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Assessing Green County's economic strengths, weaknesses
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MONROE - An economic report for Green County shows the possibilities and the problems facing the county.

The report was a Green County Leaders project completed by John Waelti and Erik Backhaus.

The report is a "checklist of organizations in the county," Backhaus said. "We looked at what they're doing and the attributes of the county."

Waelti said the report looks at what Green County has and what the county can build on for the future.

"We wanted to look at strengths and weaknesses as well as possible threats and opportunities," Waelti said.

One of the things the report found, they said, was that health care will continue to grow and be an important issue in the future. They said Monroe Clinic offers the county an attraction for educated employees looking for higher paying jobs.

"We have one of the 100 best hospitals in the country," Waelti said.

Studies show that one additional doctor creates 23 jobs in the county, he added.

Agriculture will continue to be a major influence on Green County as well, Waelti and Backhaus said.

Along with health care and agriculture, tourism can also become a big component.

"We have a lot of advantages in Green County. We don't realize what a unique place this is," Backhaus said.

Education is one of the things people look for when they move to a new city, Backhaus said. That's an area where Green County is strong, he added. The report includes goals to attract businesses and highly-educated people and young professional people to the county.

Some of the strengths of the county include:

• Its proximity to Madison.

• Its ethnic and cultural heritage, schools and low crime rate.

• Its willingness to work with new businesses and strong community leaders.

Some of the counties weaknesses include:

• No coordinated economic development plan.

• Lack of adequate infrastructure.

• Higher taxes and cost of living compared to nearby areas.

The main reason for the report, Waelti and Backhaus said, was to identify what is positive about Green County's economy and what needs to be done. It's about bringing up the community as a whole, they said.

The 34-page report is available at the Green County Development Corporation.

Click here to view the full report.