Wisconsin Economic Development Academy Update: Kathy Heady, Academy Manager

WEDA Academy Manager Kathy Heady

The world certainly looks much different than when I wrote my last update in March.  At that time, we were hoping to continue with our planned Academy 2020 schedule, including an in-person session in June.  With the uncertainties that linger, we have taken our programs through the summer to a webinar format, juggled the dates of our remaining housing programs and added a new program on Main Street Business Retention.

Please CLICK HERE to view the updated program schedule: Registration is open for our summer programs.

Our next webinar – Main Street Business Retention: Building Resiliency in a New Era – is scheduled for June 4 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.  This course will provide attendees with a review of approaches to business retention of main street businesses in a new era, looking at the needs of different business types and building resiliency for the long- term, including succession planning.  Emerging and best practices as well as innovative approaches in Wisconsin and nationwide will be presented.  Existing and new technical assistance opportunities will be discussed, including how resources are delivered and new resources that may be needed.  The course will include approaches to bringing people and traffic back to Main street in the short and long term. Our instructors are Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs, National Main Street Center, Inc. and Errin Welty, CEcD, EDFP, Downtown Development Program Manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.    The webinar is being sponsored by US Bank and is free to participants.  Registration is required and is limited to 450 participants.

The final two programs of our housing series will be held in July and August in a webinar format.  On July 23rd, the Academy program Workforce Housing – Identifying Local Needs, Municipal Tools and Zoning Practices will take place in two parts from 10-noon and 1-3 p.m.  The program will focus on the policies, practices, and tools that communities might consider in assessing their local needs and methods to reducing the cost of development of housing in their market. 

On August 12 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. the Academy will host Spurring Single Family Residential Investment – Tools for your market.This session will introduce tools and techniques that communities can use to encourage more affordable single-family residential investment options and to assist their residents in attaining home ownership.  Instructors areKurt R. Muchow, Principal, Vierbicher Associates Inc. and Nicole Solheim, Executive Director, Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development.

To round out the Academy schedule, an additional business retention webinar and two programs on workforce development will be held.  I welcome any input on potential topics and themes for these sessions.  Please reach out to me at kheady@weda.org with your ideas.