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Entries for September 2017


(Milton, WI) Jim Dayton, Gazette

A new family-style restaurant serving traditional American fare could open in Milton as soon as next week. Tasty Bites is moving into the building at 740 E. St. Mary St.


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(Rock County, WI) – Career development and exploration activities within Southern Wisconsin recently received a significant boost, as Inspire Rock County and Inspire Madison Region have integrated their databases to enhance collaborative talent development and employment engagement activities throughout the region. This combined database, which is powered by Career Cruising, is a licensed web-based career development tool that integrates workforce data and career pathway information into a seamless online platform where job creators, students, educators and parents connect.

Specifically, Inspire users will now have access to research and engage with participants based in the following SC and SW Wisconsin Counties: Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Richland, Rock and Sauk. The immediate impacts attributed to this integration are exemplified by these participation statistics:

  • 539 Career Coaches
  • 477 Company Profiles
  • 2,419 Work-Based Learning Activities

While a number of features within the system have been upgraded and/or changed to enhance user experiences, the core foundational Inspire elements remain front and center. First, improving the alignment of career readiness and preparation to match the needs of regional businesses remains a focal point. Second, there is a concerted effort to scale-up successful workforce development programming to reach a wider and/or targeted audience. Third, reducing communication and engagement cycle times; thereby, removing capacity-related participation barriers is a priority. Lastly, connecting and mentoring students early – as well as often – is critical to building the region’s workforce.

In Rock County, where the Inspire platform begins its fourth deployment year, system utilization continues to increase. To date, nearly 400,000 career page views have been logged; over 7,790 careers and 4,324 higher education targets have been saved in student Academic and Career Plans; and about 4,000 messages have been exchanged between students and their (virtual) career coaches.

Inspire Rock County, represents one of two key talent development initiatives launched and supported by Rock County 5.0, a public / private economic development initiative designed to facilitate the repositioning and revitalization of Rock County’s economy. For additional information, visit .

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(Janesville, WI) Gary Kohn, Blackhawk Technical College

Enrollment is up at Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) for the fall 2017 semester according to Dr. Jon Tysse, Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at BTC.  Dr. Tysse reports unduplicated credit and pre-college student head count increased three percent compared to the start of the 2016-17 school year and the full-time equivalent (FTEs) credits have increased 6%.


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(Madison, WI) Brian Doudna, WEDA

Hendricks Commercial Properties received a Redevelopment and Reuse award for the Ironworks Campus redevelopment project in Beloit. The award was presented at the 3rd annual Community and Economic Development Awards banquet, held September 13, 2017, at The Edgewater Hotel in Madison. 

The Redevelopment and Reuse award recognizes innovative real estate redevelopment or reuse projects that demonstrate measurable and quantitative impact on employment and tax base.

"We are extremely honored and humbled to have been selected for this award,” said Rob Gerbitz, CEO of Hendricks Commercial Properties. "The transformation of Ironworks is a project that has been at the forefront of Diane Hendricks’ vision for the continued and ongoing re-birth of this great downtown and city. It’s exciting, to say the least, with more great things to come in the future. Thank you to WEDA and Rock County Economic Development for your recognition of this project."

What started in 1857 as Merrill & Houston's Ironworks became the Beloit Ironworks and, eventually, the Beloit Corporation, has now been reimagined simply as Ironworks, a multi-use, innovative technology and creative office campus that boasts modern amenities while paying homage to Beloit's industrial roots and heritage.

WEDA and its partner organizations developed the Community and Economic Development Awards program to recognize best practices and economic development-focused businesses and organizations that are making their community or region a better place to live, work and play.

“WEDA is excited that our Community and Economic Development Awards program is able to celebrate the dedicated efforts of local, county, regional, state and private organizations in advancing our state’s economy,” said WEDA President Ed White.

Seven awards were given in six categories: Business Retention and Expansion; Economic Driver (Large and Small); Human Capital; Real Estate Development and Reuse; Economic Development Initiative; and Public-Private Partnership.

To implement the awards program, WEDA partners with the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, Wisconsin Counties Association and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Award sponsors are Alliant Energy, Bachmann Construction, J H Findorff & Son, Green Bay Packers, Madison Gas & Electric, US Bank, Insight Publications, American Transmission Company, Wisconsin Public Service and Xcel Energy.

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(Beloit, WI) Hillary Gavan, Beloit Daily News

Many with a stake in workforce development are excited about the upcoming Business Education Connection Event.

This year's event, titled "Building the Talent Pipeline," will be held from 8 - 11 a.m. on Sept. 13 at the Eclipse Center, 3 Eclipse Boulevard.


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For additional Rock County 5.0 information, click on the listings below and/or send an email to

Q3 2011

Q2 2011

Q1 2011

Q4 2010

Q3 2010

Q2 2010

Q1 2010

Q4 2009