Ernesto Sirolli to host workshop

September 23, 2003

PLATTEVILLE - Ernesto Sirolli believes that the future of every community lies in the dreams and aspirations of its people.

This idea to use local resources to help communities grow from within has caught on. Thousands of new jobs have developed in new and expanding businesses since 1985 with the help of the Sirolli Institute and his enterprise facilitation approach.

A world-renowned pioneer in economic development, Sirolli will conduct a one-day workshop on the UW-Platteville campus from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9. Pre-registration is required. Cost for the Ernesto Sirolli workshop is $50 if you registration before Sept. 26, $60 after.

This dynamic and inspirational workshop is designed for individuals interested in economic and business development, including economic development professionals and volunteers, civic leaders, bankers, business owners and managers, government officials and entrepreneurs.

"I think that the Sirolli Institute has quite a bit of experience in a variety of situations and geographical areas and in different types of communities," said Ed Bible, economic development planner with the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. "The Sirolli Institute believes strongly in its approach, and others have come to its support and have given them credit for creating new employment opportunities."

The Sirolli Enterprise Facilitation model involves a person-centered approach to local business growth and targets economically distressed communities.

Sirolli developed his ideas for economic development while aiding indigenous farmers in Africa and later facilitating business growth in Australia. His philosophy focuses on people and values instead of technology and generation of wealth, a model that has gained attention because it offers a compassionate, cost-effective strategy to infrastructure development that optimizes the use of available resources.

Bible said that area economic developers are also considering applying for a National Demonstration Initiative that would bring Sirolli Institute professionals to the region for a three-year demonstration project. The project is funded by the National Association of Regional Councils and the U.S. Department of Commerce. They will fund projects in six communities nationwide.

Those interested in attending the Oct. 9 workshop can contact Duane Ford, dean of the UWP College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture via telephone, 608-342-1547; or Susan Noble, program coordinator for the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, at 608-342-1062. For more information about the Sirolli Institute you can visit its web site (


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