Local leaders to participate in 15th annual Central Wisconsin Days
For the Rapids City Times
CENTRAL WI – A group of area business leaders, post-secondary education administrators, and community representatives will travel to Madison, Feb. 26-27, to present three legislative initiatives to state lawmakers.
The 2019 event marks the 15th Annual Central Wisconsin Days, and includes people from across the region known as Centergy that includes the counties of Adams, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, and Wood.
“The three initiatives of the 2019 Central Wisconsin Days include rural economic development, critical infrastructure needs, and university and college funding needs,” Craig Timm, Domtar Regional Public Affairs Manager and 2019 Central Wisconsin Days chairman said. “Addressing each of these categories legislatively holds tremendous opportunity for central Wisconsin and the entire state.”
Timm said that Centergy supports establishing a Rural Economic Development Fund, as a long-term economic development tool. This would include ongoing funding for investment in innovative development projects addressing workforce and industry expansion, and business development.
“One of several worthy central Wisconsin investment examples would be the Tribune Building in Wisconsin Rapids, featuring the collaboration of community, higher education and business to develop new industry opportunities and enhance regional economic vitality,” Gordon Crow, Centergy executive director, said.
According to Crow, Centergy supports definitive, aggressive and sensible planning that results in the expansion of transportation and communications infrastructure, specifically broadband accessibility, throughout the State of Wisconsin. This support encourages more incentives, and assistance in accessing the funds to encourage widespread expansion of the unique needs for service to rural communities.
“In the same way President John F. Kennedy challenged America to put a man on the moon within a decade, Wisconsin must embrace expanding broadband coverage to every square foot of our state within a generation,” Crow said. “Total broadband coverage would serve communities small and large, education from preschool to postgraduate, rural medical delivery, and business and industry and the now critical statewide labor shortage challenge.”
Centergy also supports funding requests by the Wisconsin Technical Colleges System (WTCS), and the University of Wisconsin System 2019-21 budget requests.
“The graduates turned out by the UW-Stevens Point, and Mid-State and Northcentral technical colleges are critical to the primary industry sectors in central Wisconsin” Crow said. “Thus, the success of these institutions is pivotal to successful economic development in the Centergy region.”
According to Timm, Central Wisconsin Days is organized to build relationships with state legislators, the governor, and state agencies regarding issues affecting central Wisconsin.
Central Wisconsin Days will include sessions with members of the Wisconsin State Senate and the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Interested business and community leaders are encouraged to participate. For more information or to register, visit www.centergy.net.