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Economic Development Plan

Milwaukee 7 Framework for Economic Growth - Executive Summary

Milwaukee 7 Framework for Economic Growth - Full Report

Creating a robust innovation ecosystem is one of the core strategies of Milwaukee 7's regional economic development plan, the Milwaukee 7 Framework for Economic Growth. As today's global economy undergoes a fundamental transformation driven by knowledge-based assets, regions need to capitalize on innovation - the only long-term driver of overall growth. 

To identify the region’s place on the path to transformation and articulate a set of integrated growth strategies, M7 engaged a broad array of regional stakeholders in the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Business Planning process: a proactive, fact-based, action-oriented approach to targeting, aligning and leveraging regional assets for inclusive growth in the next economy. 

The Metropolitan Business Plan produces a shared roadmap for the region, aligning existing and new initiatives around a common vision. It begins to identify a portfolio of potential new initiatives built around the leverage points of industry clusters, talent, ingenuity & entrepreneurship, infrastructure and governance. Each of these market levers is supported by a set of strategies to guide economic growth in the next economy and power sustainable prosperity.

Regional Market Levers 

Industry Clusters - Build and strengthen industry clusters. Create optimal interaction within concentrated cluster industries to improve efficiencies and productivity. Align sector functions and occupations.

Talent - Develop and deploy talent. Grow supply of skilled workers to meet employer demands. Grow demand for skilled workers by cultivating appropriate jobs.

Ingenunity & Entrepreneurship - Innovation drives increasing productivity and efficiency - the source of all long-term growth. Develop inputs and mechanisms to facilitate innovations, interactions and commercialization.

Infrastructure - The location of firms and workers within the region determine costs for people and businesses. Minimize transportation costs, reduce congestion and avoid segregation and concentrations of poverty.

Governance - Promote civic engagement and build effective civic institutions to attract entrepreneurs, enable markets, lower transaction costs and increase deployment of assets.


Nine Strategies to Move the Region Forward 

Reflecting the assets, challenges and opportunities revealed in the market analysis and business planning process of the Milwaukee 7’s regional plan, an integrated set of nine strategies have been developed to move the Milwaukee region forward on the path to new-economy growth.

Each strategy is designed to increase the productivity of local firms by leveraging the region’s unique strengths, taking advantage of its emerging opportunities and addressing its most critical challenges. These strategies are deliberately crafted to cut across market levers and be mutually reinforcing: through coordinated implementation, their impact will be enhanced. Together they build upon current assets and momentum to enable the Milwaukee region to realize its potential to become a leading place to do business in the next economy, and a thriving, prosperous and dynamic region.  

Strategy 1: Become a leading innovator, producer and exporter of products and services  related to ENERGY, POWER & CONTROLS

Strategy 2: Become a global hub for innovation and start-up activity in WATER TECHNOLOGY

Strategy 3: Leverage the region’s geographic, supply chain and human capital advantages to grow the FOOD & BEVERAGE CLUSTER

Strategy 4: Enhance the EXPORT CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY of the region’s firms, focusing on small- and medium-sized enterprises

Strategy 5: Align WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT with growth opportunities in targeted, high-potential industry clusters

Strategy 6: Foster a dynamic, richly networked INNOVATION and ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM

Strategy 7: Catalyze “ECONOMIC PLACE-MAKING” in the region’s core cities and strategic locations throughout the region

Strategy 8: Modernize REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE to enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness and connectivity

Strategy 9
: Enhance INTER-JURISDICTIONAL COOPERATION and COLLABORATION for economic growth

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