SCEDC earns state organizational excellence award

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) was named the recipient of the Organizational Excellence Award at the Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s (WEDA) “Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.”

Forged in the heart of the great recession, in eight years the SCEDC has registered nearly 100 successful projects catalyzing $239 million of investment. These projects impacted 4,000 jobs and utilized $38 million in nontraditional financing and incentives. These projects created economic opportunities for thousands of Sheboygan County residents.

“It is rewarding to know the impact this public-private partnership is realizing,” stated SCEDC founding member Gary Dulmes. “A well-focused and mission-oriented organization can accomplish great things on behalf of the citizens and businesses in Sheboygan County.”

Among the achievements noted in the award include the strong partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay. In 2016 the SBDC announced that 30 percent of all capital raised for Wisconsin SBDC-assisted projects occurred in Sheboygan County, even with the county representing only 2 percent of the state’s population.

In workforce development, the SCEDC was a founder of “The Joseph Project” which connects urban core Milwaukee African Americans to full-time, benefit bearing careers in Sheboygan County. Over 200 individuals have gained an opportunity for full-time, life-changing employment. Other acknowledgements included being a founding organization of the first comprehensive workforce attraction campaign,, and the development of much-needed housing to the area.

Finally, the SCEDC’s vision for the development of the first of its-kind small metropolitan Innovation Community was noted. This initiative will serve as the leading skilled workforce attraction and retention effort in the nation by providing a collaborative, problem-solving environment desired by top-tier talent in a small family-friendly community.

“Although appreciated, the SCEDC doesn’t do this for the awards” noted Director Dane Checolinski. “This recognition represents our commitment to area businesses, taxpayers, and governmental authorities that depend upon our continued success to address needs for workforce, business growth, and barriers to continued success. Thank you to those who have and continue to support our mission.”

“This award recognizes efforts to innovate and to develop programs to advance local economic development initiatives,” stated Brian Doudna, executive director of WEDA. “While the SCEDC has a short history, its nomination demonstrated efforts to bring new services to their market and develop solutions for local economic challenges.”

In 1985, Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) established an awards program with the purpose of recognizing exceptional contributions to the economic vitality of Wisconsin. Selection process considerations include use of creativity, leadership, effort, and investment or other attributes which further broad based economic development goals and objectives within the state of Wisconsin.

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