From the President

September Letter from the President

Published October 3, 2017

At our most recent membership meeting, Jonas Prising and the panel (list panel members) clearly defined the importance and role of corporate culture. Locally and internationally, Manpower’s  purpose is defined as “meaningful and sustainable employment has the power to change the world.”
Corporate culture is defined as the set of attitudes, values, goals, and practices that that characterize an institution or organization. It is the values we publicly share with the outside world, shaped by the actions inside the four walls. It is our responsibility as leaders to manifest our corporate culture into one of community culture. We work tirelessly on being innovative, attracting and retaining talent, growing our economy and businesses, and making Milwaukee a safer community. This is an incredible opportunity for us to take best practices for defining a corporate culture into defining a culture for our community.
Recently, the Public Policy Forum released its newest report “Cultivating Innovation: Is metro Milwaukee prepared for the new knowledge-based economy?” With the participation of GMC’s Elmer Moore on the PPF Viewpoint Panel, we learned how Milwaukee is trending with peer cities in regards to talent and an educated population, factors that have shaped the goals and culture of our region for the past decade.
The key findings of the research were:
  • The Milwaukee area’s talent pool is strengthening and appears to be competitive with our peers. Educational attainment is rising and the region’s workforce is competitive with our comparison metro areas in its concentration of individuals employed in occupations associated with knowledge and innovation.
  • Our region is underperforming in its rates of business development and business survival. While entrepreneurship activity appears to have slowed nationally over the long term, the problem appears to be particularly acute in our region. In addition, metro Milwaukee’s rate of business survival does not appear to make up for its sluggish pace of business creation.
  • Capital formation remains an area of concern for the region. Federal grants and federally-guaranteed loans for business startups, expansions, and R&D activities have declined at a faster rate in metro Milwaukee than nationally, and Milwaukee underperforms almost all of the peer metro areas in attracting venture capital funding.
It was also noted by all that Milwaukee is having an incredible moment right now, a moment that can and will define our future. What becomes of that moment will define our culture, and a strong engagement from community leaders will ensure a culture of success and innovation for all our businesses-start-ups and mature companies. At the Foxxconn bill signing, Governor Walker ended the event with a challenge to all of us, “Everyone is concerned about Foxconn living up to their promises; Wisconsin must also live up to our promises to Foxconn. Key to keeping our promises is aligning all our talent and innovation systems.”
We are in a time of new buildings, job creation, and international recognition for attracting Haribo and Foxconn. It is an opportune time to leverage this growth and create a culture that Milwaukee wants and needs, becoming a driving point for talent attraction and retention, economic prosperity, business growth and innovation.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

August Letter from the President

Published August 17, 2017

“Human potential is a catalyst for business and economic success. For young people to be part of that success, we must help them tap into opportunities. It is vital they can access options to reskill, to adapt to new technology, to relocate to take on jobs in other regions and countries, and to learn on-the-job, online and in the classroom. If business, government and citizens want to ensure sustainable growth, they must partner to make these options available to youth.”
Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup
Huffington Post 2015
Meet Katrina, a UWM graduate, who after thinking her education and career were over, leveraged her experience with The Commons to a software engineering position at Kohl’s. The Commons is connecting innovative students to local businesses, and creating “real world” project experiences. “It’s nice to just see that with hard work, with dedication, with drive, if you still have that fire to be successful, you can be successful.” It’s the drive and dedication Katrina was empowered with through The Commons that we are dedicated to spreading throughout the region. The Commons has provided the region’s most innovative students with the challenges our regional businesses are facing, all while preparing a new generation of city leaders and influencers who will stay in Milwaukee. It’s a prime example of how our initiatives impact our members and Milwaukee.
“The Commons is cultivating the next generation of entrepreneurial talent and connecting them to top employers.” Jonas Prising
With the pending arrival of Foxconn and tens of thousands of jobs, the world sees Milwaukee as a competitive marketplace. The strides we’ve made building a social infrastructure for our economy, education systems, and talent retention are positioning us to be able to sustain this growing region for generations to come.
“It is important for businesses and educators to collaborate to ensure the right things are taught in the right way to develop the talent that is the lifeblood that allows our community to grow. This notion extends to K12 educators as the development of talent needs to start very early.”
Todd Teske, President & CEO, Briggs & Stratton
MKE Fellows is ensuring access for African American males, in order to strengthen equity and integration within our region, promising a future of integration and educated leaders. MKE United is allowing you to share your input on a strategic plan for the greater downtown and stronger and more prosperous neighborhoods, ones that will create jobs and increase quality of life. Scale Up is telling our region’s growth story, impacting the ambition of all businesses in our region, increasing exports within our region, ensuring a stable source of economic development. What does this do for you? It creates the future we all want for Milwaukee and the city we call home.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

