American Century Investments is mentoring a town as it develops a strategy to revive its local economy and improve its quality of life.
Wausau, Wis., is developing the plan as part of the first America's Best Communities competition, a $10 million initiative to stimulate economic revitalization in rural communities across the U.S.
“Wausau is going to develop an economic redevelopment plan; we'll mentor them,” said Christopher Doyle, a spokesman for the Kansas City, Mo.-based money manager. “The point is to have professionals review the plan and weigh in on its merits.”
Roughly 350 communities submitted preliminary plans. The call for entries went out in September. The sponsors, who also serve as judges, of the three-year America's Best Communities competition — Frontier Communications, DISH Network, Weather Channel and CoBank — announced on April 29 the 50 communities that have advanced to the quarterfinals, one of which is Wausau.
Wausau was awarded $35,000 in quarterfinalist prize money to start implementing its community revitalization plan. American Century will contribute an additional $15,000.
Those 50 communities have six months to complete comprehensive community revitalization plans to be considered for additional investment. Each community is paired with a sponsor.
In early 2016, 15 semifinalists will be selected to present their strategies at the America's Best Communities summit; eight finalists will then be awarded $100,000 to continue implementing their plans.
In April 2017, the winning community will be awarded $3 million, while second place will receive $2 million and third, $1 million.