LICI Project Description

This project stems from an overall economic strategy for the Lakeshore Sub-Region of The New North and federally recognized Regional Economic Development Districts.   The area’s economic vitality has long relied on the major industries of Manufacturing, Agriculture and Tourism, in addition to recent growing exploration and investment into the emerging industry cluster of Energy Generation.


Stimulating industry cluster engagement, along with stimulating entrepreneurial and innovation activity have been identified as an approach to employment growth through the comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) process as well as by The New North, an 18 county regional development organization, and the Lakeshore Sub-Region Five County Collaborative.


Therefore, the development of a focused economic development program designed to utilize cluster industry engagement and mapping to augment, expand and diversify the economy in Lakeshore Sub-Region counties of Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan provides new opportunity to leverage the assets currently in existence to drive new economic growth.  The region also includes a number of entrepreneurial development and workforce training programs, partnering with our educational institutional partners. The programs are designed to assist start up enterprises and existing business expansions, and train to match the skills need by the regions employers with the intention to retain displaced workers in the region. 


Lakeshore Sub-Region Cluster Initiative Objectives and Outcomes:

To initiate a forward looking approach to economic development which increases economic activity and innovation in the Lakeshore region and:

  • Engages Industry in analysis of Manufacturing, Energy, Food and Tourism Industry Clusters.

    Outcome: Completed asset mapping – value supply chain analysis for four Industries in the Five County Lakeshore region.

    • Creates new market and vendor connections  

      Outcome: Create 10 new partnership arrangements and/or vendor supplier relationships.

      • Identifies and capitalizes on new development opportunities 

        Outcome: Each Cluster develops action plan with measureable outcome goals.

        • Increases revenue streams  

        Outcome: Increase participating businesses revenues by average of 5-10%

        • Facilitates Pro-active retention and industry growth strategy   

          Outcome:  Create or retain 500 jobs.

          Roles of Industry Cluster Teams

          Industry Cluster Teams will be led by key industry leaders and representatives engaged in collectively identifying, mapping and leveraging assets for additional growth and development.  The Industry Cluster Teams will be supported by Economic Development Corporation staff members and contracted experienced Industry Cluster Facilitator (consultant contract).

          • Industry engaged strategic analysis to identify new opportunities for expansion, diversification and collaboration;
          • Build synergistic networks within and between industry sectors;
          • Identify and remove barriers and impediments;
          • Strategic ‘think-tanks;’
          • Create new investment and growth opportunities.

           Click here to view the complete Project Description.

          Role of Industry Cluster Groups

          Each Industry Cluster Team will consist of 15-20 industry representatives, who will form the nucleus of each cluster. The role of the Industry Cluster working teams will be to:

          • Undertake detailed strategic analysis of local industry segments, and in particular identify promising new areas of industry expansion and diversification;
          • Explore new approaches to build synergistic networks within and between existing industry sectors;
          • Identify impediments and barriers to local expansion and profitability of existing and new industry sectors;
          • Act as a catalyst to remove barriers, expand investment and stimulate a stronger industry sector.

          Click here to view the Expectations of Participation.

          Who to Contact for More Information

          To learn more about how to leverage a competitive advantage in this rapidly changing marketplace and express interest in being involved in an industry cluster, be a sponsor, or to find out more information about this engaging new business development program for the Lakeshore economy, please contact Connie Loden at [email protected] or 920-482-0540, or your local Economic Development Organization listed below.

          Calumet County – Julie Schmelzer - (920) 849-1493 ext. 442

          Door County EDC – Bill Chaudoir – (920) 743-3113

          Kewaunee County EDC – Jennifer Brown - (920) 487-5233

          EDC Manitowoc County – Connie Loden (920) 482-0540

          Sheboygan County EDC – Peter Thillman (920) 242-0689 or Dane Checolinski (920) 452-2479

          Lakeshore Technical College – Peter Thillman (920) 242-0689

          New North Inc – Jerry Murphy – (920) 336-3860

          Northeast Wisconsin Technical College – Lori Suddick – (920) 498-5401

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