Menomonie, Dunn County, UW-Stout collaborating on new economic development position

Agreement will fund hiring of point person to promote business and industry growth across the county
​Jerry Poling | February 29, 2024

Six entities in Dunn County have come together to boost economic development in the region.

The City of Menomonie, Dunn County, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Dunn County Economic Development Corporation, Greater Menomonie Development Corporation and the Stout Technology and Business Park have signed a memorandum of agreement to jointly fund a position aimed at boosting business and industry activity throughout Dunn County.

The new position will initially focus on the following areas:

  • Retention and expansion of current businesses
  • New business development, including start-ups
  • Fostering the development of new housing
  • Business attraction.
An aerial view of Menomonie, looking north from the UW-Stout campus and downtown.
A shared economic development position has been created involving UW-Stout, foreground, the City of Menomonie, Dunn County and three other local entities. / UW-Stout

“This shared position will allow the greater community to respond in a comprehensive way to the needs of business and industry,” said UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank. “It’s not just about attracting new business to the region but also working with existing businesses and providing streamlined resources.”

“Various entities have been individually promoting development, causing some confusion for businesses,” said Dunn County Manager Kris Korpela. “By offering a single point of contact we hope to reduce the confusion and increase the response time.” 

“The plan was approved by all six participating entities and is reflective of the strong working relationship between everyone,” said Menomonie City Administrator Eric Atkinson. “By pooling our resources, we are spreading out the costs and coordinating our collective development efforts.”

The fully funded salary and fringe benefits are uncommon within economic development corporations. Many such positions require the employee to raise money for their salary. “This is creating a more secure position,” said Seth Hudson, executive director of UW-Stout Corporate Relations and Economic Engagement.

The idea for the shared position came from a Dunn County economic development summit held in summer 2023. Attendees included the city, county, UW-Stout, Momentum West, the Workforce Investment Board, the Greater Menomonie Chamber of Commerce, the business community and others.

The city, county and university will collaborate on the hiring process, which will begin immediately.

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