Community Progress Initiative, Wisconsin, USA (2004 – 2008)

Community Progress Initiative, Wisconsin, USA (2004 – 2008)

An award-winning example of regional, community and economic development.

Project Overview

The Community Progress Initiative, launched in April 2004 and running until 2008, aimed to create an ‘innovative, self-reliant and business friendly culture in a vibrant community with a prosperous local economy’. This initiative, a joint project between the Heart of Wisconsin Business and Economic Alliance and the Community Foundation of South Wood County, was created to address the substantial local economic impact of the downturn in the paper manufacturing industry.
The initiative aimed to:

  • Create a business-friendly environment and empower entrepreneurs.
  • Shape a shared vision for people throughout the region.
  • Stimulate new enterprises, resulting in additional job opportunities.
  • Build the area’s charitable assets to support sustainable community development.
  • Motivate emerging young leaders to drive positive change.
  • Inspire community spirit and pride.
  • The initiative has been directly credited with the creation of more than 1500 jobs, and having a significant and lasting impact on the community leadership and direction.

Future iQ's Role in this Project

    • Collaborative design of the initiative and facilitation at numerous launch and media events
    • Design and delivery of key elements of the initiative, including:
      • Entrepreneurial Boot Camps
      • Industry Clusters
      • Leadership programs
      • Study Tours
      • Community Progress Teams
    • Contribution from a methodological perspective for the numerous awards this initiative were awarded nationally, including:
      • USA Small Business Administration national award for innovation in job creation (2005)
      • Nominated for the 2005 International Community Development Society awards
      • Voted Top Rural Development Initiative, Wisconsin (2005)
      • Recipient of Critical Impact Award for Grant Making by National Council on Foundations in Washington DC. (2008)
Industry economy of produce Economic development Wisconsin sunset Industry Printing and paper manufacturing

Additional Resources and More Information