By: Jon Roberts & Karen Beard, TIP Strategies
TIP Strategies has maintained a long association with KABA (the Kenosha Area Business Alliance) and southeastern Wisconsin. From our first interactions with the organization in 2001 (in connection with our planning effort in neighboring Racine County) to our work on the 2009 economic development plan that underlies the organization’s Kenosha First strategy, our ongoing relationship with KABA is something we are proud of—especially in light of the region’s recent successes. These successes include major expansions of the ULINE Corporation, Amazon, and downtown improvement projects involving Jockey International.

As a result of this connection, Jon Roberts is frequently invited back to the region to share his expertise. In early March, the ULINE Corporation (headquartered in Pleasant Prairie, WI) featured Jon in two sessions of their employee Lunch and Learn. Building on themes he had previously presented to KABA and the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, Jon held interactive discussions with ULINE staff about current trends in economic development and their importance for the company’s future and for the economy of Kenosha and the Chicago-Milwaukee Corridor.

The impact of “disruptive technologies”—innovations in products, services, and business models that displace existing structures—continues to be an important focal point for TIP’s trend discussions. In addition to their impact on individual business, such as ULINE, disruptive technologies—think 3-D printing, big data, the self-driving car—by definition cause massive (and often rapid) changes to supply chains, social norms, and the labor pool. In addition to changing demands for labor, the presentation touched on how these trends impact the skillsets required by employers and what needs to be done to change the talent equation.