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Seven Area Organizations Receive Awards at 2005 Synergy Conference

RELEASED: Sept. 30, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — Seven area organizations were recipients of Synergy 2005 awards at the conference held in Eau Claire Sept.14 and 15. The conference is a project of the Regional PK-16 Consortium, a council comprised of educational institutions and business partnerships in nine Wisconsin counties, designed to position West Central Wisconsin for economic growth.

Dr. Hank Hurley, president of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, presented awards in the following seven categories:

  • Human Capital Development — Recipient: OEM Fabricators, Woodville. OEM has participated in two major projects that have contributed to enhancing skilled labor in West Central Wisconsin.
  • Innovation — Recipient: Wisconsin Entrepreneur Network Regional Intake Centers. A partnership between the UW System, Wisconsin Technical College System, the WiSys Technology Foundation and the Agricultural Innovation Center, the Wisconsin Entrepreneur Network is an integrated statewide network that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Financial Capital — Recipient: West Central Wisconsin Technology Zone. Designated as part of the I-94 Corridor Technology Zone by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, six counties — Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix — received $5 million in tax credits to support new and expanding high technology businesses in the region. To date, the program has allocated $2.2 million to eleven businesses certified by the Department of Commerce. These tech zone supported businesses have invested over $107 million in the region while creating 435 new jobs that pay an average of $19.43 per hour.
  • Communication Infrastructure — Recipient: Polk County Board of Supervisors and Dairyland Power. Six transmission towers will be constructed to meet growing communications demands in Polk County. Three towers will be built by Dairyland Power; three will be constructed by Polk County. The sharing of towers will eliminate duplication of efforts by both parties.
  • Physical Infrastructure — Recipient: Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the US 53 and WIS 29 Construction Projects. Critical for linking the Chippewa Valley to the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chicago, Green Bay, and Superior, US 53 Freeway and WIS 29 connect Eau Claire, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls with freeways and ideally situates the Chippewa Valley for future economic development.
  • Quality of Life — Recipient: Downtown Eau Claire Revitalization. In the last 12 months downtown Eau Claire has seen the emergence of Phoenix Park, construction of Royal Credit Union's Corporate Headquarters, and return of the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation. Future development includes construction of a Farmers Market Pavilion, three mixed-use developments in the North Barstow redevelopment area, and a wireless downtown project.

Synergy 2006 will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Visit the Web site for more information about the Synergy conferences.

-30-

LW/NW

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