Why did WEDC create the Certified In Wisconsin® program?

The 2010 “Be Bold Wisconsin” study demonstrated that Wisconsin’s sites and permitting process consistently garnered less-than-favorable ratings. A lack of shovel-ready, pre-certified sites introduces unnecessary risk to prospective industrial investors. The Certified In Wisconsin program will close an important gap in Wisconsin’s competitiveness with other states. Certified sites also increase the comfort level of projects by removing unknowns about a site, and by accelerating the site due diligence and implementation timeline.

What are the objectives of WEDC’s Certified In Wisconsin program?

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is working with Deloitte Consulting to create consistent standards for industrial site certification in Wisconsin. “Certification” communicates that the key approvals, documentations and assessments most commonly required for industrial uses will already be in place. Certification criteria have been developed based on representative needs of advanced manufacturing projects.

What are the steps for identifying sites for possible certification?

  • Deloitte and WEDC have prepared an online Request for Information (RFI), using Deloitte’s Geosite platform.
  • Those who wish to administer a site submission should call Zanya Bugri at 608.210.6855 to receive a link to the online RFI.
  • Geosite is the only channel through which sites may be submitted.
  • Deloitte will conduct a desktop review of submitted sites to select a pool to be visited for field investigations this summer.
  • All sites entered into Geosite will be added to LocateInWisconsin, regardless of the site’s certification status.

What is the selection process?

Step 1:

  • Complete the web-based program RFI, submitting all initial data collection requirements (to represent that the site meets specific thresholds), and document general information about the site.
  • Deloitte will conduct a desktop review of all sites meeting the initial data collection requirements.
  • Out of the desktop review process, approximately 20 sites will be carried forward to Step 2.
  • WEDC will notify sites not selected to advance into Step 2.

Step 2:

  • Preparation for additional documentation for review during field investigation.
  • Deloitte will conduct a field investigation to validate that a site meets all of the predefined site certification criteria.
  • Deloitte will notify sites not selected. Sites with gaps in certification criteria that cannot be mitigated will not be certified. Deloitte will clearly identify and communicate these gaps to the submitting party.

Why is the application fee at the amount it is, and what is it used for?

The fee is used to pay for the actual site visit by Deloitte to verify the site meets the certification requirements. WEDC is underwriting the cost of this certification, so if a site owner or community wanted to do this on their own, the cost could be 50 percent higher than the fee required through the WEDC Certified In Wisconsin program.

When is the fee required to be paid?

The fee is required to be paid to WEDC prior to the site visit. Deloitte will not perform a site visit until payment is made.

What is the minimum required acreage for a certified site?

The minimum site size is 20 contiguous acres.

What are the requirements related to distance to an Interstate or four-lane highway?

There are no mileage requirements for proximity to an Interstate or four-lane restricted access highway. However, Deloitte will still need to understand the site’s proximity to these highways.

What happens if a site is not initially selected in the first year, and we want to apply again?

From the initial site visit, Deloitte will determine if any conditions of the site are not met and allow those causes to be corrected. If those areas are addressed immediately, Deloitte will make a final determination on certification. If they are not addressed, Deloitte will need to do another site visit to verify the changes have been made, and that no conditions of the site have changed. At this early stage in the program, WEDC has not determined what the additional cost of this final site visit will be.

How will WEDC market the certified sites?

Deloitte will provide WEDC a data sheet on each site. The certified sites will have an exclusive layer on the LocateInWisconsin.com website. WEDC will provide this information for any relevant RFI it receives. Additional marketing will be determined by WEDC as it begins its work with a marketing agency to brand and market Wisconsin’s overall business climate and resources.