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Press Release: Encompass (Oconto Falls Location) selected as the Wisconsin Top Rural Development Initiative Honor

2 Apr 2024 8:00 AM | Anonymous

Wisconsin’s Top Rural Development Initiatives (TRDI) is an annual recognition program that seeks to discover and highlight the great things happening in rural Wisconsin. This award, sponsored by Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc. (WRP), fosters and celebrates local collaboration and partnership and promotes sustainable rural community stewardship. Since 1998, more than 150 initiatives have been recognized and profiled as TRDI.

The Wisconsin Rural Partners board of directors are pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Top Rural Development Initiative honor is to Encompass (Oconto Falls Location).

Through a joint initiative between OCEDC, Encompass, and Oconto County Public Health, they successfully secured a 13,400 square foot building situated on nearly 4 acres of land in the City of Oconto Falls. To ensure the project's success and longevity, it was crucial to minimize Encompass's overhead expenses. As a result of an RFP process and a unanimous decision by the Oconto County Board of Supervisors, a grant of $250,000 was conferred upon Encompass. The family who previously owned the building acknowledged the long-term impact this early education center would have on the county, generously reducing the building's selling price by an additional $250,000. This facility is projected to provide education and care for 140 children, marking a significant 67% increase in childcare capacity in Oconto County.

Encompass stands as a distinctive provider of early childhood education services. With a history dating back to 1919, Encompass has mastered the art of offering a broad range of quality, affordable services. They are known for compensating their teachers fairly and adopting a comprehensive approach that caters to the needs of the entire family, not just the children.

“Wisconsin Rural Partners applauds all these initiatives nominated for the 2024 TRDI as outstanding examples of the many efforts across the state that improve the lives of citizens in rural Wisconsin,” said Kenyon Kies, WRP president. “They are excellent collaborative models for serving our rural areas.”

The award will be presented at the Wisconsin Rural Partners (WRP) 2024 Rural Summit in Ashland on May 15.

About Wisconsin Rural Partners Wisconsin Rural Partners is the state’s federally-designated rural development council.  Committed to improving the quality of life in rural Wisconsin, WRP is a non-partisan forum for identifying, discussing, and addressing rural issues.  Through collaborations with a wide array of partners, including local, county, state, tribal, and federal governments, as well as for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, and rural citizens, WRP fosters and promotes locally-based solutions to rural needs and issues. 

This is the twenty-fourth year that WRP has recognized Wisconsin’s Top Rural Development Initiatives.  “The program is designed to identify, highlight, and share innovative models, practices, and programs that have a positive impact on rural Wisconsin communities,” said Sandy Decker, WRP past-president.  “WRP created the program to provide a mechanism for rural communities to learn from each other and we are pleased to report that many of the award winners are still actively operating to benefit our rural communities.”

Additional information about Wisconsin Rural Partners and the Top Rural Development Initiatives can be found at www.wiruralpartners.org


Wisconsin Rural Partners
601 Sawyer Terrace #5184
Madison, WI 53705

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