Tuesday’s announcement that the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) is leaving the Milwaukee region and relocating to Arlington, Texas, is a disappointment, but not a shock.
The City of Milwaukee and the City of Cudahy, respectively, put together highly competitive financial packages to keep the USBC here. The State of Wisconsin and Visit Milwaukee are also to be commended for their significant contributions.
All stepped-up to keep the USBC here. If this were about simple economics, the announcement Tuesday would likely have been different.
The reality is that the USBC wanted to join forces with the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, a separate bowling organization which is already located in Arlington. It was an internal strategic decision.
Our efforts gave the USBC reason to seriously reconsider what appeared to be a done-deal a couple months ago.
The M-7 proposal was aggressive, thorough and timely.
The region lost one Tuesday, but let’s not forget the bigger picture. We have a deep, diverse economy with one million jobs and 52,000 businesses.
There are going to be wins and losses … and we’ve had our share of the former. M-7 wins include 10 corporate expansions or relocations that have created/saved 3,600 jobs with $323 million in direct and indirect payroll.
Recent successes include:
- The Gehl Co.’s $20 million headquarters expansion and new R&D facility in West Bend, with 190 jobs retained and 90 to be added.
- C&D Technologies’ new multimillion-dollar battery research facility planned for Milwaukee, an investment of $19 million, with 150 new jobs to be added.
Companies like Gehl and C&D epitomize the future we are building – technology-intensive companies that export their goods and services outside the region, thereby bringing jobs, capital and investment into the region.
We aren’t happy with the USBC’s decision, but nobody here is hanging their head.
Jim Paetsch is director of corporate expansion and relocation for the Milwaukee 7. For additional information, visit www.choosemilwaukee.com.