The Appleton MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) ranks #50 among Best Places for Business and Careers in a newly-released Forbes study of some 184 small places across the country. Using data from economic research firm Moody’s Analytics, the U.S. Census and demographer Bert Sperling, Forbes rates areas on a dozen factors related to jobs, costs (business and living), income growth, quality of life and education of the labor force.
“We are particularly pleased that the report focuses on areas critical to business retention and attraction,” said Larry Burkhardt, Executive Vice President of the Fox Cities Regional Partnership. “Companies consider several factors when determining where they choose to locate, including the quality of the local workforce, costs of doing business and the overall quality of the place. Recognizing that we will continue to strive for improvement, this ranking goes a long way toward validating our marketing messaging.”
The Fox Cities Region is trending positively with regard to business growth, with manufacturing leading the way. Some 22% of the region’s workers are engaged in the manufacturing sector, compared with 9% nationally. Area high schools boast a 90% graduation rate, and violent crime rates are less than half those of the nation. The region enjoys the presence of many nationally-known companies, including Kimberly-Clark, Great Northern, Gulfstream Aerospace, Sargento, Nestle, RR Donnelly, Pierce Manufacturing, Thrivent for Lutherans, Plexus and many others.
“While we recognize that the Fox Cities Region of Wisconsin may not be a household name in the national and international marketplaces, the fact that these and other area companies have established a global reach provides us a platform upon which we are increasing awareness of our region as a increasingly desirable business location,” said Burkhardt.