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UW-Milwaukee - Center for Economic Development

Technical Assistance Report Abstract

Survey and Analysis of Current Socioeconomic Development in Milwaukee's Near South Side, June, 1997, by Sandra J. Callaghan with Lisa Heuler Williams

Abstract

This study, analysis and evaluation of current social and economic development activities taking place in Milwaukee's near south side was undertaken by the UWM - Center for Economic Development at the request of the Southside Coalition for Progress. The primary objectives of this study were to identify and quantify the types of social and economic investment occurring in Milwaukee's near south side. The scope of this study includes those developments and activities which occurred since 1994 and those which are planned in the next three years.Of the 420 near south side business and service organizations contacted, 25 percent responded to the survey. Primary findings of our survey are as follows:

Bricks and Mortar

Since 1994, near south side respondents made $6,130,000 worth of improvements to their building facilities. They spend $4,531,800 on building expansions and added over 200,000 square feet of additional building space. Eight new business locations were added by existing near south side businesses. In percentage terms, 58 percent of the respondents expanded or improved their building facilities since 1994. 63 percent of respondents plan to expand their building facilities within the next three years.

Employment

The respondents to the survey added 453 new full-time jobs on the near south side since 1994. 43 percent of the respondents added an average of 9 full-time jobs to their workforce since 1994. 16 percent added an average of 7 part-time jobs. Of the responding employers, 47 percent plan to expand their workforce within the next 3 years. 56 percent of the responding employers indicated difficulties in hiring enough employees from the near south side community. Finally, 72 percent of the survey respondents currently employ people in entry-level positions.

Community Development

The most positive aspect aspect of their location on the near south side is the proximity to the downtown and the expressway according to 45 percent of survey respondents. Federal, state and local grants to the respondent companies totaled $1,600,000 since 1994. 42 percent of respondents took part in new social events or activities which promote local community development since 1994 and 14 percent of respondents entered into economic development partnerships promoting the near south side since 1994.

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