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WEDC Readjusts Its Numbers

Wisconsin's job-creation agency says its goal last year to create 50,000 jobs was overly optimistic, so its goal for this year is 20,825 private sector jobs.

CEO Reed Hall says the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is on target to meet its new jobs goal. 

WEDC is also asking the Legislature to withhold $18 million in state funding because the agency has accumulated reserves of $34 million. Its goal is to hold no more than 25 percent of its funding in reserve. According to Hall, the surplus developed in part, because more businesses have been getting loans from banks and WEDC has been more cautious in loaning money.

The agency awards loans and tax incentives to businesses with plans to grow. However, it faced criticism and leadership changes during its first two years of operation, after it lost track of millions of dollars in overdue loans and awarded money to ineligible recipients.

State leaders created the public-private agency in 2011 out of the old state Commerce Department, to jumpstart job creation.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, WEDC's actions last year will likely result in the creation of 37,300 jobs.