A recent study from The Brookings Institution names Milwaukee’s regional water technology industry as one of the best industry clusters in the nation.
The study, Rethinking Cluster Initiatives, from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, serves as guidance for metropolitan leaders who may need help identifying and embracing industry clusters in their region to grow the economy. Milwaukee was used as one of five case studies that reflect a successful industry cluster.
According to the case study on Milwaukee, the region's water cluster consists of 175 firms generating $10.5 billion in revenue and employing more than 20,000 workers.
Milwaukee’s water cluster includes four counties comprising the Milwaukee metro area, but also includes four other neighboring counties.
The water cluster is led by The Water Council, a nonprofit organization with core collaboration and investment from academic institutions (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University), the state (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation), the city of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Early stage support also came from the Greater Milwaukee Committee and M7 (regional economic development organization).
In addition to The Water Council, the Brookings report also discusses a $50 million School of Freshwater Sciences at UW-Milwaukee; a $22 million Global Water Center building and a city water district funded through an $11.2 million TIF.