A report from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) assesses the complex ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wisconsin and identifies priorities for the state’s recovery efforts.
The 150-page report, “Wisconsin Tomorrow – An Economy for All,” was submitted to lawmakers and Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday. The state’s COVID-19 relief legislation, 2019 Act 185, directed WEDC to submit a plan by June 30 “for providing support to the major industries in this state that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency, including tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, forest products, construction, retail and services.”
In light of the evolving nature of the pandemic and its still-unfolding impact on the state’s economy, the report calls for the state to focus on three priorities:
- Get Everyone Back to Work: The report notes that COVID-19 has transformed Wisconsin’s workforce. Many service-sector jobs, particularly in retail and restaurants, have been eliminated and are not likely to return. It will be crucial to reskill and train people who lost their jobs. The pandemic has reinforced access to high-quality childcare, early childhood education and health care as essential to the economy.
- Fix Broadband: The pandemic has highlighted the digital divide in our state. Education, e-commerce, remote working and even contact with government depend on access to computers and high-speed internet.
- Support Innovation: Innovation fuels job growth, as well as flexibility and resiliency in our businesses. In a time of constrained resources and risk aversion, Wisconsin has the chance to use its innovative, entrepreneurial spirit to launch its recovery.
The report can be found online at: wedc.org/wisconsin-tomorrow.