- You might think of the Northwoods economy as limited to the Northwoods.
But one organization wants to help bring northern Wisconsin products to a global market.
A program called ExporTech is the newest option helping Northwoods manufacturers connect with the world.
It's being offered starting next month by Grow North, the Northwoods business promotion group.
"There are emerging middle class around the world that are doing quite well. For our companies to identify them and then figure out and plan for how they're going to approach those markets, the ExporTech program takes you through all of that, and you emerge with a plan," says Joe Hegge, the Grow North Executive Director.
Especially with a still-struggling domestic economy, expanding to a world stage is an increasingly attractive option.
Area products from hardwoods to manufactured goods can be marketed to places like Europe and the Pacific Rim.
Hometown Trolley in Crandon went through the program even before it was offered locally.
"They said, we now have a plan, and we now have identified markets that we believe are ripe for the trolley market. They weren't the markets necessarily that they thought were going to be there," Hegge says.
Northwoods manufacturers can continue to register to take part in ExporTech.
While the program is a commitment of three days for top executives, the homework and out-of-class strategic planning are what drives its success.
Written By: Ben Meyer