SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


Geography: Wisconsin

AL, CT, FL, MI, MO, OK, PA and WI budget proposals boost and cut TBED

In the latest round of state budget proposals, TBED initiatives receive mixed reviews. Some governors are boosting funding while others in cash-strapped states are proposing cuts.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, Part I: AR, AZ, CT, IA, ID, IN, KS, ND, SD, VT, WI - workforce, education top concerns

SSTI again presents its latest round of Tech Talkin’ Govs, where governors’ comments about TBED issues are excerpted from their state of the state and inaugural addresses. Today’s roundup includes STEM spending and workforce development in Idaho, education in Arizona, manufacturing in Connecticut and a nod to technological change in North Dakota, inaugural addresses from new governors in Vermont and Indiana, and more reports from governors who gave their addresses on the 10th. Next week the Digest will continue with Part II of Tech Talkin’ Govs featuring news from the next round of addresses.

Playbook provides workforce development guidelines

Across the U.S. people are working to build a more talented, skilled workforce, but often those efforts happen in isolation, separated from larger economic development efforts without engaging community and business leaders. A recently released playbook from the Aspen Institute and Futureworks, Communities That Work Partnership Playbook, aims to change a siloed approach and explores seven regional efforts to develop the local workforce for different industries and occupations. The playbook highlights key takeaways and is intended to provide guidance to others developing talent pipelines. SSTI also talked with individuals in Milwaukee and Kansas City about their regional efforts to develop the talent pipeline.

States Commit to Improve Economic Prosperity Through Increased Broadband Access

A month after a federal court ruled that high-speed Internet service can be defined as a utility, four states have announced commitments to expand high quality, reliable broadband services to rural areas and other underrepresented groups. Two Midwest states, Wisconsin and Minnesota, will provide funding to help support projects that improve access to broadband and spur economic prosperity.

Universities Build Diverse Partnerships to Fund Startups

In the face of declining state funding and drawn-out budget negotiations, universities are moving beyond traditional budget procedures to secure funding for their economic development activities. Over the past few months, several universities have leveraged new sources of public and private funds to establish seed funds for university technology. These efforts are intended to increase the number of businesses emerging from their respective educational and research programs and spur regional economic prosperity.

Community Colleges Announce Free Tuition Plans; TN Promise Remains Under Microscope in State, Nation

Since the establishment of the Tennessee Promise in 2014, the first statewide free community college effort, community college systems and states are outlining their own strategies to make a two-year education free for students in their region in attempt to create an educated, qualified workforce that addresses the needs of industry and promotes economic prosperity. While it may remain too early to judge the benefits and the costs of these programs – lawmakers and educational professionals remain divided on the issue. 

New Initiatives Drive Rural Broadband Adoption in AL, KY, WI

For many states, broadband connectivity is becoming an increasingly important tool used to improve the economic well-being of residents, especially in rural areas. While some have paved the way for publicly funded municipal broadband providers, others, such as North Carolina and Tennessee, have filed suit with the Federal Communications Commission and joined the telecommunications industry in their opposition.

Budget Update: Hawaii Sets Ambitious Energy Goals; TBED Spending Approved in DE, OR, WI

Now that many governors have signed spending bills and legislative sessions are drawing to a close, the SSTI Digest will check on the status of proposals related to the innovation economy, and examine the state of technology-based economic development funding in the states. This week, we review spending bills in Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

New Reports Outline Strategies to Support Female Entrepreneurs, Accelerate Economic Growth in Wisconsin, U.S.

Women as business owners may be an underutilized resource for economic development and growth in the state of Wisconsin, according to a recent study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) – Women Business Leaders Across Wisconsin, 1990-2011. The researchers found that women-owned or managed more than 80,000 Wisconsin-based businesses (nearly 19 percent of all businesses) in 2011.

The Water Council Announces Partnerships to Advance U.S. Water Entrepreneurship

Veolia, The Water Council, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation have reached an agreement to launch the emPowering Opportunities in Water (POW!) program – a two-year national competition to support entrepreneurship and economic development while fostering sustainability efforts in the field of water.

MI, OH, OK, TN, WI Budgets Highlight Workforce Development, Tax Credits

This week, governors in Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin unveiled their budget proposals. Included in the governors’ recommendations are several cases of agency restructuring and funds for workforce development, innovation tax credits, and other TBED-relevant issues.

SBA To Fund Regional Innovation Clusters in NM, WI, Ozarks, Gulf Coast

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced four new Regional Innovation Clusters that will be included among its portfolio of high-performing regional networks. Awardee clusters will receive $500,000-$550,000 for mentoring, counseling, pitch development and other small business support programs. The new members of SBA’s cluster portfolio include Milwaukee’s Water Technology Cluster, Southeastern New Mexico’s Autonomous and Unmanned Systems Cluster, a Retail, Supply Chain and Food Processing Cluster spanning the Ozarks region and a Marine Industries Cluster in several Gulf Coast states.

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