Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Launches Online Economic Impact Map

As part of its efforts to be more publicly transparent, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is now making its economic development investments open for public view through an interactive online map.

The economic impact map was developed through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The impact map located on WEDC’s website (http://inwisconsin.com/inside-wedc/impact/) shows all of the individual investments WEDC has made since July 2011. Users are able to examine key performance indicators such as award amounts and projected jobs. The map allows users to view summaries for regions such as state and assembly districts. The tool also generates maps and summary reports.

“The impact map is a new tool for the public to see where WEDC’s economic and community development projects are, and get detailed information on individual awards and the expected outcomes,” said Reed Hall, secretary and chief executive officer of the WEDC. “This project demonstrates WEDC’s transparency and accountability by showing where we are making investments, with whom and what the expected and actual outcomes are.”

The impact map is a project in partnership with Pangea Studios at UW-Whitewater and the State Cartographer’s Office and Cartography Lab at UW-Madison.

“WEDC’s partnership with Pangea Studios and the State Cartographer’s Office and Cartography Lab allows us to tap into a talented pool of Wisconsin students and leverage state resources in an effective and affordable manner,” Hall said. “Their specialization in developing visualization tools of qualitative economic development data helps WEDC demonstrate the impact of our investments to the public.”

In addition to the impact map, the WEDC is publishing an Annual Report on Economic Development and a corresponding searchable database of investment projects conducted by WEDC and other state agency economic development projects. The database will allow a user to search by agency, year, recipient, municipality, county, program, amount of award and industry. Each award entry will also include projected and actual outcomes of the project. That database can also be found at http://inwisconsin.com/inside-wedc/impact.

The WEDC submitted a detailed compliance plan Wednesday to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The plan, approved by the WEDC board, is intended dramatically improve the organization’s performance reporting and loan collection.

The WEDC is actively enforcing reporting deadlines by sending out past due notices with a notice warning of possible collections action. WEDC no longer distinguishes between a business that owes WEDC money and a business that owes WEDC information. For businesses that are 90 days or more past due, WEDC sends a final notice before determining whether to refer the matter to external collectors to pursue.

story provided by BizTimes.com