MKE United Statement Regarding Public Policy Forum Report

Published on July 25, 2017

Over the last year, MKE United has engaged in wide-ranging civic engagement efforts designed to create a shared and inclusive vision for Downtown Milwaukee and its adjacent neighborhoods. That process identified the City’s revenue framework as one of the key challenges limiting the City’s progress. As a result, the Greater Milwaukee Committee commissioned the Public Policy Forum to develop a report assessing the funding structures of peer cities around the country to inform a community discussion around various approaches.

The resulting report –“On the Money? The City of Milwaukee’s Uncommon Revenue Structure and How it Compares to Peer Cities” – demonstrates the need to consider a revised revenue structure that will reduce the burden on local property taxpayers and enable us to make the investments in our neighborhoods that will attract and retain inclusive and diverse businesses and jobs that benefit all Milwaukeeans.

City Funding Model Outdated

Milwaukee stands alone among its peers in its unusual funding approach:

  • Historically, state aid has been the City’s largest revenue source placing a significant burden on the State and the City’s budget;
  • Wisconsin is the only Midwestern state that property tax is the primary form of local municipal taxation;
  • Every other peer city has multiple local sources of revenue, with the vast majority including a combination of general and selective sales taxes; and
  • Other cities utilize funding mechanisms that reduce the local tax burden on property owners and secure revenue from the thousands of commuters and visitors that use City infrastructure and services every day.

Without significant change, Milwaukee will find it extraordinarily difficult to maintain existing services and impossible to invest in new, innovative approaches to expand economic development throughout the City.

Investing in Our City’s Future

MKE United is developing an ambitious vision for the future of our City that we are extremely excited about. But, we will not be able to make that vision a reality if we can’t develop a more effective and fair revenue structure for the City. This detailed report provides various approaches and roadmaps for all stakeholders – the City, State and broader community – to work together to develop a new and better solution.

We should take note of successful peer cities. As the report demonstrates, a more balanced approach to local taxation would lessen the burden on local property owners, provide greater flexibility in funding, generate revenue growth linked to the City’s economic growth, and lessen reliance on state funding.

We hope this report and subsequent media coverage will help kick-start a vibrant discussion regarding how to best fund vital City services. An effective funding structure will be able to not only leverage the City’s economic growth, but fuel that growth going forward, ensuring that prosperity extends throughout our City.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

