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While the online retail giant Amazon hasn't announced where it will locate its HQ2, its second headquarters; the company has announced a winnowed-down list. And the list didn't include anywhere in the Badger State. 

Reed Hall Leaving Top Post at WEDC

Aug 25, 2015

The CEO of Wisconsin's besieged job creation agency plans to retire from his position on Sept. 25. Reed Hall says he originally accepted the job for a three-month interim period and now, three years later, it's time to resume his retirement.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has been plagued by reports critical of its performance. Criticisms include that it failed to track delinquent loans and lacked documentation to justify many of its decisions.

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Problems have plagued the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation almost since its inception. Lawmakers continue tinkering with the public-private agency, trying to change it to their liking. Yet WEDC appears to be a permanent part of the political landscape, just as Gov. Scott Walker intended.

WEDC was one of Walker’s first “babies.” He announced its creation when he took office in January 2011.

“We will transform the Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership that will effectively promote commerce throughout Wisconsin,” Walker said.

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The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation – the quasi-public body created by Governor Walker to replace the state department in charge of job creation – has been plagued by controversy. Most recently, it’s taken criticism for a half-million dollar loan to a Walker campaign donor with a failing business.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Ann Althouse, Flickr

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, better known as WEDC, is in the limelight once again. 

State lawmakers in 2011 created the public private agency that replaced the Department of Commerce. Back then, the Walker administration argued that WEDC would be more efficient and create more jobs. However, since its inception the agency has been plagued by problems of job creation and retention and accountability to name a few. On Thursday, the state’s budget committee tackled how to move forward with WEDC.

Gov. Walker has asked legislators to abandon his proposal to merge WEDC and WHEDA, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

The Legislative Audit Bureau released a study Friday morning indicating that the public-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WEDC, has not complied with Wisconsin law.


The Legislature's Joint Finance committee has decided to release about $60 million to Gov. Scott Walker’s embattled jobs agency.  The vote was 11-4, along party lines.

WEDC Readjusts Its Numbers

Oct 30, 2013

Wisconsin's job-creation agency says its goal last year to create 50,000 jobs was overly optimistic, so its goal for this year is 20,825 private sector jobs.

State lawmakers who back the creation of a venture capital fund have changed their original proposal.


Two legislative panels sunk their teeth into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. on Thursday. A state audit has revealed evidence that WEDC gave taxpayer money to ineligible recipients and did not properly track loans and grants.

The Joint Finance committee voted to give WEDC $59M in the 2013-14 state budget but nothing in 2014-15 unless it improves.

The Joint Audit committee grilled WEDC executives for more than four hours.

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Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday presided over an emergency meeting of the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC.

The executive director of a Washington DC watchdog organization published a report prior to the creation of WEDC warning of potential transparency and accountability problems with similar public-private economic developments groups elsewhere.