Milwaukee’s economy improving in 2010

February 1, 2010

By Jon Richards, 19th District State Representative

We have all seen the effects of this bad economy on our daily lives. Many of us know someone who has lost a job. Many people took a hit in the stock market. Many of our friends and neighbors are finding it difficult to find good-paying employment. While the environment for economic growth and improvement has been sobering recently, there are signs that 2010 will be a year of recovery.

One of the most exciting areas of growth in Milwaukee has been in the freshwater industry. In this year’s budget, I worked with Governor Doyle and my colleagues in the legislature to secure the largest single investment the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has ever seen. This investment focuses on UWM’s expansion of both the Schools of Freshwater Sciences and of Public Health. The money also will provide for a new research facility for the Engineering School.

We are also beginning to see the results of some of the economic innovation we in the legislature used in the state budget to help get Wisconsin back on track economically. We created tax credits to reward employers when they move jobs to Wisconsin or keep manufacturing jobs here.

We have seen two airlines at Mitchell International expand their presence in the region and add jobs. Bucyrus International has also announced it will add up to 500 new jobs to the Milwaukee area. I am confident these success stories will be replicated in 2010 both in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.

Our economy is not out of the woods yet. But, things are turning around. We in the Assembly are currently working on adding green jobs to our state’s economy. This month we began considering promising new initiatives that will create the groundwork for growing Milwaukee’s capacity to build the next generation of equipment that either saves energy or creates energy without burning fossil fuels. We have also formed a bipartisan group of business leaders and workforce representatives to develop creative solutions on how to grow Wisconsin’s economy. In 2010 we need to build on the successes of 2009 to attract new companies to Wisconsin and Milwaukee and expand world-class jobs in our city.

Jon Richards is the state representative for Wisconsin’s 19th state Assembly District, which includes Bay View, the Third Ward, eastern downtown, and the East Side. His website is jonrichards.org. He can be reached at (888) 534-0019 or rep.richards@legis.wi.gov.

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