Welcome to Wisconsin, Foxconn

July 27, 2017

When the MMAC and the GMC, seven counties and the city of Milwaukee came together as a region 12 years ago to market our assets and build our capacity, the result was M7. We had great expectations of economic growth, but never could have predicted that M7, MMAC and WEDC would land the biggest economic development opportunity in US history. This project will dramatically change the economic future here for generations to come. Wisconsin landing the Foxconn development shows the impact of regional economic development alignment through M7, the MMAC and the impact of WEDC as a core investor and partner. It takes an amazing amount of dedication, agility, negotiation and coordination to respond as a region as well aligned and seamlessly as we have. This puts us squarely on the radar of other significant opportunities. In our data work with MKE United, we found that we lost 20,000 jobs in the last decade throughout Milwaukee County. One of our developing goals is to replace those jobs over the next 10 years. To replace half of those jobs in a few years would be a godsend to this region and Milwaukee. How to deal with the transit and workforce needs will be a challenge, but a challenge starting from a position of great hope and opportunity for many people seeking economic mobility.
To say this is a game changer is an understatement. Milwaukee lost 45,000 jobs coming out of the 1970s and the ability to gain this level of opportunity is generationally transformative. The proposed creation of 13,000+ jobs can rebuild Milwaukee’s and the region’s economy, and offer significant economic mobility for those who are unemployed and underemployed.
Just having the jobs available will change the story of survival in Milwaukee for many unemployed and underemployed people. Coordination and alignment of the educational, transportation, housing and childcare sectors will all be critical to create the necessary infrastructure for people to access these jobs.
Training opportunities, from automation to engineering, along with accessible housing and childcare is also an important factor of economic prosperity. Alignment of the technical training colleges, high schools and local colleges will all be important and critical to our success.
At the Greater Milwaukee Committee, we focus on three pillars of work: economic prosperity, vibrancy of place, and innovation and talent. We commit to working diligently to align our resources to ensure that everyone in our community benefits and contributes to the region’s success. Through initiatives such as Teachtown, Reimagining High Schools, MKE United, Scale Up Milwaukee, and The Commons, we are able to provide solutions for mass transit, education, business growth and support, and a region filled with capable and sought after talent.
Welcome to Wisconsin, Foxconn.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

MKE United Statement Regarding Public Policy Forum Report

July 25, 2017

Over the last year, MKE United has engaged in wide-ranging civic engagement efforts designed to create a shared and inclusive vision for Downtown Milwaukee and its adjacent neighborhoods. That process identified the City’s revenue framework as one of the key challenges limiting the City’s progress. As a result, the Greater Milwaukee Committee commissioned the Public Policy Forum to develop a report assessing the funding structures of peer cities around the country to inform a community discussion around various approaches.

The resulting report –“On the Money? The City of Milwaukee’s Uncommon Revenue Structure and How it Compares to Peer Cities” – demonstrates the need to consider a revised revenue structure that will reduce the burden on local property taxpayers and enable us to make the investments in our neighborhoods that will attract and retain inclusive and diverse businesses and jobs that benefit all Milwaukeeans.

City Funding Model Outdated

Milwaukee stands alone among its peers in its unusual funding approach:

  • Historically, state aid has been the City’s largest revenue source placing a significant burden on the State and the City’s budget;
  • Wisconsin is the only Midwestern state that property tax is the primary form of local municipal taxation;
  • Every other peer city has multiple local sources of revenue, with the vast majority including a combination of general and selective sales taxes; and
  • Other cities utilize funding mechanisms that reduce the local tax burden on property owners and secure revenue from the thousands of commuters and visitors that use City infrastructure and services every day.

Without significant change, Milwaukee will find it extraordinarily difficult to maintain existing services and impossible to invest in new, innovative approaches to expand economic development throughout the City.

Investing in Our City’s Future

MKE United is developing an ambitious vision for the future of our City that we are extremely excited about. But, we will not be able to make that vision a reality if we can’t develop a more effective and fair revenue structure for the City. This detailed report provides various approaches and roadmaps for all stakeholders – the City, State and broader community – to work together to develop a new and better solution.

We should take note of successful peer cities. As the report demonstrates, a more balanced approach to local taxation would lessen the burden on local property owners, provide greater flexibility in funding, generate revenue growth linked to the City’s economic growth, and lessen reliance on state funding.

We hope this report and subsequent media coverage will help kick-start a vibrant discussion regarding how to best fund vital City services. An effective funding structure will be able to not only leverage the City’s economic growth, but fuel that growth going forward, ensuring that prosperity extends throughout our City.

Sincerely,

Julia Taylor
President
Greater Milwaukee Committee

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