Wednesday, August 6, 2008 - 11:38am
MADISON - The Common Council tonight approved the strategic economic development plan for the City of Madison. Commissioned by the City and coordinated by the Economic Development Commission. The report focuses on targeted job growth within Madison. This is the first economic development plan for the City in over 25 years.
In its recommendations, the report recognized many current City initiatives to attract jobs that bring investment into the City. The plan encourages the City to focus its economic development programs and efforts on "basic sector" jobs, such as headquarters of national companies that draw investment and wealth into our community.
"This planning process and the dialogue it encourages has been very healthy. This report affirms that we are taking the right steps to grow our local economy and bring jobs into Madison," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "But it also gives us a roadmap for improvement."
Among its recommendations, the plan calls for rewriting the City's zoning code, establishing the second UW Research Park, hiring an Economic Development Director, and revitalizing the East Isthmus as an employment center - all of which are in progress. The plan also recommends adding personnel to the City's Economic Development Division, such as project managers to help shepard development projects from beginning to end; creating or enhancing Madison-specific public-private partnerships around important projects or issues; and developing a customer service accountability system.
"Making the City more transparent, accessible and compatible for business growth and retention is a valuable endeavor for the entire community," Jennifer Alexander, President of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce said. "This plan demonstrates that focusing on quality job creation enhances the quality of life for everyone."
"Building quality of life through strategic economic development is a strategy that works for our downtown - a downtown that serves as the center of this region. The report will provide us a much needed framework for the City's economic development efforts," Susan Schmitz, President of Downtown Madison, Inc said.
"Approving the report tonight is just the beginning," Mayor Cieslewicz said. "I'm committed to working with the Council and the business community on the aggressive implementation of its recommendations."
- Rachel Strauch-Nelson266-4611