Madison Region Economic Development and Diversity Summit (2016)

In their third year of continued partnership, the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) will host a joint event for Madison Region business and community leaders focused on economic development and diversity.

The Madison Region’s Economic Development & Diversity Summit will take place on Monday, May 9 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison.

This annual summit builds on the organizations’ previous two joint events in a collective commitment to advancing talent, opportunity, and growth for all the region’s citizens. Weaving together the important conversations of diversity and economic development, this event reflects the organizations’ shared goal of molding this region into a model of economic inclusion.

“We know that diversity spurs economic growth, while homogeneity slows it down,” said Paul Jadin, president of MadREP. “Thriving regions across this country – those that we typically think of as top-tier – have embodied, embraced, and encouraged diversity in all its forms. The Madison Region is poised to become one of those top-tier regions if we act upon the opportunities before us.”

“The partnership between MadREP and the Urban League demonstrates our commitment to pursuing economic, workforce, and community development in ways that yield positive outcomes for all the region’s residents,” said Dr. Ruben Anthony, president & CEO of ULGM. “We recognize the critical role that diversity plays in business growth, and this Summit marks an important opportunity to engage the community in that conversation and take continued action to address the disparities our region faces.”

The day-long Summit will feature plenary keynote speeches, break-out sessions, and networking opportunities for an anticipated audience of 500+ business and community leaders from across the eight-county Madison Region.

Aggregate results of the second annual Madison Region Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Survey – a benchmarking tool capturing data about workforce demographics, supplier diversity programs, and community engagement – will also be shared.

Featured keynote speakers for the Summit’s plenary sessions include Dr. Manuel Pastor, renowned expert and author on the relationship between equity and economic growth and a professor at the University of Southern California; and Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development who leads the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness.

Registration is available online now at http://madisonregionsummit.com. Early bird rates ($199 standard/$99 nonprofit/government) are effective through April 15. Sponsorship and group rate benefits are also available.

Featured Speakers include:

• Dr. Manuel Pastor is a Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also directs USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. His research focuses on issues of the economic, environmental, and social conditions facing urban communities, and the social movements needed to change those realities.

A prolific author, Dr. Pastor’s most recent book, titled Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, argues how inequality stunts economic growth and how bringing together equity and growth requires concerted local action.

• Jay Williams was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and was sworn into office in May 2014. As the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, Williams is charged with leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, and preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Williams served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, in the White House as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and as the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio.

Additional keynote speakers and breakout session topics will be announced in the coming weeks.

MadREP is the economic development agency for the eight-county Madison Region. MadREP is the lead agent behind the region’s five-year Advance Now Strategy for economic growth, which is a five-plank platform consisting of economic competitiveness, innovation & entrepreneurship, human capital, marketing, and leadership & diversity.

Through these five goal areas, MadREP and its partners aim to proactively and strategically position the region to take advantage of economic and business development opportunities. The Madison Region includes Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk Counties.

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