Gov. Scott Walker
Press Release

Governor Walker Highlights Success at Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit

Announces $10 million investment in rural economic development

By - Nov 10th, 2016 10:00 am

Madison – Governor Scott Walker joined members of his cabinet today at the annual Northern Economic Development Summit, held in Minocqua. In addition to highlighting the economic success in northern Wisconsin, Governor Walker also announced a $10 million investment in rural economic development through the Rural Economic and Area Development Initiative, or READI.

“Northern Wisconsin plays a crucial role in the economic success of our state and is home to many of our key industries, including tourism, forestry, and manufacturing,” Governor Walker said. “The READI grants we’re announcing today work to ensure the continued success of these industries and others businesses in rural areas of our state. This innovative approach encourages new business growth and job creation, trains workers and provides access to housing, which lays the foundation for sustainable, long-term growth in rural Wisconsin communities.”

READI is a comprehensive category of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds administered by the Department of Administration’s Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources. The program will use $10 million of unallocated CDBG funds to assist rural communities with economic development, workforce housing, and workforce training. Funds are made available through an application process to Units of General Local Governments (UGLGs).

The comprehensive grants include up to $500,000 for proposals to create or expand a business resulting in the creation of low- and moderate-income jobs; workforce housing loans of up to $300,000 for proposals to attract new workers to rural areas by rehabilitating or creating workforce housing near the economic development project; and workforce training grants of up to $200,000 to train new workers at the proposed economic development project.

Governor Walker’s cabinet is also participating in events throughout northern Wisconsin in Iron, Price, Taylor, Vilas, Oneida, Lincoln, Marathon, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Shawano, Marinette, Oconto, and Menominee counties.

Cabinet Event Highlights:

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

  • Scams, Identity Theft, and More: Consumer Protection Issues Facing Wisconsin Residents – Marinette
  • Springside Cheese Tour and Visit – Oconto Falls
  • Peaceful Woods Café Tour and Visit – Suring
  • Blaser Farms Tour and Visit – Gillett
  • Shawano Chamber of Commerce Meet and Greet – Shawano

Department of Children and Families (DCF)

  • W-2 Temp Visit – Wausau
  • Transitional Jobs Visit and Tour – Neopit

Department of Financial Institutions (DFI)

  • Tour of Florence Hardwoods – Florence

Department of Health Services (DHS)

  • Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin Visit – Merrill

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

  • Broadband Expansion Event – Mercer
  • Wisconsin River Revitalization Efforts – Merrill
  • Good Neighbor Authority Forestry Update – Lakewood
  • State Organization for Boat Access Award Presentation – Rhinelander
  • ATV Recreational Trail Project – Enterprise

Department of Administration (DOA)

  • State of Broadband in Wisconsin – Peshtigo
  • State of Broadband in Wisconsin – Phillips
  • Shawano Chamber of Commerce Meet and Greet – Shawano

Department of Revenue (DOR)

  • Presentation to Langlade County Economic Development Corporation – Antigo
  • Tour of Hydratight – Antigo

Department of Transportation (DOT)

  • Commercial Airport Operations and Facility Projects Tour – Mosinee
  • County Partnerships and Salt Brine Production Discussion – Phillips


  • Meeting with Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce – Merrill
  • Tour of Bierman Family Aquatic Center, Merrill Festival Grounds, River Bend Trail, and Merrill Historical Museum – Merrill
  • Twig’s Sun Drop Museum Tour – Shawano
  • Barn Quilts of Shawano County Tour – Shawano

Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)

  • Municipal Visit – Gillett
  • Municipal Visit – Oconto

Department of Workforce Development (DWD)

  • Shawano Chamber of Commerce Meet and Greet – Shawano

Office of the Comissioner of Insurance (OCI)

  • Affordable Care Act and 2017 Open Enrollment Town Hall – Tomahawk
  • Affordable Care Act and 2017 Open Enrollment Town Hall – Wausau

Public Service Commission (PSC)

  • Broadband Expansion Event – Mercer
  • State of Broadband in Wisconsin – Peshtigo
  • State of Broadband in Wisconsin – Phillips

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

  • Meet and Greet with Tomahawk Main Street, local businesses, and local leaders – Tomahawk
  • Oneida County EDC Board Meeting – Rhinelander

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA)

  • City of Marinette Listening Session – Marinette

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