Welcome to UEDA

Urban Economic Development Association (UEDA) of Wisconsin
1915 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 260
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: (414) 562-9904

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Since 2001, UEDA has developed and sponsored this annual event that brings together individuals and groups to discuss and explore emerging issues in the economic and community development sector. Our goal is to foster collaborative efforts, encourage partnership and facilitate best practices.

Below is a list of past Summit topics, with links to reports and supporting materials. A PDF of this information can also be found here.

Contact us if you cannot access a report. Read on and learn more!


2016: Crossing Boundaries: Downtown Development > Civic Engagement > Neighborhood Impact focused on how civic engagement can be a tool to connect neighborhoods to the opportunities present in major development projects. Attendees represented various sectors and over 45 neighborhoods and 15+ cities or regions, and shared that leaders need to be intentional about how residents and neighborhood-based organizations are invited and included. They identified actionable ideas that could be integrated in current, large-scale efforts and stated we cannot shy away from issues like racism, segregation, employment, transportation and a lack of connection to (or desire to be) Downtown. Access the 2016 UEDA CD Summit Summary Report, check out the "United We Stand" video, that shares perspectives on civic engagement and view a list of "GREAT IDEAS" here. Check out our 2016 Sponsors & Supporters here
Milwaukee Neighborhood News "Downtown development boom must benefit challenged neighborhoods, city leaders say" (11/2/16)

2015: Work Future: Building Pathways to Opportunity for Boys & Men of Color discussed how the way we work is changing, and how these new paradigms can be used to improve employment outcomes for boys and men of color in Milwaukee. Attendees discussed specific challenges and suggested new strategies in four areas: Networks, 21st Century Skills, Entrepreneurship and Pipelines & Pathways. The 2015 Summit Summary Report-Out, includes recommendations to help move the work forward with Milwaukee’s My Brother’s Keeper Action Plan. View our 2015 Sponsors & Suppporters here and Check out event pictures here

2014: The Intersection of Arts & Community Development: New Paradigms in Practice & Action featured attendees from community-based organizations, local businesses, creative professionals and artists, development practitioners, local and regional government, funders and other stakeholders that engaged in thoughtful discussion on four specific projects:  Bronzeville District, Sherman Park Theater Project, Walker's Point Innovation District and Milwaukee's Commercial Corridors. View the Report-out Presentation here and check out pictures here.

2013: Show Me the Money: A Pathway to Accessing Business Capital explored how to best support the growth of new and emerging businesses in the region. With approximately 21% of attendees being local business owners, we heard from them about significant needs to either grow or sustain their business. Resource providers and financial institutions were present to provide the connection to capital during "speed networking" sessions (found on our Resource Page) and the event closed with an interactive discussion. Summary Report, Event Pictures and Program Booklet here.

2012: Completing the Circuit: Electrifying the Job Market featured leaders from some of the region's most notable employers, educational institutions, workforce development agencies, chambers of commerce, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs who participated in “fishbowl” conversations. They discussed unique issues and challenges facing employment & training organizations/institutions, established employers and small business owners. Attendees also adopted profiles to explore the different ways people participate in the workforce system, and provided feedback on how to better work collaboratively to drive hiring and support business growth. 

2011: Food For Thought: New Recipes for Job Growth shared the work of emerging initiatives in food manufacturing and urban agriculture, highlighting the potential for both to create jobs. We also discussed the current status, challenges and opportunities inherent in the regional food economy, including innovative approaches in supplier partnerships, workforce preparedness, sustainable business models, and industry networking.

2010: Foreclosure: Impacts & Opportunities highlighted the progress made to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on Milwaukee neighborhoods, including an overview of the current status of foreclosures, opportunities that developed to ensure neighborhood sustainability and resources available to assist those facing foreclosure.

2009: Regional Transit – Get On Board featured a follow-up discussion from 2008 on the critical and urgent need for a collaborative regional approach to public transportation in order to address funding challenges, and achieve regional workforce and economic development goals.

2008: Transportation & Jobs: The Case for Regional Cooperation explored the critical need for regional cooperation on the issues of transportation and jobs, including a panel discussion with community and business leaders, as well as an afternoon Town Hall of local elected officials from southeastern Wisconsin.

2007: Creating An Economic Vision For Milwaukee – Together was held in partnership with the City of Milwaukee to present the City’s “Economic Opportunities, Vision and Strategy Framework,” developed in conjunction with the Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership. The framework featured strategies that will integrate neighborhood assets with regional efforts to foster economic growth and invited the community provide feedback and input on the process.

2005: The Challenge of Rethinking Resources featured sessions that focused on the new ways that nonprofits, small businesses and local governments are utilizing resources to drive economic growth in Wisconsin, including the formation of business relationships that increase entrepreneurial activity, strategies to support the nonprofit sector, the intersection of workforce and affordable housing initiatives and use of tax increment financing to increase development.

2004: Diverse Connections provided the opportunity for attendees to hear from Milwaukee’s newly elected officials and appointments on their goals for the City and explored new initiatives and partnerships that support the emergence of leaders in the community development sector. Other sessions featured Main Streets program, which was launched to revitalize the City’s older commercial districts and the ways that corporations contribute to the communities they serve.

2003: Managing Changing Resources discussed the change in development resources available from the State of Wisconsin, new opportunities in Milwaukee for urban development, the role that residents play in healthy neighborhoods, planning for the City’s future and how to develop central city marketplaces. Attendees also explored regional solutions for key community development challenges and the use of business incentives and the arts to spur community development.

2002: “Summit for a Stronger Milwaukee: Connections and Conversations” A follow-up to the first Summit, this event featured activities that occurred as a result of developing community development principles for the sector, maximizing partnerships and neighborhoods resources and identifying standards for nonprofits and CDCs. Programs highlighted included New Opportunities for Homeownership in Milwaukee, Brighter Futures, Neighborhood Schools, Renewal Community, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee and more.

2001: “Agenda for a Stronger Milwaukee” The first Summit was held in response to a report on community development in Milwaukee, which recommended an annual gathering of all sectors to discuss current issues in the field. A case statement was researched and written prior to the event, and small discussion groups explored the principles of good community development for a stronger Milwaukee. Three cities shared their best practices and highlighted local partnerships.