It’s a powerful example of the Madison region competing globally for the knowledge-based jobs of the future — and winning.
Witness the thousands of health care executives from around the globe this week attending the annual users’ conference at Epic Systems in the Madison suburb of Verona.
The event at the medical software company’s sprawling and ever-expanding campus will actually double Verona’s population of 10,600 and trigger an estimated $4.2 million in spending at area stores, restaurants and hotels, according to the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau.
That’s a big impact for just a three-day conference. But the much more significant benefit to the regional economy is felt year-round, as Epic continues to hire more people here while selling more products abroad.
Epic now employs 5,000 people and is welcoming 6,500 visitors to the conference that runs from Tuesday through Thursday. Attendees are coming from as far as Brazil, the Netherlands and Abu Dhabi. They represent customers buying and using high-tech products from Wisconsin that sustain and grow high-wage jobs here.
Some in Madison still lament that Madison lost Epic to Verona years ago. But that’s an outdated view. As long as Epic stays and expands anywhere in our region, we all should be happy.
After all, the real competition for the jobs of the future isn’t between one local community and its neighbors. Increasingly, the entire Capital Region is competing against other regions around the world.
So Epic’s continuing success and expansion is a win for Verona, Madison and the rest of south-central Wisconsin. Epic’s workers live across the region where they shop, pay taxes and support their local communities.
And this week’s event brings even more people and dollars rolling in.
Welcome to Wisconsin, Epic customers. Please enjoy your stay. And thank you for seeing the value of our area’s innovative products.