Oct 10, 201711:57 AMInside Wisconsin
with Tom Still
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, the seeds of a tech-based economy are growing
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It’s easy to forget, especially if you live there, that the Madison area has a lot going on when it comes to competing in the knowledge-based economy.
Recent reminders were: The descent of thousands of customers on Epic Systems, the electronic health records giant that commands the lion’s share of the U.S. market; the techy theme at the annual meeting of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce; a UW–Madison campus session on how the $2.6 billion Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation will spark more entrepreneurial activity; and a spate of news about company breakthroughs, grants, and investments.
That’s pretty much within a week or so. Community leaders in other cities, including many cities much larger, wish they could see that much momentum in a month.
One such community is Milwaukee, where there are seeds of a tech-based economy that still need a fair amount of tending.
That was the overall message at a recent meeting of the Public Policy Forum of Milwaukee, where the 104-year-old independent think tank raised the curtain on a report that examined how southeast Wisconsin is performing when it comes to building a knowledge-based economy.
The report concluded the four-county metro region has made progress in strengthening its pool of educated workers and in adding scientists, engineers, and other tech workers. However, the region continues to struggle compared to similar-sized metropolitan areas when other indicators are measured.
“Our analysis finds that our region has been losing more businesses than it’s creating, and that we’re lagging peer cities when it comes to entrepreneurship and capital formation,” said Joe Peterangelo, the report’s lead author. “These discouraging trends are countered, however, by a growing number of college graduates and an increased number of science and technology workers in our regional workforce.”