“Building business from within,” is part the strategy that the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce uses to attract and grow jobs within its region, so says Melissa Loken, president of the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce. Like many successful economic development entities, the Heart of Wisconsin has a regional focus, as opposed to being focused on a single city. Combining the assets and resources of multiple towns and cities in a 50 mile radius, centered roughly around Wisconsin Rapids, WI, makes it an easier sell to companies or families looking to move into the area.
Good infrastructure is key, Loken points out in the above video interview.
“Rural broadband is just as important as it is in the city; it connects people and will be a key tool for economic development in the smaller communities.”
She explains how local employees are increasingly teleworking from the Wisconsin City Rapids area for companies based in New York and the South. Loken also points out the importance of training to help people transition to new careers and how bringing that training directly to people via broadband-enabled webinars and other electronic teaching methods will be increasingly important.
She also touches upon the Heart of Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp that her organization organized to help people with their mid-life career transitions. She also mentions a Heart of Wisconsin spin-off, Hearts Media, which is all about the creation of videos by the community to help the community.
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