WEDA Announces 2022 Community and Economic Development Award Nominees
Nominees for the 2022 Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) were announced today by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA). The CEDA Awards were established by WEDA to recognize and celebrate businesses, projects, and organizations that are making significant contributions to Wisconsin’s economy.
“The WEDA Community and Economic Development Awards is Wisconsin’s premier awards program for the economic development community and was established to recognize outstanding and innovative projects that are driving economic growth and prosperity across the state,” said WEDA President and CEO Mary Perry. “This year, WEDA is excited to partner with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to present the CEDA Awards and celebrate the tremendous efforts of each nominated project.”
Three outstanding economic development projects were nominated in each of the four following CEDA categories: Business Retention and Expansion; Economic Development Initiative; Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse; and Talent Attraction, Development, and Retention. The winners in each category will be announced at the live awards ceremony luncheon, which will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2022, as part of WEDA’s Fall Best Practices Conference in La Crosse, WI. Please find below an overview of the recently announced 2022 CEDA Award nominees:
- Business Retention and Expansion– This award honors innovative economic development projects where communities have successfully mobilized to help retain and potentially expand the operations of an existing business critical to the economic vitality of the community.
- Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery – The Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery has a long history in the heart of Wisconsin’s Dairyland. Today, the company has 250 dairy farmer members and three production facilities. Their success and growth led to the need for expansion, and their aging facility in Comstock needed to be replaced. With assistance from the Greater Menomonie Development Corporation, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery found a site to construct a new $26 million, 60,000 square foot cheese making facility and retail store in the Menomonie Industrial Park. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation supported the project with $500,000 in tax credits, and the City of Menomonie provided Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funding and road expansion to aid the project.
- Henry Repeating Arms Company – Henry Repeating Arms, a long-gun manufacturing company, produces over 300,000 firearms annually. The company employs over 550 people and operates two main manufacturing facilities, one in New Jersey and the other at their headquarters in Rice Lake, WI. To accommodate rising demand and product lineup growth, the company had to expand, but could not find a facility in Rice Lake that could meet their needs. However, in nearby in Ladysmith, Rusk County owned a vacant 81,000 square foot building on 13 acres formerly occupied by Owens Corning. With assistance from state and local economic development partners, the company now has a new manufacturing facility in Ladysmith with room for expansion. The project is expected to produce 100 new jobs and spark future economic development in Rusk County.
- Mason Companies– The family-owned Mason Companies began making boots and shoes in the early 1900s in Chippewa Falls, WI. The company launched their first website in 1999 and since then the company has expanded beyond shoes into apparel, household goods, and beauty products, becoming one of the top 250 e-commerce companies in the United States, employing more than 500 people. To accommodate the growth and need for future expansion, Mason Companies worked with local governments and economic development partners to find a home in the Lake Wissota Business Park for a new $60 million, 425,000 square foot fulfillment center, with plans for the building to eventually grow to 975,000 square feet and include a new corporate office building.