Resource Details

Business, Economic Development, Workforce

Emerging Business and Workforce Development Program

The Emerging Business Program (EBP) was created to encourage the involvement, utilization, and development of economically disadvantaged businesses in the State of Wisconsin. The EBP encourages WHEDA developer partners to hire certified emerging businesses and local residents for the construction of commercial properties as well as for various professional services such as accounting, architecture and legal counsel. WHEDA offers a variety of resources to support the development, involvement and utilization of economically disadvantaged businesses and workers in Wisconsin.

The Workforce Development Program, was created to enable unemployed and underemployed area residents in either designated areas or counties surrounding awarded LIHTC developments to obtain living wage construction jobs. For Milwaukee county, area residents are established by ZIP code. Additionally, owners and contractors are encouraged to: a) hire military veterans, and b) if pre-approved by WHEDA, retain employees that worked on another LIHTC development under the Workforce Development Program.


In order to participate in the Emerging Business Program, Emerging Businesses (aka vendors) must be certified by designated local, state or federal Certifying Agencies. WHEDA does not approve emerging businesses.

Unemployed or underemployed individuals, regardless of employment status, may qualify for the Workforce Development Program if their household income is at or below the Section 8 income limits established for their family size.

See the program manual for additional requirements.

Top Benefits

  • Training for emerging businesses on the rules, regulations and requirements associated with tax credit developments.
  • nInformation sessions for developers, general contractors and construction managers to understand WHEDA’s EBP process and program requirements.
  • Networking opportunities for emerging businesses and developers to connect.
  • Outreach plans and tracking tools to easily and consistently report on EBP participation.
  • Workforce development participation seeks to train and hire local workers for the construction of WHEDA-financed properties.
  • Help program participants attain jobs through opportunities for long-term employment, apprenticeships and/or other job training programs related to work experience in a trade.
  • Any worker hired under the program must receive, at minimum, a wage of $11.50 per hour.

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