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Benefitting Communities through Leadership Development

Wisconsin’s communities face complex challenges such as access to broadband and child care, which require effective leadership at the organizational level. However, communities face a leadership void. UW–Madison Extension’s Organizational and Leadership Development Program fosters leadership that is rooted in inclusive processes and drives purposeful action to benefit Wisconsin’s communities. Extension delivers leadership development programs […]

Strengthening Local Elected Officials’ Capacity

An increasingly polarized political environment has inspired new candidates to seek elected office — over 20 percent of municipal and county officials on average are newly elected during any particular two-year period. Newly elected officials need a trustworthy source of information in order to understand their duties and responsibilities. UW–Madison Extension’s Local Government Education Program […]

Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship brings many benefits to Wisconsin communities, including job and income growth and overall economic stability. Additionally, it supports the development of a community identity and improves residents’ quality of life. However, the success of entrepreneurs is hindered by a lack of business development assistance and weakened entrepreneurial ecosystems. UW–Madison Extension’s Community Economic Development Program […]

Innovating Local Government by Developing Leaders

Wisconsin’s 72 counties, 604 cities and villages, and 1,250 towns are tasked with delivering services that support individuals, families, organizations, and businesses. In many cases, the demand for services is greater than the available resources requiring local governments to find innovative solutions to better serve their citizenry. In an effort to build toward innovative solutions, […]

Increasing Elected Officials’ Understanding of Their Duties

Wisconsin has close to 2,000 local governments and 10,000 local elected officials. Every year, a quarter of these elected officials are newly elected and appointed. To govern effectively and conduct day-to-day business, local elected officials must understand statutory legal, operational, and ethical requirements. These essential areas include roles and responsibilities; open and effective meetings (including […]

Growing Community Health through Gardens

Community gardens provide a variety of learning opportunities and foster multiple societal benefits including environmental stewardship, social capital, food security, and civic engagement. When community gardens are viewed solely through the lenses of food production or healthy food access, Extension and its partners miss opportunities to understand and amplify other direct and indirect impacts that […]

Supporting Wisconsin’s Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs

Wisconsin communities rely on businesses and entrepreneurs to increase overall economic well-being and quality of life. Businesses and entrepreneurs require critical information and knowledge of resources to be successful. Knowledge of these resources strengthens the local entrepreneurial networks that support existing businesses and enhance entrepreneurship. This helps increase the quantity and quality of entrepreneurial activity, […]

Nonprofits Addressing Complex Community Issues

Nonprofits play an important role in addressing complex community issues ranging from homelessness and social justice, to water quality and mental health. Local governments rely on nonprofits to deliver programs and services to residents at low cost. Nonprofits also contribute to the economy, employing 11.9% of Wisconsin’s workforce with an annual average wage of $50,243 […]

Building Capacity to Govern

There are 1,923 Wisconsin local governments, and close to 10,000 elected governing body members in Wisconsin. To govern effectively, Wisconsin’s local government elected officials and staff need to understand their roles and responsibilities to help their community thrive. Extension’s Local Government Education Program provides educational programs to train, inform, and challenge Wisconsin’s local government elected […]

Supporting Food Entrepreneurs of Color

Business ownership serves as an important vehicle for wealth creation, especially for members of economically disadvantaged communities. Research shows that, in Wisconsin, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) have disproportionately low levels of business ownership and have demonstrably weaker relationships with key people and institutions in the small business development field, such as lenders. […]

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