WEDC Report on COVID-19 Impact

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on June 30 submitted to the Legislature a report on the economic impact of COVID-19 and recovery priorities.

The Legislature mandated WEDC submit the report in 2019 Act 185, the state’s COVID-19 legislation enacted in April. Act 185 required WEDC to submit a plan “for providing support to the major industries in this state that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency, including tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, forest products, construction, retail and services.”

The report details COVID-19 impact on each of these major industries and lists three overall priorities for recovery:

  1. Getting people back to work. Recommendations include incentivizing businesses to train new employees and utilize job centers, investing in tech colleges and the UW System, supporting the Department of Workforce Development in connecting businesses and potential employees, investing in childcare and education, and expanding Medicaid.
  2. Fixing broadband. Recommendations include increased funding, providing access to online learning, and developing a state digital equity plan through the Public Service Commission.
  3. Supporting innovation. Recommendations include incentivizing and supporting Wisconsin based entrepreneurs, connecting research institutions with industry partners, and identifying trends in manufacturing that can be supported through entrepreneurship.