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NRHS students win economic competition

New Richmond High School students Jocque Warner and Shae Armstrong have won $750 for a Community Economic Explorations Project they completed in December.

The competition, put on by Economics Wisconsin, was an invitation only contest, Warner said.

"Originally I was going to do an econ independent study," he said. "Scharf (Ann Scharfenberg) suggested I do this and after discussion we decided that Shae would be a good partner."

The duo had a slew of topics to explore, but decided to stick with the City of New Richmond, they said.

As part of the project, the two students were required to interview various city officials. Warner said his interview with Paul Mayer, president of the New Richmond Area Economic Development Corp., was one of the most interesting parts of the project.

"He talked a lot about his business tools," Warner said. "He doesn't have an economics background as much as an engineering one, but he said that networking was the No. 1 keypoint to business success."

For Armstrong, the interview with Russ Korpela, executive director of the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce, proved to be the most interesting.

"Some of the technology they're using and the social activities available to businesses was interesting," she said. "If we have a snow storm, Farm and Home can send out a mass text saying they have snow blowers on sale."

Shae said she also found the city's statistics to be fascinating.

"In New Richmond our average income is higher but we have less education (than the state average)," she said.

According to the project, New Richmond residents average a household income of $55,414 and 22.08 percent carry bachelor's degrees or higher. That compares to statewide statistics, where the average household income is $49,001 and 25.6 percent carry bachelor's degrees or higher.

Ten teams submitted projects for review, Armstrong said. Of those, Warner and Armstrong were awarded first place - a prize of $750. The two were also invited to a board meeting in Milwaukee to give their presentation in person, they said.

The two plan to split the winnings down the middle, they said. Armstrong said she plans to spend a little on herself, but save the rest for college. She'll be attending the University of Minnesota in the fall. Warner has similar plans, he said. He's planning to buy a passport and save the rest for college. He'll be attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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