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.

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 […]

Impact of TIF investments on economic development

To drive economic growth and 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. The Alliance’s 2020 policy priorities include advocating for tax and regulatory measures that promote business expansion and retention and […]

Talent Attraction: Wisconsin Gaining Population from Migration

Workforce development is the number one issue facing Waukesha County, the Milwaukee 7 region and our state. One of the Alliance’s 2019 Policy Agenda priorities is to support state and regional efforts to implement a talent attraction program. The state’s workforce is aging rapidly – 605,947 Wisconsin workers were 55 and older in 2015. Over the […]

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 […]

Economic Development Committee

Patti Kneiser

Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin

Ryan Amtmann

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc.

Ann Barry Hanneman

von Briesen & Roper, S.C.

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.

Ann Barry Hanneman

von Briesen & Roper, 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

Patrick Mulvey

M3 Insurance

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