Economic Development

To enhance the work of the Waukesha County Center for Growth, the Alliance advocates for local, state and federal policies that support economic development, foster business growth and allow Wisconsin to remain competitive with other states. Because Waukesha County’s economy is inextricably linked to Milwaukee and the broader region, the Alliance is also an active participant in the efforts of the Milwaukee 7 to build a vibrant regional economy.

Areas of support

  1. Support the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and its efforts to drive economic growth throughout the state.
  2. Advocate for tax and regulatory measures that promote business expansion and retention and allow Wisconsin to be nationally and globally competitive.
  3. Support preservation of Wisconsin’s Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit.
  4. Continue to support the Foxconn project and seek opportunities for potential Waukesha County suppliers.
  5. Promote the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as an economic development tool available to local municipalities.
  6. Support and promote the launch of the Waukesha County Center for Growth’s Collaborative Loan Fund.
  7. Serve as an advisor and advocate for the Waukesha County Center for Growth.
  8. Promote expanded utilization of programs such as the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s ExporTech program to increase exports from Waukesha County and southeastern Wisconsin.

Talking points

  • As home to more than 12,000 companies and approximately 400,000 residents, Waukesha County ranks as one of Wisconsin’s most economically vibrant counties.
  • Waukesha County’s economic foundation is fueled by more than 232,000 employees who work at a diverse range of businesses, from Fortune 100 companies to sole proprietorships.
  • Manufacturing represents about 1 in 5 (20%) of jobs in Waukesha County, one of the highest concentrations of manufacturing jobs in the nation.
  • Since 2010, state has added 240,000 jobs, 48,000 in manufacturing.
  • The state’s tax burden is lowest in five decades (since 1963).
  • Wisconsin is one of only four states with a fully funded pension system.
  • Wisconsin ranks second among top states for “main street entrepreneurship,” which measures established small business activity – focusing on businesses more than five years old with less than fifty employees. Wisconsin has a survival rate of 50%, which measures businesses that remain in operation through their first five years.
  • With 95 percent of the world’s consumers located outside of the U.S., exports offer a significant opportunity for business growth. Wisconsin businesses exported $22.3 billion in goods and services to 202 countries in 2017.  The state’s three largest export destinations are Canada, Mexico and China.  Industrial machinery, electrical machinery, and medical and scientific instruments are Wisconsin’s biggest export categories.
  • Foxconn, a global leader in manufacturing services for the computer, communication and consumer electronics industries, is investing an estimated $10 billion to create its first North American manufacturing campus in Racine County, plus additional investments throughout the state.  This represents one of the largest economic development projects in U.S. history and is a transformational opportunity for Wisconsin.   The project offers significant opportunities for suppliers in Waukesha County and elsewhere in the state.   Thousands of people are already working on the construction and public infrastructure work related to the project, and many more will be employed once the enterprise becomes fully operational.  While this will likely pose some challenges in an already tight labor market, we believe the overall impact will be positive for the citizens and economy of Wisconsin.

Alliance supports regional cooperation and approval of Waukesha water pumping station

Economic and environmental problems are not limited by geographic boundaries and solutions often take regional cooperation and provide regional benefits. We are thankful for a long history of working closely with public officials in Waukesha County communities to find those solutions.

Supporting expungement reform

Workforce development is the number one issue facing Waukesha County, the Milwaukee 7 region and our state. With record-low levels of unemployment in Wisconsin and an aging workforce, employers and workforce leaders recognize that criminal justice reform can improve both the labor market and life outcomes for people with criminal records. Supporting programs that assist […]

Alliance supports reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

One of the Alliance’s 2019 policy objectives is to increase exports from Waukesha County and southeastern Wisconsin. In just the last five years, the EXIM Bank has helped nearly a dozen of our members export their products overseas. Learn more about EXIM here. Below is our letter of support. September 11, 2019 Senator Ron Johnson […]

2019-21 Wisconsin state budget passes

With 78 partial vetoes, Governor Evers officially passed the Wisconsin 2019-21 state budget on July 2. The $82-billion budget included important priorities for Alliance members, including investments in transportation funding and K-12 education, as well as the proposed cuts to income taxes. The approved budget included a moderate income tax decrease, property tax levy limits […]

Alliance outlines priorities in state budget

Now that the Wisconsin legislature has sent the state budget to Governor Evers, he has six days (not including Sunday, but including the Fourth of July) to either approve the budget as-is, line-item veto portions of it or veto it entirely.

Alliance expands advocacy efforts

As the Alliance heads in to our 101st year, we’re excited to announce the continued growth and expansion of our advocacy efforts on behalf of Waukesha County businesses. For years, advocacy has been a core focus of the Alliance as we work to provide a clear and persuasive voice for the business community and advocate for business-friendly legislation at the local, state and federal levels.

Economic Development Committee

Greg Bauer

BMO Harris Bank

Patti Kneiser

Vice Chair
Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin

Ryan Amtmann

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc.

Jeff Anderson

M3 Insurance

Ann Barry Hanneman

von Briesen & Roper, S.C.

Roxanne Baumann

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

John Burgan


Meghan Busalacchi

Lichtsinn & Haensel, S.C.

Bob Dennik

VJS Construction Services

Mike Eckl

U.S. Bank

Chad Ferguson

Tri-North Builders, Inc.

Jeff Garretson

J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

Troy Giles

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

John Gscheidmeier

RE/MAX Service First

Kyle Haug

Huntington National Bank

Pat Henderson


Gus Hernandez

Johnson Financial Group

Michael Johnson

We Energies

Mike Judson

Judson & Associates S.C.

Bradley Kussow


Tony Laszewski

Waukesha State Bank

Mary Nicoson

First Citizens State Bank

Josh Nissen

Nissen Staffing Continuum Inc

Chad O'Brien

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP

Tom Palzewicz

ActionCOACH Business Coaching

Mike Payne

R&R Insurance Services, Inc.

Clark Rasmussen

Town Bank

Chad Ritterbusch

TRG Marketing

Tracy Shilobrit

Meta4 Marketing & Communication

Lynda Templen

Husch Blackwell LLP

Ben Woodward

Byline Bank