AN UPDATE FROM MOMENTUM WEST
By Randi Osberg, Chairperson
It has been an interesting and eventful first quarter for Momentum West. The much leaner Board has met and reorganized extensively. I have been elected as Chairperson, Dick Best of Workforce Resource has been elected Vice-Chair, and James Hanke of Xcel Energy has been elected as Secretary-Treasurer.
As part of its re-positioning efforts, Momentum West elected to pro-actively reach out to the region’s County Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) for guidance in establishing organizational priorities. Workforce Resource and the West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board sponsored this Momentum West effort, by authorizing its organizational development consultant, Bruce Siebold, of Rusk Prairie Consulting, to conduct interviews with all of the EDCs in our region as the core of this effort. Bruce, along with Chris Smith of Dunn County Economic Development Corporation and Bruce Barker of Chippewa Valley Technical College, contacted all of the EDCs in our region and solicited their comments. Bruce Seibold then met with the Board and presented his findings.
The Board wishes to thank Bruce Siebold, Chris Smith, Bruce Barker and Workforce Resource, Inc. for the assistance with this effort that was so critical to enabling Momentum West to validate its mission and direction.
Two basic questions were posed to each of the EDCs. First, what areas should Momentum West improve on from its past efforts? Second, what role should Momentum West play in the future?
Consensus regarding improving on past efforts was to establish strong communication and collaboration strategies to assure that Momentum and EDC efforts were complimentary to one another and clearly communicated to eliminate potential for confusion and redundancy. Additionally, that Momentum would benefit from greater clarity and focus in its mission. That focus is to emphasize regional marketing and working closely with the EDCs to concentrate on regional efforts that would add to and enhance, but not duplicate those activities normally conducted by the EDCs.
Consensus regarding the role Momentum West should play in the future indicated focus should be:
Based on those findings and recommendations, board member James Hanke developed a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) partnership funding proposal that was approved by the Board and that has been submitted for approval to the WEDC. The proposal contains four basic areas of funding assistance:
The Board agreed that these were all items that reinforced and were compatible with the guidance and direction provided by the region’s EDCs. Additionally, these initiatives appear to be well within the current capacity of Momentum West as it strives to focus on its refined mission and solidify its new collaborative direction.
The Board is committed to proving the organization’s worth and importance to the Momentum West Region through accomplishing objectives, which are:
Momentum will use resources currently at its disposal to commence initial activities in the four priority areas above and will take on additional related projects deemed appropriate by the Board and stake-holders as they are identified and resources become available. Additional resources will be sought to provide necessary match for the WEDC funds we anticipate in the very near future. Future resource solicitation will be made for specific project initiatives and to supplement organizational capabilities in keeping with potential investor funding cycles as we progress toward 2013.
We look forward to sharing regular updates with you as we refine our communications strategies and have additional accomplishments and issues to bring to your attention. Matters currently under review, including finalizing our organizational support plan, will be approached in the thoughtful, careful manner necessary to attain our objectives within the constraints of available resources.
Much remains to be done, and we appreciate your patience and support while we re-establish – “Momentum”.
Any suggestions and comments are always welcome. Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 715-834-3425. You may also contact the other Momentum West Board members.