Wisconsin Economic Development


“In Wisconsin you really can have it all: central location, strong infrastructure, amazing quality of life, low cost of doing business–and some of the best workers in the world. We’re investing in Wisconsin’s future by partnering with businesses as they grow, ensuring that every community thrives.

— Missy Hughes, Secretary & CEO,
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The View From Wisconsin: Governor Tony Evers

The state of Wisconsin is an environment that spurs investment and instills confidence in the future. With a balanced budget and a fully funded pension system, the state’s leadership acknowledges the importance of fiscal responsibility in helping business owners launch and expand their operations in Wisconsin. The state is poised to lead advancements in such pivotal industries as biohealth, water technology, energy, food production and manufacturing, among others. A distinct blend of public-private partnerships across industry, government and academia have come together to bring about economic growth.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

Business Facilities spoke with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers about the business climate in his state and the latest developments.

BF: Please tell us about the current business environment in Wisconsin. What are a few highlights in the state’s economy?

Governor Evers: Wisconsin’s economy is thriving thanks to the strategic investments our state has made in kids and schools, high-speed internet, roads, and infrastructure, communities, and businesses of all sizes and types. This approach has resulted in record low unemployment and record high labor force participation rates—36,000 more people are working now than before the pandemic. Additionally, Wisconsin has been ranked as the number one state in the country for the share of federal recovery funding under the American Rescue Plan Act we directed to businesses, and second for share on economic development. Of the $1.1 billion Wisconsin allocated toward the economy, $363.3 million was spent on general economic development, $130 million for workforce development, and $641.7 million for assistance to businesses.

Wisconsin also has a record budget surplus of over $4 billion, a fully-funded public pension system, and has been recently ranked second nationally for new small business survival over a 10-year period. These achievements demonstrate the state’s commitment to sustained economic growth…

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Population (July 2022 est.): 5,892,539¹
Largest Cities (2020): Milwaukee (576,301); Madison (268,846); Green Bay (107,114); Kenosha (99,733); Racine (77,578)¹
Real GDP (2022): $312 billion²

¹U.S. Census Bureau
²Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept. of Commerce


Water Technology: As a state with over 15,000 freshwater lakes, Wisconsin knows water. Access to ample fresh water has put the state at the forefront of commercial activity in agriculture, power generation, and more.

Biohealth: Wisconsin is addressing global health and sustainability challenges and propelling the world toward better solutions through proven expertise across the full biohealth spectrum, including medical devices and diagnostics, biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals, digital health, and health research.

Manufacturing: The leadership in manufacturing stems from a drive to craft products that make life better and the feeling of accomplishment it brings. 86% of exports are manufactured goods, and they support 95,000 jobs.


KCS International Inc.
Fiserv Solutions, LLC
Sysco Eastern Wisconsin, LLC
Mayville Engineering Company, Inc.
American Orthodontics Corporation


Wisconsin Economic DevelopmentFrom our central location and extensive transportation infrastructure to our experienced, educated workforce – there are countless reasons to choose Wisconsin. From site selection through construction, opening and expansion, we can help you and your clients realize their vision. Let Wisconsin show you how to truly Look Forward.
Doing business in Wisconsin
Wisconsin welcomes businesses to settle into its charming cities, like Milwaukee, and take advantage of the incentives the state has to offer. (Photo: courtesy of Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.)


The Workforce Innovation Grant Program supports regions of Wisconsin to solve pressing workforce challenges by providing maximum grants to organizations to create innovative plans that address challenges stemming from COVID-19.


#2 Manufacturing Jobs (% of workforce)
2023 State Rankings
#3 Manufacturing Output (% of GDP)
2023 State Rankings
Top 10 Agribusiness
2023 State Rankings
Top 10 Food Processing
2023 State Rankings
Top 10 Medtech / Medical Devices
2023 State Rankings
Top 5 Most Affordable Cities (Over 500K Pop.): Milwaukee
2023 Metro Rankings
Top 5 Tech Talent Leaders (Labor Pool Under 50K): Madison
2023 Metro Rankings
Top 5 Food Processing: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MI-WI
2023 Metro Rankings
Top 10 Best Business Climate (Mid-Sized): Madison
2023 Metro Rankings

From the July / August 2023 issue of Business Facilities


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