RURAL PROSPERITY PILOT PROJECTS

PROJECTS TO ENHANCE RURAL INITIATIVES

The Rural Voices for Prosperity Report highlighted the need for flexibility and innovation as State agencies and organizations design programs to enhance rural initiatives. Please contact the Office of Rural Prosperity team if you have an idea for a Pilot Project. A few of the ongoing efforts are highlighted here.

Broadband

WEDC is working with the Public Service Commission (PSC) and UW Extension to create a permanent program to provide ongoing technical assistance for rural communities. The PSC offers an interim grant application available until July 27, 2021. Find additional information here.

Climate Equity Map

It’s vital for state government to target resources towards communities most in need. While tools exist to assess socioeconomic need, programs lack an easily accessible, interactive tool that accounts for both socioeconomic and environmental health burdens at the census tract level. The creation of a climate equity map will help identify tracts—rural and urban—most in need of resources and investment. In collaboration with other state agencies and the UW system, this project will provide vital information as new initiatives develop to improving prosperity in rural Wisconsin, low-income communities of color, tribal communities, and environmental protection.

Forest Products Industry Diversification

Wisconsin’s rich and abundant forests—and the many value-added products we create with these plentiful resources—are vital contributors to our state’s economic welfare, accounting for more than $35 billion of our economic output. Yet driven by globalization, technology changes, environmental considerations and many other factors, this key industry is at risk and changing rapidly. Find additional information here.