin's poverty rate increased in 2016 and children were especially impacted despite the state's job growth during that span. The 10th annual Wisconsin Poverty Report shows that the state's poverty rate rose to 10.8 percent in 2016 from 9.7 percent in 2015. That measure also found that child poverty increased to 12 percent in 2016, from 10 percent in 2015.

  Read More 

Alternative Energy:
MGE to buy part of 2 major solar farms planned in Wisconsin
Madison Gas & Electric and Wisconsin Public Service, of Green Bay, say they will be partners in purchasing two solar energy projects that would be the biggest solar installations not only in Wisconsin, but throughout the Midwest. The Badger Hollow Solar Farm will be massive - with as many as 1.2 million solar panels over 3,500 acres, according to developer Invenergy. It will be in Iowa County, between the villages of Montfort and Cobb, about 60 miles west of Madison, and it could produce as much as 300 megawatts of electricity when the sun is shining.

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New Business Development:
City of Janesville receives state grant to develop four-story hotel
The City of Janesville will be receiving a $250,000 state grant to finance the construction of a new downtown hotel, officials announced Monday.  The community investment grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will support the construction of a Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, a 53-room, four-story hotel overlooking the Rock River.

  Read More 

Diversity & Inclusion: 
Diversity and inclusion done right is a push for social justice, argues Zendesk leader at CultureCon
It's increasingly common for businesses to start diversity and inclusion initiatives in their workplace. But Khalida Ali, a diversity and inclusion specialist, says "D&I" cannot be treated like a trend.  "It cheapens the efforts of bringing others to the fold when we merely view diversity and inclusion as a buzzword," Ali told a couple dozen people at a presentation at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Thursday.


Workforce Shortage:  
Wisconsin Employers Are Expecting To Hire, But Face Worker Shortage
The latest hiring outlook report from the Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup found 34 percent of Wisconsin employers surveyed expect to add staff in the coming quarter, while just 2 percent of respondents in the state expect staffing decreases. That puts the state ahead of the country as a whole.
Business Expansion:
Propeller Health raises $20M

Madison-based startup Propeller Health, which uses sensor-technology and software to improve how patients with respiratory problems (e.g., asthma, COPD) manage their medications, has raised $20 million in a new financing round that could also expand its technology to other conditions, as well. According to a report at, Propeller Health has partnered with Aptar Pharma to extend the benefits to patients with diabetes and migraines, among other conditions, in the future.

Midwest Traveler: Why Baraboo, Wis., is an up-and-coming tourist town
For decades - maybe even a century - Baraboo, Wis., quietly sat in the shadows as millions of tourists blindly passed by. Most were homing in on Wisconsin Dells, that glittering mecca just to the north. Or they quietly ducked into Devil's Lake, Wisconsin's most popular state park. Although the park is just outside of Baraboo, once visitors become locked in its rocky embrace, they tend to stay put.

WEDC's FY19 Global Business Development Grant application packet is now available

Wisconsin companies can apply for the International Market Access Grant (IMAG) to be reimbursed for specific expenses associated with executing their international export activities.

Our project level funding is up to $10,000. 

If a company has graduated from the ExporTechâ„¢ program, then they are eligible to apply for up to $25,000 for assistance in implementing their export strategy.
Cooperatives and Affordable Housing Needs, June 21

Communities often face challenges in developing affordable housing options for some of its residents. 

This webinar will highlight how the cooperative model is being used to provide benefits of home ownership to manufactured home residents and to seniors.
Conversion of mobile home parks from private ownership to cooperative ownership has provided economic security to manufactured home owners across the country, including Wisconsin.

UpStart is now accepting applications for its fall 2018 cohort, June 30

It takes more than a good idea to start a successful business. Issues like accounting, financing and marketing may seem overwhelming and connecting with the right resources can be challenging. WARF's free UpStart program can help. 
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants should reside in or near Madison, WI and surrounding communities. Business ideas should be considered a legal business in Wisconsin. Applicants should self-identify as a woman and/or person of color. Applicants should be supportive of an inclusive learning environment.
Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program, August 29

The Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program grant competitions are now open.

Applications are now being accepted for the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support Grant Competition. 

The submission deadline for applications will be Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

A copy of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is attached to this message for your reference. 

A Strength-Based Approach to Negotiation, September 26

Did you know 70% of woman lose almost $2 million over their lifetime as they try to climb the leadership ladder? 

Because they do not negotiate.
In this session, we will help you identify your specific talents (using Gallup's StrengthsFinder) and teach you the art of negotiating.
Whether you never have negotiated or you're a pro, this action-oriented session is for you!
New Markets Tax Credits

Lift Wisconsin, Inc. was established by the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and a coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with a mission to invest in severely economically distressed areas of Wisconsin communities and to serve as a catalyst for economic development and job creation.   
In order to compete for New Markets Tax Credits we are soliciting projects to include in our application with the U.S. Department of Treasury. This pipeline pre-application gives us the potential to compete for NMTC but does not ensure that Lift Wisconsin, Inc. will get an allocation of NMTC.

Thank you to all our investors
who support our region's economic future through their generous financial contributions.

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