Testimony of Errin Welty Senior Downtown Development Director, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Assembly Committee on Rural Development
23 May 2023
Good morning. My name is Errin Welty, and I am the Senior Downtown Development Director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. I would like to thank Representative Armstrong and the Rural Development Committee for inviting me here today to talk about WEDC’s downtown development programs and their role in rural economic development.
Before I get into a deeper discussion of the Main Street and Connect Communities programs, I want to emphasize how critical thriving rural communities are to WEDC and to our state’s economic future. Creating communities where people want to live, work, and grow is essential to attracting and retaining both businesses and talent. At WEDC, we are investing in our rural communities through programs like the Main Street Bounceback Grants, Workforce Innovation Grants, Community Development Investment Grants, and the activities of the Office of Rural Prosperity. Since you have already heard Deputy Secretary Sam Rikkers speak about many of these efforts, I would like to remind you that the projects I’m highlighting here today are just one aspect of WEDC’s overall strategy on rural development.