Our Economy: Strategic Objective #4

Establish a management framework, with clear roles and responsibilities, of each entity engaging in economic development efforts within the Fond du Lac region and beyond.

The Approach

Economic development can be a difficult thing to define. Ultimately it is not one singular thing, but more so the outcome of a series of conditions that makes a place competitive for investment. It’s complex. It’s ever changing. And no single entity controls everything necessary to pursue new economic investment. At its core, it is about teamwork.

We are fortunate because we have a lot of talented people dedicating time and resources to promoting the Fond du Lac area. But those efforts are somewhat fragmented. The approach can improve. It should be optimized for maximum effectiveness. It needs to leverage everyone’s strengths in clearly defined roles. The vision must be to have a coordinated “Team Fond du Lac” that is representing the community with a unified voice that leverages a wide variety of expertise.

A lot about how our economy works has changed since 2008 and one of the major shifts has been the “metropolitan revolution.” In the new global economy states like Wisconsin are playing a less impactful role in generating economic growth than well-coordinated metropolitan areas. Milwaukee now competes against Monterrey, Mexico and Randstad, Netherlands as much as it does against Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Where does Fond du Lac fit in all of this? A key strategy is understanding Fond du Lac’s place within the triangle between Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee. This is particularly true of the emerging I-41 corridor stretching north through Oshkosh and the Fox Cities more broadly. That’s about 775,000 people. That matters. We must digest that the area’s residents, consumers, employees, and businesses live in this complex region. At the end of the day, that’s how stuff works around here. And it is definitely how major economic development decisions are considered.

Simply, we must successfully do two things. First, get organized locally. Secondly, carve out a competitive niche as part of this larger region. Those two efforts combined will maximize Fond du Lac’s economic competitiveness.

Action Items