Economic Development

The Alliance is a key partner in promoting economic development in Waukesha County.  To enhance the work of the Waukesha County Center for Growth, the county’s economic development organization, we advocate for local, state and federal policies that support business growth and allow Wisconsin to remain competitive with other states. Waukesha County’s economy is inextricably linked to Milwaukee and the broader region – as such the Alliance is also an active participant in the efforts of the Milwaukee 7 to build a vibrant regional economy incorporating entrepreneurship, innovation and transformational technology.

2020 Policy Priorities:

  1. Monitor Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation initiatives to drive economic growth and share business growth opportunities with Waukesha County suppliers and service providers.
  2. Advocate for pro-business tax and regulatory measures that allow Wisconsin to be competitive.
  3. Promote the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as an economic development tool for local municipalities.
  4. Advocate for policies and programs that increase exports and improve trade for Wisconsin businesses.
  5. Support policies that help companies automate, implement new technology and prepare for a digital economy.
  6. Promote entrepreneurship by connecting start-ups to regional resources.
  7. Serve as an advisor and advocate for the Waukesha County Center for Growth and promote the organization’s GROW Fund.

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.

Alliance Supports Co-Sponsorship of LRB-6434

The Waukesha County Business Alliance is encouraging state legislators to co-sponsor LRB-6434/2 circulated by Senator Kapenga, Representative Born, and Representative Knodl on September 1, 2020. The bill would create a safe harbor for all property owners/occupants who are good actors against frivolous lawsuits alleging a plaintiff was infected with COVID-19 at a specific premises. Below […]

Wisconsin Opportunity Zone legislation signed into law

On Tuesday, March 3, Governor Evers signed AB 532, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 136, to enhance the federal Opportunity Zone program in the state of Wisconsin. The Alliance joined the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) to advocate in support of the bill. Under the Opportunity Zone program, low-income community census tracts were used to determine […]

Alliance supports Assembly Bill 532 to enhance Wisconsin Opportunity Zones

Legislation advances to Governor’s office for approval Assembly Bill 532, which the Alliance has supported, has passed the Assembly and Senate and advanced to Governor Evers for signature. This important legislation aims to connect Wisconsin’s most economically challenged communities with private capital that is necessary to drive economic growth and job creation. Assembly Bill 532, […]

Alliance Hosts Transit Roundtable

In partnership with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), the Alliance recently hosted a Waukesha Area Transit Roundtable for employers.  At the request of Waukesha County and the City of Waukesha, SEWRPC is currently preparing a 5-year transit plan to evaluate the existing transit services, analyze changes that could be made, and make recommendations […]

Advocating for economic development

Last month, the Alliance and several of our member organizations and municipal partners participated in the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) 2020 Legislative Day. The day brings together economic development professionals from around the state to advocate on important issues such as TIF, opportunity zones and workforce housing.  The day included discussion and advocacy on […]

TIF legislation would stymie economic development momentum

Authored by: Jeff HoffmanJeff is past chair of the Waukesha County Business Alliance Policy Board and a Principal with Cushman & Wakefield | Boerke The state of Wisconsin continues to capture significant investment from global business leaders. Economic wins in the past 12 months alone include companies such as Milwaukee Electric Tool, Oshkosh Corporation and […]

Economic Development Committee

Patti Kneiser

Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin

Ann Barry Hanneman

Vice Chair
von Briesen & Roper, S.C.

Ryan Amtmann

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc.

Greg Bauer

BMO Harris Bank

Roxanne Baumann

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Joe Bitter

River Run

Joanne Blaesing

CIBM Bank – Brookfield

John Burgan


Meghan Busalacchi

Lichtsinn & Haensel, S.C.

Bob Dennik

VJS Construction Services

Mike Eckl

U.S. Bank – Sussex

Chad Ferguson

Tri-North Builders, Inc.

Jeff Garretson

J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

Troy Giles

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Kyle Haug

First Business Bank

Pat Henderson


Gus Hernandez

Associated Bank

Peter Holewinski


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

Engauge Workforce Solutions

Chad O'Brien

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP

Erik Owen

Oak Hill Business Partners

Michelle Peterson

Harwood Engineering Consultants

Clark Rasmussen

Town Bank

Chad Ritterbusch

TRG Marketing

Jay Rosencrantz

Pappas Delaney LLC

Ben Woodward

Byline Bank

Timm Walker


Carlie Zielinski

M3 Insurance