WEDA Unveils Community and Economic Development Award Finalists

Finalists for the 2020 Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) were announced today by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA). The CEDA Awards program was established by WEDA to recognize businesses, projects and organizations that are making significant contributions to Wisconsin’s economy.

“WEDA is excited to partner with the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to present the CEDA Awards and celebrate the dedicated efforts of businesses and organizations across the state to advance Wisconsin’s economy,” said WEDA Executive Director Brian Doudna.

The winners in each of the following six CEDA categories will be announced at the awards presentation, which will be held virtually this year on Wednesday, September 16, 2020:

Business Retention & 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.

  • Aprilaire (a subsidiary of Research Products Corp.) Due to increased demand for indoor air-quality products, the company broke ground on a $16 million expansion project in Poynette, WI. The project includes 160,000 square feet in distribution warehouse space and a new production line facility. 
  • Masters Gallery Foods, Inc. – Due to the company’s consistent growth, Masters Gallery Foods expanded beyond its Plymouth, WI campus, building a second manufacturing facility in Oostburg that created over 200 new jobs and strengthened Sheboygan County’s economy. 
  • VES – Strengthening its reputation for creating Animal Centered Environments that improve animal health, wellbeing and productivity on dairy farms,  VES built its state-of-the-art global headquarters and research facility in Chippewa Falls, further establishing the community as a center for agricultural tech and advancement.

Economic Development Initiative – This award honors innovative community and economic development efforts that successfully promote growth and prosperity in Wisconsin communities.

  • CREATE Portage County – To boost targeted investments in the Portage County economy, CREATE Portage County was established to lead community development efforts through arts advocacy, creative placemaking and activating entrepreneurs.
  • Economic Development Administration (Wisconsin office) – The Economic Development Administration identified a strategic need to increase Native Nations investments and used its Economic Development Integration platform and a $5 million grant to more effectively engage Wisconsin Tribes and align support for Tribal economic development priorities.
  • City of Beaver Dam – To help the community respond to economic development opportunities that bring jobs and additional tax base, the City of Beaver Dam partnered with Alliant Energy on a 520-acre certified site that allows the city to attract new business and industry.

Economic Driver – This award honors businesses committed to long-term investment in their Wisconsin operations that have a significant economic impact in their community and across the state.

  • Finalists are not revealed in the Economic Driver category. The winner will be announced at the Sept. 16 awards ceremony. 

Private Public Partnership – This award honors projects, programs or initiatives that have been successful due to exceptional collaboration between the public and private sectors.

  • City of Platteville – A partnership between the City of Platteville, General Capital and Movin’ Out, Inc., the Pioneer Square Project transformed a former car dealership and grocery store site into a $14 million mixed-use development that consists of a 71-unit workforce housing apartment complex and 2,500 square feet of commercial space.
  • T. Wall Enterprises – Working closely with the City of Green Bay, T. Wall Enterprises developed CityDeck Landing, the first luxury residential development in Downtown Green Bay that brought nearly 100 new residents into the heart of the city and contributed to the downtown area’s ongoing renaissance. The $12 million project also includes 6,800 square feet of retail space. 
  • Village of Mukwonago – The village entered into development agreements with five manufacturers for nearly 480,000 square feet of new development, valued at $68.7 million in the community’s new 115-acre industrial park. The new development retained over 150 jobs and brought more than 250 new jobs to Mukwonago. 

Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse – This award honors innovative real estate redevelopment or reuse projects that have had a positive impact on a community’s economy, including job growth and increased tax base.

  • The Brewing Projekt – Redevelopment of an old meat packing plant in Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s Cannery District into the Brewing Projekt’s new brewery and taproom, which includes outdoor seating along the Chippewa River, created an exciting new destination in the city, added over $1.5 million in new tax base and created 36 full and part-time jobs. 
  • West Bend Medical – Redevelopment of an underutilized parking lot in the City of West Bend into West Bend Medical’s new 13,000 square foot state-of-the-art medical facility added over $3 million to the city’s tax base, created 20 new full-time jobs and spurred additional development activity in the area.   
  • Cleary Management Corporation – Redevelopment of the former La Crosse Plow foundry in historic downtown La Crosse, WI into a 64-unit luxury loft apartment complex, that includes over 100,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, revitalized a once blighted area on the northern edge of downtown and serves as a significant spark for additional economic activity in the area.

Talent Development – This award honors initiatives or programs that have driven successful talent development efforts to strengthen the Wisconsin workforce.

  • Market Ready Program – A small business development program connected with the city’s soon-to-be-built Public Market, the MarketReady program supports budding entrepreneurs who face structural barriers to business ownership through peer-to-peer counseling and the creation of effective partnerships.
  • Rock County 5.0 – A structured, paid internship that provides high school seniors with job experience, the Rock Internship Program offers students first-hand exposure to a career field in their Academic & Career Plan in a mentor-rich environment.
  • Workforce Resource, Inc. – A Chippewa County-based education and career development program for low-income youth, the organization’s YouthBuild program teaches leadership and construction skills in building affordable housing for low-income families.

Community and Economic Development Award finalists we screened and selected by an impartial panel of judges comprised of WEDA members and partners. Winners, which were also selected by the screening panel, will be unveiled live at the virtual CEDA awards ceremony on Sept. 16.