The Greater Milwaukee Committee – About Us

The Greater Milwaukee Committee is a private sector civic organization whose mission is to contribute to the cultural and economic base of the Milwaukee Metropolitan area.

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The GMC Talent Dividend

The Talent Dividend is a GMC-sponsored initiative built upon regional collaborations between businesses, institutions of higher education, K-12 school systems, service providers, community organizations, economic and workforce development agencies and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool to match the human capital needs of existing and emerging businesses.

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MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee)

The Greater Milwaukee Committee aligns our region’s assets in advanced manufacturing and our global innovation companies through MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee), a design, technology and innovation cluster that serves as a catalytic source for rapid innovation and talent to compete on the world stage.

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GMC launches teachtown initiative

After being approached by MPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Thornton, the GMC and its education committee launched the "teachtown" initiative to help MPS address the impending loss of human capital. Teachtown will help MPS widen their talent pool, and create some important supports for them so that new teachers are able to access our community and make meaningful connections to their students and to Milwaukee.

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‘Creational Trails

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Welcome To the Greater Milwaukee Committee

The Greater Milwaukee Committee’s mission is to make Greater
Milwaukee the best place to live, learn, work and play.

Our membership – comprised of our region’s business, labor, academic, philanthropic, nonprofit and civic leadership – believes that intelligent, active interest in public affairs is the true measure of citizenship, and the foundation for community.

Let’s Scale Up Milwaukee

Published December 4, 2014
From BizTimes

Scale Up Milwaukee continues to inspire new projects in the U.S. and beyond. Earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced its launch of Scale Up America, an effort to support community efforts fostering entrepreneurial activity and business growth. In September, the SBA announced eight specific programs in communities throughout the U.S. that will receive funding support.

Following on the SBA’s launch, on November 17th, the Scale Up UK Report was launched. It was covered in the Financial Times, Guardian, Wired, and more. Milwaukee was prominently cited as an impactful case study, alongside the Cambridge 50 and Google Campus London. Dan Isenberg, who provides the thought and practice leadership for Scale Up Milwaukee, was the keynote speaker at the Scale Up UK launch.

Its information is relevant and worthy of sharing on the home front. Among the highlights:

* The first class of companies participating in a six-month “Scalerator” program that provides training and mentoring on growing a business, revenues have increased 25 percent above initial projections for 2014;
* Projections based on Scale Up Milwaukee’s initial rollout call for development of 60 high-growth companies in the region as a result of the initiative, resulting in a commensurate increase in jobs regionally, along with wealth, tax base and quality of life; and
* Increasing recognition – both regionally and on an international level – of Milwaukee as a center for growth-oriented entrepreneurship.

For those who haven’t come across it yet, Scale Up Milwaukee is an action project focused on developing the entrepreneurial capacity in the southeast Wisconsin region by bringing together the policies, structures, programs, and climate that foster an environment that promotes entrepreneurship. Milwaukee is the first city in the country to develop a regionwide program, and it has been backed by Gov. Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett as part of a bipartisan effort to stimulate the economy, as well as by the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and others.

Read the full editorial here.


GMC receives Harvesting Leading Practices grant from Kresge Foundation

Grant supports work in creative placemaking for the artery and Harambee/Riverwest neighborhoods

MILWAUKEE, December 2, 2014 – The Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), in partnership with beintween, Riverworks Development Corporation (RDC), Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative (HGNI), the City of Milwaukee, and creative placemaking consultant Sara Daleiden of MKE<->LAX, has received a Harvesting Leading Practices grant from the Detroit-based Kresge Foundation for $724,500. This grant will further support work by the coalition with Creational Trails: The artery at the Beerline Recreational Trail Extension in the Riverworks area, as well as the development of a cultural leadership network versed in creative placemaking. The Kresge Foundation also offers thought partnership and access to its national network of initiatives.

“The Kresge Foundation’s commitment to creative placemaking in Milwaukee builds on important work underway in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and provides the opportunity to advance community and economic development goals with creative talent and focus,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and co-chair of the GMC’s Creative Placemaking Committee.

As a result of the City of Milwaukee’s $1,042,000 investment in the 2015 trail extension, the artery will grow as a spine for redevelopment in the Riverworks area. The next phase of creative placemaking runs from January 2015 to December 2016, expanding on the discoveries made when the trail was supported by the 2013-14 ArtPlace America grant. The RDC, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Transform Milwaukee, and LISC have also committed additional support to this Riverworks-based initiative.

“The artery has become grounds for engaging community with the same curiosity, creativity, and craftiness that an artisan might engage a material,” said beintween founder Keith Hayes, LEED AP. “Activation of a network through landscape and site experimentation explores a deeper understanding of neighborhood, one that is creating context for social innovation and spatial iteration to promote the role of the public in space.”

