Forward Award Winner: Kenosha County

Kenosha County, located between Chicago and Milwaukee, is one of the fastest growing counties in Wisconsin. Since 2000, its population has grown by 12.6% (more than double the state average of 6%). Since 2013, economic developments within its borders have accounted for nearly 10,200 jobs and more than $2.1 billion in capital investment.

The county government fosters economic development by making investments in infrastructure, such as the expansion of roads and repaving of existing roadways. It also created the High Impact Fund, which is managed by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. County executive Jim Kreuser said over the past decade he has budgeted, and the County Board has approved, $3.75 million of county investment into the fund, which can help close the deal when Kenosha County competes for business relocations or expansions.

“These funds have been awarded to nine companies or developments, producing roughly 1,500 new jobs and more than $168 million in new private investment,” he said. “I would call the High Impact Fund a smart investment for Kenosha County.”

Kreuser also noted the county’s commitment to quality-of-life issues. It has used federal funding and public-private partnerships to improve the county parks systems. Improvements include refurbishing and constructing new bike trails and providing free wireless internet access at parks and downtown Kenosha.

1010 56th St., Kenosha
Industry: Government
Employees: Roughly 1,200

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