Eau Claire City Finance Director Jay WInzenz illustrates the squeeze between limited revenues and growing demands
"We're making it work for the time being," said Eau Claire City Finance Director Jay Winzenz, "but it's not sustainable."
Winzenz's comments referred to a tightening squeeze between limited revenues and growing needs for services demanded from municipal governments. As the City of Eau Claire and other local governments complete operating budget deliberations for 2020, Eau Claire's city staff has managed to draft a balanced budget. While it does fund some enhancements like expanded absentee voting hours, promotion of the census, operation of the Haymarket fountains and staff support for affordable housing and neighborhood engagement, there were even more requests of value that were not able to be funded.
At the beginning, revenues the state received from the Wisconsin income tax enacted early in the 20th century went largely to local governments, but over the years the state has gradually kept most of the money, and the percent of city revenues from state aid has declined as that shared revenue has fallen far behind inflation. As a result, reliance on property taxes has increased significantly. However, the city's ability to grow tax revenues has been constrained by ever-tightening state-imposed levy limits, which are now held to the percentage of net new construction each year.
Although Eau Claire has seen significant increases in population, area of the city, miles of streets and acres of parks, the city has had to be creative in the use of its resources to maintain essential services. Between 1996 and 2018, the number of city employees in public safety increase by 33, but in other city functions actually decreased by 7 positions.
For the City of Eau Claire, the largest source of revenues is the property tax, while the largest share of expenses relate to personnel.
Winzenz said municipal governments will eventually have to resort to service reductions or deferred maintenance, unless new revenue alternatives emerge or levy limits are relaxed. Much like school districts, cities can also go to the voters in a referendum to increase property tax rates.
Next steps in the budget process: Winzenz outlined Eau Claire's planned schedule to enact its 2020 Operating Budget by its November 12 City Council meeting. There will be public hearings on October 21 and November 11, and the City Council will continue to discuss the budget at works sessions.
Download PowerPoint Slides (Jay WInzenz, Eau Claire City Finance Director)
Dollars and Sense: Is it time for a new municipal financing framework in Wisconsin? (Wisconsin Policy Forum)
Eau Claire City Budget site with draft budget, presentations (City of Eau Claire)
2020 Draft City Budget (City of Eau Claire)
City tax bill to rise slightly next year (Leader-Telegram)
Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Have you ever seen a CEO dressed like an astronaut on the side of a major city street? Or a COO channeling E.T.? It was all in an effort to raise awareness about Marco’s recent United Way campaign that raised $275,000. All money raised went to communities where employees live and serve -- including YOURS! Talk about a cause that is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Click here to read the full story and see the (share-worthy) pictures!
Security Health Plan
Security Health Plan again ranks among top Medicare Advantage plans
MARSHFIELD – Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., has again been recognized among the nation’s leading health plans by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2020.
Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system used to rank Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug plans. Security Health Plan received an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 for its Medicare Advantage HMO-POS plans. The CMS Star Rating is based on data for 2018.
“While our goal is always to attain the highest possible rating of 5 stars, our 4-star rating demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest quality service to our members,” said Julie Brussow, chief executive officer at Security Health Plan.
“The rating reflects the first-rate care our members receive from their doctors and other health professionals, the expertise members receive directly from Security Health Plan, and their satisfaction with these services,” said Sue Wilhelm, the Plan’s clinical officer. “The rating also confirms that our members are conscientious about seeing their doctors and getting the tests and treatments they need to achieve the best possible health outcomes.”
Wilhelm also credited Security Health Plan’s focus on assessing its members’ health and wellness along with providing support for members with acute and chronic health conditions. “We use direct outreach to our members to remind them about needed health care,” she said. “Our care managers and health coaches reach out to members to make sure they have the resources and knowledge they need to be as healthy as possible.”
Security Health Plan offers Medicare Advantage HMO plan options in three regions covering 55 Wisconsin counties. Security Health Plan’s eight HMO-POS plan options include a $0 premium plan with Part D prescription drug coverage in each region. Each plan covers the full range of Medicare-covered services plus added benefits including free health and smoking cessation support, preventive dental, hearing and vision exams, allowances for over-the-counter items, hearing aids and eyeglasses, and optional comprehensive dental coverage that is new for 2020.
“Each year we look to enhance the benefits we offer to our members while keeping costs at the same level,” said Brussow. “Our success in this effort shows in that even with added benefits, we have maintained our member premiums for three years running.”
Security Health Plan also offers its Secure Saver Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) and Medicare Supplement plans statewide. Security Health Plan is holding free, no-obligation Medicare plan information seminars in more than 60 locations across the state during Medicare’s annual enrollment period (AEP) from October 15 through December 7. The AEP is the only time most Medicare beneficiaries can change their benefits.
