Regional profile

Get a high-level overview of the 24-county region, including our population, workforce, business costs, large employers, and more.

The Northeast and Central Wisconsin region

The Northeast and Central Wisconsin region that WPS serves covers 24 counties, 1.9 million residents, and over 800,000 workers.

Key industries

Our region is home to a very broad range of industries, from paper manufacturing and cheese making to information technology and ship building.

The target industries for which our region is particularly well suited are:

  • Food processing
  • Forest and paper products
  • Data centers

Major employers

Our region is home to thousands of diverse businesses, including over 50 businesses with 1,000 or more employees.

  • Mean hourly average of $18.75
  • Regional 6.7% unemployment rate

Workforce advantages

Ultimately, people are at the core of every business. Our region's success is due to our skilled workforce. We have:

  • Median labor costs that are 6% lower than the Wisconsin state average, and 10% lower than the U.S. average.
  • A large labor force ensuring the availability of skilled labor.
  • A strong work ethic that Wisconsin and the Midwest are well known for.
  • A skilled and educated workforce, with high levels of academic achievement.


One of the major advantages of our region is its strong manufacturing base, which is supported by a very well developed transportation infrastructure capable of handling even the most complex connections.

Our Class I railroads, interconnected highway systems, deep water ports and air cargo facilities allow our regional businesses to bring in raw materials and ship out finished goods — whether it is wind turbine blades, military transportation, cheese, or some of the most advanced ships in the world.