Founded by beintween, the artery repurposes the former Gibson railyard into an 8-acre linear park, extending the Beerline Recreational Trail to connect Harambee, Riverwest and the industrial corridor of Riverworks. The artery engages neighbors and artists in a collaborative process to develop public space through performance-based programming and installations. By adopting and adapting resources to develop both physical and cultural landscapes, this coalition is building new access to the park and neighborhood as a public expression of equity.

“This is great news for the Riverworks area,” said Darryl Johnson, executive director of Riverworks Development Corporation. “The Kresge Foundation’s investment into this community to help support our creative placemaking efforts in the Harambee and Riverwest communities to increase the potential for community and economic development opportunities for residents who live and work in these communities can make this a model for other communities to follow.”

The work surrounding the artery intends to expand Riverworks as a live-work hub for artists, makers, community organizers and other cultural leaders, and seeks opportunities to create and grow entrepreneurial ventures in the neighborhood. The coalition will generate community asset maps of available buildings and lots, business development organizations, arts and community organizations, and independent workers; market underutilized industrial and residential space to creative workers for live-work and co-working space and for scaling production of contract manufacturing; and grow youth and adult entrepreneurship programs in collaboration with Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and other local agencies.

HGNI will also work with neighborhood and resident organizations to create community visioning sessions, and will continue their research partnership with Marquette University’s Democracy Lab to identify best practices for increasing community-wide participation.

“Creative placemaking values the magnetism of authentic culture present in a neighborhood and explores the possibility of complementary vibrancy with new developments,” said Barry Mandel, president of Mandel Group Inc. and co-chair of the GMC’s Creative Placemaking Committee. “We will convene a leadership network versed in regional and national creative placemaking.”

In the spring, the coalition will facilitate a Strategic Actioning Session (SAS) to foster alignment with community leadership and identify core projects for development during this phase. The SAS will occur in tandem to discovery trips to other national case studies relevant to the artery and Riverworks. The SAS extends from the recent charrette process led by the RDC, City of Milwaukee, and UWM’s Community Design Solutions, which focused on potential commercial and residential redevelopment sites in relation to the artery.

“The GMC’s investment in the artery and Riverworks aligns with our organization’s work to foster local awareness of and support for creative placemaking,” said GMC president Julia Taylor. “The GMC is committed to generating an intergenerational and culturally diverse leadership network who can translate national values around creative placemaking to acknowledge existing and potential initiatives in Milwaukee.” This leadership network will advise on the development of the artery in Riverworks and be available to address other neighborhoods in the city. A key goal is to connect local independent workers in the arts and other entrepreneurial areas with economic and community development sectors.



GMC gets $724,500 from Kresge Foundation for placemaking

Published December 2, 2014
From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Greater Milwaukee Committee has been awarded a $724,500 grant from the Kresge Foundation for the continuation of a placemaking project along a former rail corridor between Riverwest and Harambee called the artery.

The Kresge funds were awarded to the GMC, which is working with the group beintween, Riverworks Development Corporation, Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative, the City of Milwaukee and artist and consultant Sara Daleiden.

It is the second significant grant for the project. Last year, ArtPlace America awarded a $350,000 grant for the artery and another art-related project along W. Wisconsin Ave.

Read the full article here.


GMC Wins $724,500 Grant to Help City

Published December 1, 2014
From Urban Milwaukee

The Greater Milwaukee Committee has won a $724,500 grant from the Kresge Foundation to combine arts installations and activities with economic development in the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods, GMC president Julia Taylor announced today. “It’s a very exciting opportunity for Milwaukee,” she says.

The grant builds on the $350,000 ArtPlace America grant the GMC previously won for its “Creational Trails” project, which created temporary art installations and a night market on W. Wisconsin Ave. and began development of the Artery, a one-mile long park and bicycle trail along an abandoned railroad track just north of Keefe Ave. that runs through the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods. About half of the $350,000 ArtPlace grant went to the Artery and the entire Kresge grant of $724,500 will go to the project, too.

“It will be used to grow the Artery and do economic development in the area as well,” Taylor says. “Especially for the Harambee neighborhood, which is one the most economically depressed areas in the city.”

In addition to all the foundation grant money, Taylor notes, “the city has invested close to $1 million for the Artery trail.”

Read the full article here.


Three questions with BMO Financial CEO Bill Downe

From The Milwaukee Business Journal
Published November 14, 2014

BMO Financial Group CEO Bill Downe made a rare public appearance in Milwaukee Nov. 10, speaking in depth to Greater Milwaukee Committee members about his take on the economy, and why Toronto-based BMO is betting on the Midwest.

The company in 2011 acquired Wisconsin’s M&I Bank, merging it with Chicago’s Harris Bank to create BMO Harris Bank.

Downe’s main message: America’s economy is relatively well-positioned, the Midwest is one of the safest bets and company executives should forward the optimistic message most media outlets ignore.

Downe spoke with the Milwaukee Business Journal after the event about BMO’s Milwaukee-area operations.

Read the full Q&A here.


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