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University of Wisconsin-Superior
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An unprecedented, major research program is being launched to focus on econonic trends and business opportunities in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, the findings of which will be presented every six months at Regional Economic Indicators Forums.
The forums will include detailed analyses of key regional indicators to be used by business and government leaders to help spur economic growth, prosperity and regional collaboration. The Regional Economic Indicators Forums will also include major keynote speakers.
National Bank of Commerce is coordinating and funding the ongoing research, which is being conducted by experts from the College of St. Scholastica, University of Minnesota Duluth and University of Wisconsin-Superior.
"The Regional Economic Indicators Forums are the first of this scope in the Northland to provide decision makers with solid, up-to-date information for their use in strategic planning, expansion and hiring considerations, and more," said Steve Burgess, CEO of National Bank of Commerce. "The greatest benefit is that by receiving new information every six months, companies will be able to more confidently consider new opportunities while also tracking this region's progress compared to other regions of the country."
The bank's underwriting of the program includes funding the CSS, UMD and UW-Superior research, coordinating and marketing the breakfast forums, and other logistics.
The study area will include the Minnesota counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine and St. Louis; and the Wisconsin counties of Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer and Washburn.
Specific economic indicators to be analyzed will include:
Leading the research from the educational institutions will be:
College of St. Scholastica - Anthony Barrett, Ph.D., and Robert Hoffman, Ph.D., professors of economics in the School of Business and Technology; and Jennifer Pilon, MA, assistant professor in the School of Business and Technology;
UMD - James Skurla, MA, director of UMD's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, where he conducts and supervises grant and contract regional economic and business research;
UW-Superior - Jerry Hembd, Ph.D., and Zamira S. Simkins, Ph.D., professors in the Department of Business and Economics.
Additional resources are being provided by the UMD Center for Economic Development, the UW-Superior Small Business Development Center, the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX), the Development Association of Superior-Douglas County and BusinessNorth.
"Since a major goal of the Regional Economic Indicators Forum is to foster collaboration among our region's businesses and other leaders to enhance prosperity, we believe these twice yearly gatherings will quickly become don't-miss events on everyone's calendars," said Burgess.
He said research is now underway and that the first Regional Economic Indicators Forum will be at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in the DECC's Harborside Ballroom in Duluth. The inaugural session's keynote speaker will be Toby Madden, a regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He is past president of the Minnesota Economic Association and serves on the Boards of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education, Saint Paul Academy of Finance and the Institute for Financial Economics.
Information provided by Steve Greenfield, Greenfield Communications.
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