SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with Katy Sinnott from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp

Link to podcast found HERE

Transcript to podcast found below:

Bill : Hi and welcome to the next episode of belly to belly. And today we’re going to talk more about how to prepare best for select USA 2022. And we’re joined by one of our great friends from the state of Wisconsin. welcome Katie. How are you today?

Katy : I’m really good, Bill. I’m excited to be here. So happy that Select USA is coming back in person really excited.

Bill : Having withdrawl and it’s it’ll be so good to see everybody in person again this year and I know you all have been participating for quite a few years probably since the beginning. And you know, like, as you look at select USA and you think about your services, you know, what are what is WEDC, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation? What do you do to help companies coming into Wisconsin

Katy : We do so much for our companies. We have full wraparound service, from the very beginning. When you’re thinking about where you want to locate in the United States, we provide all of the industry strengths that you’re interested in, talking about the workforce that you’ll be accessing, talking about the long term pipeline for your workforce and how that matches what you need. So we’re covering you when you’re just looking for your location. And once you have decided on the location, we help you in your next step. That’s the build up. We hope to get all of your authorizations for construction. We help you access the construction needs that you have as well as understanding permitting and if it’s a very, very large program, or project we would help you develop your own team was constant that will help you with that permitting process. And then lastly, we will open and we’ll be with you for long term. We wouldn’t just stay around for just the VA into the state, but we’re here to help you grow in the state. Selecting a new location of your country is a huge decision. And every company is very concerned that they’re committing to the right location, and they’re committed long term. So we speak with you from the very thing where you’re looking, select the location from the build out into your future growth in

Bill : Wow, that’s fantastic. So really a multi phased approach to help with that decision give the appropriate sort of data and, and, and connection and then the process of both landing and then and then growing. It’s it really sounds very comprehensive.

Katy : And that includes also the incentives that we offer.

Bill : Fantastic. Well this is it’s great and certainly our audience, all international companies coming in and looking to come into the US so this is really appropriate. And again as I said off the top you all have been a part of Select USA for quite a number of years. Why? What is it about Select USA that’s so important? And why do you participate?

Katy : Select USA is the most robust attraction event in the United States. There is no place where you can see a number of companies that are focused on expansion into the United States, where companies can meet the largest number of states in one location, of course reducing their costs for investigative process, as well as meeting all of the key leaders in the federal government as well as the state government the understand how play help companies land in Wisconsin and the United States

Bill : That’s wonderful. Actually. I’ve heard people refer to it as the World Cup of US market entry. It’s kind of where you can see everybody all in one room and be very efficient in terms of making those connections. So yeah,

Katy : companies can easily target the states that they’re interested in walk. have similar discussions with each state great understanding of what they have to offer.

Bill : Now that’s fantastic. And that’s probably a really good segue to our next question, which is, you know, you think of the companies coming in some of into the US before and done, you know, whether they have customers who already are or you know, they’ve certainly done some market visits, others so it’ll be their first trip and for many their first time to select USA, how would you suggest that companies get the most out of the not just going to select USA but also in their in this trip to the US how can they really leverage their time?

Katy : Sure, they’re, I guess two aspects one’s the event and then what to do after or before the event. I think when you’re talking about the Select USA Summit, it’d be pretty overwhelming. It is a huge event. So I think there are a couple key things that companies need to do. One, they need to do their homework, right? They need to have a well defined project, the timeline for that project, so that they can really respond to what they want. And they can talk about incentives in a meaningful way. But histories in a meaningful way. The other thing that they should do prior to landing in the United States, is to fill out their profile. So the profile in the Select USA on its application is the only way that the states can find you until the actual day. And if we can find you before we can do our homework. We can identify the groups and companies that make sense to our state. We look at our industry strengths and we match them to the companies that are coming into the United States. With them this event without that completed. I think that the companies really missed out on some extra research that could be done prior to their coming here. And then lastly, do that research on their site as well. So you have your prepared project. You have filled out your own profile in the Select USA app. But you’ve also gone in and investigated the states. Figure out who you want to talk to. Just hopping around from both booths will make you exhausted, and you’ll have lots of conversations but they may not meet your objectives. So be laser focused in what you’re trying to achieve at this very large event. And seek out those people that will help you meet those objectives. So that’s what I recommend for the event itself because it’s big, and there are a lot of people and it’s really key that you prepare for this event. And then in terms of what you could do in addition, obviously you could visit the States prior to your visit but I always recommend maybe doing after if you can tack on a week or something after the event. You’ve talked about the states that you care about. You really I think if you have a well prepared project, you’ve done your homework, you’ve talked to the right states you probably have narrowed your list. So the opportunity is well. Everything is hot going visit those states. They will welcome you very warm. Take advantage of that time in the event.

Bill : Yeah, there’s so many great nuggets there. And the other actually really interesting thing about staying an extra week after is you could be in the US for the Fourth of July holiday which is you know, it’s our best it’s our best time of the year and a great time to visit. You know one of the things that stands out to me too, that you said that, you know I hadn’t thought about because I you know we don’t necessarily see the conference from you know, the the same aspect completely but the, the profile, its relevance to empowering the states to come prepared to really help company specific companies that are coming to the conference makes so much sense and and yeah, I mean, certainly a great way to help leverage your time and really sort of delegate some of that research out to organizations that can be the most assistance see So yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Well, this has been great Katy and you know any other any other items that you know are you know what, we have a minute just what what are the kind of the big industries that that you’re looking to attract Wisconsin, I know. You have such a vibrant base of industries but what are the kind of the top top you

Katy : would love to talk about that Wisconsin is a heavy manufacturing state. We have manufacturing across all of our driver industries 16% of our workforce in manufacturing, the US average is 6%. So our driver industries include advanced manufacturing and everything elements. So if you look at biohealth we pharmaceutical manufacturing, all sorts of medical equipment, manufacturing, food and beverage, everyone knows we’re great at cheese and beer. But we’re also number one in the United States in food processing equipment. Freshwater technology we lead in the world and freshwater technology, energy, power and control, a huge historic industry in Wisconsin and one that is evolving with the times. And of course we have aviation and aerospace which is the components that go into those into the airplanes so all of those things are really important to Wisconsin, but if you remember one thing remember we manufacture that’s in the heart of what we do.

Bill : Wow, I had no idea you were that high in manufacturing 16% that a huge number. That’s wonderful. Well, congratulations. Well, this has been great. I so appreciate you taking the time today and we’ll share your the WEDCs information in the description and certainly encourage our audience to like and subscribe so you can stay tuned to future episodes. Again, Katy, really appreciate you taking the time today.

Katy : Well, thanks for having me, Bill. We can’t wait to get there and doing

Bill : stay here. Look forward to seeing you

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