WAUKESHA — With small business owners lacking time to
advocate for what’s important to them, they often turn
to the Waukesha County Business Alliance to work on
issues on their behalf.
As a result, the organization has created its set of
policies to focus on each year for the past several
years. The items go through committees, are presented to
the Policy Board for review and then the Alliance Board
of Directors has final approval.
This year, the Alliance has decided to focus on five
policy areas: workforce development; education;
infrastructure and environment; economic development;
and government efficiency, collaboration & transparency.
Suzanne Kelley, CEO and president of the Waukesha County
Business Alliance, said the policies is a “document that
guides advocacy and activities through the year.”
2019 is the first time that workforce development is
included as a policy.
“Workforce development is the number one issue facing
Waukesha County, the Milwaukee 7 region and our state.
An Alliance survey found that more than 85 percent of
Waukesha County employers plan to expand their workforce
in the next three years, yet 82 percent are unable to
find enough qualified workers,” reads the report. “The
Alliance is committed to developing, identifying and
supporting policy solutions that strengthen our region’s
Some of the key focus areas for that policy are: support
programs that assists targeted populations in entering
or re-entering the workforce and support state and
regional efforts to implement a talent attraction
One of the key areas of focus for economic development
is the promotion of expanded utilization of programs
such as the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension
Partnership’s ExporTech program to increase exports from
Waukesha County and southeastern Wisconsin.
This news made Roxanne Baumann, director of global
engagement for Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension
“Exporting can be confusing and risky when you do it
reactively. Great markets exist globally for our
Waukesha County manufactured products. This key strategy
promotion in Waukesha County affirms the undeniable
results achieved; making the process worthy of
executive-level consideration,” Baumann said. “An export
diversification strategy protects our manufacturers from
domestic economic downturns, builds our economy, and
creates job opportunities. This recognition now demands
the attention of our Waukesha County executive
manufacturing leaders.” Kelley said exports are a focus
for the Business Alliance because they are “critical to
Waukesha County and the state of Wisconsin as a whole.”
“It makes up a big piece of our economy. Waukesha County
is a thriving manufacturing area and so exports help to
drive the economy of southeastern Wisconsin,” she said.
As part of the government efficiency, collaboration &
transparency policy, the Alliance will work to advance
efforts to promote government efficiencies between
various agencies at the state, county and municipal
levels, as well as increase transparency for residents
of their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) by advocating
for publicly available countywide data that shares level
of EMS service, responding entity and cost.
To see the complete document, go to