County economic development organization likely to be created in 2016

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Dec. 2, 2015

WAUKESHA - By mid-2016, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow hopes to have an economic development organization up and running.

The creation of the economic organization comes in response to the Waukesha County Business Survey that was conducted in cooperation with Farrow, the Waukesha County Business Alliance and the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board.

The results were released in October and indicated county businesses are planning to hire more workers and increase the size of their facilities in the next three years.

A total of 335 Waukesha County businesses responded to the survey. Eighty-four percent of respondents plan to expand their workforce in the next three years with 48 percent projected to hire between one and nine employees, and 20 percent planning to hire 10 to 19 employees. Nineteen percent want to hire 20 to 49 employees, 9 percent plan to hire 50 to 99 employees while 1 percent plan to hire 100 to 249 employees. Four percent intend to hire 250 employees or more.

Shawn Lundie, Farrow's chief-of-staff, said the full survey task force will meet Dec. 9 to vote on adopting the final report. He said some representatives of the task force will appear before a Jan. 26 County Board meeting to present the survey report.

Then, Lundie said the county will move forward with plans to form the new economic development organization. A request for proposals process will be launched to create the organization. He said the goal is to have the economic development organization up and running by mid-2016 with an executive director and staff.

Lundie said the survey indicated business leaders in Waukesha County wanted a “one stop shop” for economic development.