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ERIC Number: EJ982257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0194-3081
Building Regional Economic Growth and Innovation Capacity
Rafn, H. Jeffrey
New Directions for Community Colleges, n157 p29-41 Spr 2012
Like many states at the turn of the century, Wisconsin was faced with a multibillion-dollar deficit due to a sagging economy brought on by the dotcom bubble burst and the economic impact of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. As the state legislature grappled with the budget crisis, blame was freely assigned. The state was at fault for building in structural deficits in the prior years, not setting aside sufficient rainy-day funds, and creating unfunded mandates that pushed costs onto local governments (city, county, schools). Localities were at fault for wasteful spending, inordinate compensation and health insurance costs, redundant services, and having an unsustainable number of local jurisdictions. The manufacturing industry, upon which Wisconsin relied heavily, had failed to properly prepare for the next generation of technology, had made poor management decisions resulting in loss of profitability, had not adopted "lean" practices, and was ill-equipped to compete in the global market. While all of these factors and others undoubtedly played a part in the financial challenges faced by Wisconsin, the assignment of blame did nothing to address the long-term implications of these issues. A 2001 report by the Wisconsin Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on State-Local Partnerships for the twenty-first century, commonly referred to as the "Kettle Commission Report," noted that a high quality of life in twenty-first-century Wisconsin depended on the state defining and nurturing its regions. It urged the state to create strong incentives for local governments in each region to work collaboratively to make the region stronger. This call for regionalism was reinforced by a series of statewide economic summits initiated by the University of Wisconsin (UW) System. In turn, these summits spawned regional economic summits, which attracted a diverse set of actors spanning government, business, and education. In Northeast Wisconsin, the conversations that ensued led to a period of regional collaboration previously unseen. This article describes two of the most influential and enduring regional collaborations to come out of this period: (1) the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEWERA); and (2) New North. NEWERA is the precursor to the creation of New North and in many ways influenced its development. Lessons and insights from this case study are provided.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin