Infrastructure Development Activities
- Our business park planning committee met throughout the quarter with the county’s consult, Cedar Corporation, to plan out a visual for the park, plus planning for costs related to road and future utility infrastructure. A wetland delineation study was done, final stages of park visual and costs, along with a document which will be crucial to marketing the park.
- The Towns Association of Ashland/Bayfield County met in May at the Town of Pilsen. I provided the group an overview of what our Broadband Regional Group has worked on within the past two years, and Mark Scribner of CenturyLink gave an update, saying it is very likely that the Bayfield 779 exchange for fiber optic further buildout should be in que for 2017, and the Washburn 373 exchange, should be in the following year of 2018.
- I brought Brian Deaner and Jeff Hudson of USDA Rural Development to the Historic Washburn Civic Center to meet with Mary Nowakowski. They gave Mary some additional ideas which should be helpful as she and her board continues to pursue a funding plan for the rest of the work to be done here on infrastructure. Mary has had interest in tenants to site in the building which can be very helpful as she prepares funding applications.
Local/Regional Projects & Events
- I attended a meeting at WITC, where manufacturers from the area had been invited to become informed about a mobile training to businesses, called Mechatronics to serve interested businesses by this fall.
- Our WIN-LS committee is planning to host an event at WITC on Sept. 22nd, inviting District Administrators/Tech-Ed staff to hear how bringing a Fab-Lab for teaching and problem solving around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. This is an effort to encourage the districts to heighten their curriculum to encourage students for further tech-ed training.
- I attended the RiSE event in Ashland, with collaborators Vision’s Northwest, NorthWerd and NWWIB. This event involved updates from the Dept. of Workforce development, and an input session for those in attendance to share crucial needs in Economic Development, Education and Workforce Development.
- I attended our Vision’s Northwest meeting. We had Ray Allen, the Secretary of the Dept. of Workforce development share thoughts about engaging businesses with schools and parents to encourage interest at a young age in career choices.
- I attended a joint Northland College/USDA Rural Development meeting to share my perspective of agricultural activity in Bayfield County, and to update on our Business Park planning. Tom Cogger, from Bayfield Regional Food Producers reviewed how they are growing their business at the site.
BCEDC Specific Projects
- Our marketing committee of the BCEDC got together and was joined by Brian Hanson of APEX, bringing in the business attraction portion of how we want to blend local marketing plus outreach marketing. We all shared homework we had done on producing marketing statements that we can begin to get out to chambers, media, etc.
- I was involved with the second Career Development Day which we organized for Drummond High School. Four area business people from the Cable area joined Brad Gingras of NWCEP and Drew Nussbaum of the Dept. of Tourism to round out the day of career curriculum insight for students in grades 9-12.
- I attended our 2nd event of the year of Business on Stage, the Larson Juhl Story. Roger Larson, the founder spoke about how he founded and grew the business, and Paul Timmons of the Ashland Larson Juhl plant provided the timeline of history of Roger’s sale to Craig Ponzio in 1981, Craig’s sale to Berkshire Hathaway in 2002 and to the present.
- I visited with Greg Fischer and Emma Wiermaa of UWSP-NADF in Red Cliff. We confirmed the $5K grant award for Bayfield High School received from the Apostle Islands Community Fund for their aquaponics curriculum, and are awaiting word on another similar grant we applied for Washburn/Ashland High Schools, both grants written in partnership with Ian Meeker, of Bayfield County 4H.
- In a meeting with our website designer, we discussed recommendations for increasing traffic to the site, which involves investing in google ad word promotion for the balance of the year to drive more visitors there now and into 2017.
Q2 2016 Total Business Visits: 55
– Scottie Sandstrom, Executive Director