Report: Transitioning Milwaukee’s economy a ‘work in progress’

    A new report describes Milwaukee’s transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a knowledge economy as a "work in progress," saying the city lags behind comparable metro areas despite improvement in many economic indicators.
    The Public Policy Forum introduced its report, titled "Pursuing Innovation," at the group’s annual meeting Wednesday in Milwaukee.
    The analysis indicates the Milwaukee area enjoys a high level of skilled workers and a favorable percentage of small business employment. But it also shows the city falling behind in the rates of scientists and engineers, the level of patent activity and the presence of so-called "knowledge workers." The PPF report showed Milwaukee ranking below every other peer city in the study except Indianapolis in the level of knowledge workers.
    The report also indicates that despite a rise in educational attainment and a doubling of incoming university research funding to the Milwaukee area, the region still lags cities such as Austin, Texas, Portland, Ore., Minneapolis and Cincinnati.
    "Significant groundwork has been laid to grow our region’s innovation capacity. But sustaining these efforts requires continued evaluation and assessment to ensure that our economy is moving in the right direction," the report says. "Just as it takes more than an idea to move an innovation to market, active leadership will be necessary to keep the many innovation-focused efforts working together and producing results."
    Read the report:

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