The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin’s last economic development plan was prepared in 1997. Two decades later, the US and global economies had endured the largest downturn in generations. And technological advances and other disruptive forces had transformed multiple industries, like manufacturing and agriculture, that were fundamental to northeast Wisconsin’s economy. The Oneida Nation’s economic engine—gaming—was also waning, reducing tribal income. With record low unemployment rates in many major metros across the US, the region struggled to retain key talent.
To respond to changes within the tribe and the Greater Green Bay region, the Oneida Nation hired TIP Strategies to launch a planning process focused on the growth of profitable businesses that would provide revenues and opportunities for the Nation and its people. The mission of the plan was to foster sustainable development and commercial growth that reflected Tsiˀ niyukwalihotʌ (our ways) with innovative approaches that enriched the natural, built, and business environments. To provide a foundation for the planning process, TIP assessed factors affecting the Oneida Nation’s economic competitiveness and met with key stakeholders in the Greater Green Bay area. Six target industries were chosen as a focus of Oneida investments, including software and data analytics and healthcare services and products. Performance measures, such as growth of tribal revenue and profits, job growth (especially in middle-to high wage jobs), and real estate development were chosen to guide the plan through implementation. Following the plan’s adoption, regional entities partnered on construction of the $6.5-million Experience Greater Green Bay Visitor Center. The tribe’s $1.5 million contribution to this effort reflects one of the plan’s central themes: strengthening regional collaboration and partnerships.