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County Executive's Office

Fourth Economy Consulting selects Dane County as a top community nationwide for economic sustainability in its Community Index

December 11, 2014
Melanie Conklin, Communications Director, 608.267.8823 or 608.635.5796
County Executive

“A high quality of place, diversity and cultivation of talent” cited as

reasons Dane County is positioned to succeed


MADISON:  Fourth Economy announced it selected Dane County for its Economy Community Index for Mega-Sized Counties for 2015. The report highlights “communities ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth.”


Communities were recognized by the FEC Index for vision, leadership and regionalism that have led to success in the five elements included: talent, investment, sustainability, place and diversity.

“Those of us who live in Dane County appreciate our high quality of life and we recognize that it attracts both people and jobs to our area, but it is good to have a group such as Fourth Economy recognize what makes this a wonderful place to live and do business as well,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. “As the index points out – talent and business thrive in our community.”


Dane County was ranked #2 in the top ten, following Washington County, Oregon and above Utah County, Utah; Worchester County, Massachusetts; Chester County, Pennsylvania. Two other Midwestern counties made the list – Kent County, Michigan and Hennepin County, Minnesota – in the 9thand 10thspots respectively.


As Fourth Economy stresses in its materials this is not another “best places” ranking. Dane County was cited for its economic stability, high quality of life and its quality of place. Particular mention was made of the arts and culture, the UW-Madison, Dane County Farmers’ Market, Epic Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the University Research Park.


“In our work with economic development organizations across the country, we’ve encountered a growing recognition in a variety of communities for alternative measures of economic development success and for evolving new and more meaningful metrics to gauge their performance,” stated Rich Overmoyer, CEO of Fourth Economy Consulting. “The Fourth Economy Community Index highlights the elements we’ve witnessed throughout our work that are required to make stronger, more economically resilient communities.”



The term fourth economy refers to newest phase of economic investment nationwide that combines the prior three: agrarian, industrial and technology.


Fourth Economy is a national economic development consulting firm specializing in market analytics, strategic planning and community assessments based in Pittsburgh, PA. More information on Fourth Economy,  the 2015 index and the complete rankings list can be found here



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