Individuals who have or will soon be eligible for Medicare are invited to register for a seminar online at www.securityhealth.org/seminar. If you are unable to attend a seminar, you can find more information about Security Health Plan’s 2020 Medicare plans at www.securityhealth.org/medicare20. You can also call Security Health Plan at 1-720-572-1769, 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to register for a seminar, request an appointment or get more information about Medicare plans. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please call TTY 711.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Blugolds value summer research experiences with Mayo doctors
Last summer, three UW-Eau Claire students worked alongside Eau Claire-based physicians as part of Mayo Clinic’s Undergraduate Research Employment Program. The program was offered for the first time in Eau Claire this year. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire Governors Hall project to proceed following Board of Regents vote
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today authorized UW-Eau Claire to proceed with a construction and renovation project on Governors Hall, a residence hall on the university’s upper campus. Full story.
Internship gives Blugold a peek into the criminal justice system
As an intern with the United States Probation Office in Iowa, Emily Bindl worked alongside federal probation officers. The experience convinced the criminal justice and psychology major that she is on the right career path. Full story.
Ideas to solutions in 90 minutes: Local organizations to co-host Design Thinking Workshop
Students, business representatives and community members are invited to a free Design Thinking Workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at CoLab, 312 S Barstow St., Eau Claire. Full story.
Please mark your calendars for the fall Networking Events on Wednesday, 11/13 and Thursday, 11/21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This event is designed to prepare 1st and 2nd year students for the professional workplace while applying what they learned in previous student professional development workshops. Professional or business casual attire is preferred. Appetizers will be served from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Visit https://signup.com/go/xzcVvqP to register.
Chippewa Falls YMCA
YMCA Youth in Government program enters its fourth year in Chippewa Falls YMCA youth mock government program starts its 2019-2020 season. [OCTOBER 14, 2019] – The YMCA Youth in Government program will begin meeting this month. The program will kick off with a informational pizza party held on Monday, October 28 at 5:30 PM at the Chippewa Falls YMCA, followed by the first delegation meeting of the year on Monday, November 4 from 5:30-7:00 PM also at the Chippewa Falls YMCA. Through this mock government program, students each select a program area to focus on: legislative (writing and debating bills), judicial (preparing and arguing court cases), or media (practicing journalism and photography). The program engages hundreds of students across Wisconsin each year, culminating in a statewide event held at the State Capitol building in Madison. During this Model Government conference, delegates take over the seats typically occupied by their elected state legislators and Supreme Court justices and practice the theory of governing. Through local meetings and the state program, participants are also exposed to many guest speakers while learning to form their own opinions and building confidence. The YMCA Youth in Government Program is a national program that was started in 1936 in Albany, New York. The program operates on its founding motto, “Democracy must be learned by each generation” and is offered by Ys in 42 different states (and Washington, DC). In Wisconsin, there are currently 12 YMCAs that offer the program. The program is open to all 7 th through 12th graders, with a new intro-level program this year for 6th graders as well. The goal of the program is to foster the next generation of thoughtful, committed and active citizens. Participants learn the principles of a democratic society by engaging with their peers in the process of civic action. The YMCA of the Chippewa Valley offers this programs at two branches – the Eau Claire delegation meets on Sunday evenings at the Eau Claire YMCA and has been running for more than twenty years. Students in the Chippewa Valley are eligible to join either delegation. For more information, interested students can check out the Chippewa Falls YMCA’s website at https://www.chippewaymca.com/youthprograms or contact Jen Zwicky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
L.E. Phillips Memorial Library
From Acorn to Oak: Crafting Your Manuscript for Publication
Elizabeth Evans, former literary agent turned editor, will lead a conversation on crafting a manuscript for the market at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire on Tuesday, November 12 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Eau Claire Room on the library’s lower level. The craft talk, “From Acorn to Oak: On Editing, Agenting, and Nurturing Your Literary Work from Idea to Published Book” is presented in partnership by the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and the library.
Elizabeth Evans is a former literary agent turned independent editor, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant. After twelve years as a successful agent, first at Kimberley Cameron & Associates in the Bay Area, and then at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency in New York, she launched Elizabeth Evans Editorial to focus on what she loves most: working directly with writers. As an agent, she sold over sixty books and guided dozens of aspiring authors through the publication process. Her clients included New York Times bestselling authors, and many were recognized with notable awards and distinctions. She is also an adjunct professor of writing at Cardinal Stritch University, where she teaches creative nonfiction.
In addition to sharing her expertise as a publishing consultant, Evans will provide insight on the vital role of editors and agents, and will “live critique” previously submitted query letters written by local writers.
For information, stop at Information & Reference on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5004, or email the library at email@example.com. To learn more about library programs, check the library website at www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
Firsthand Literature of the First World War
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire invites you for an in-depth look into the lives and work of two of the best known World War I writers, poet Wilfred Owen and novelist William March. The “Voices of the First World War” series includes two programs with Professor Frank Fucile of the UW–Eau Claire English Department: “The Poetry of Wildred Owen” and “Company K by William March.” You are welcome to attend one or both programs. Register at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/WWI to save your seat.
The Poetry of Wildred Owen
Monday, November 11 | 6 p.m. | Eau Claire Room
Perhaps the best-known of the British soldier-poets, Wilfred Owen was working as an English tutor in France when the First World War broke out. From his first poems portraying the war’s horrors with a realism previously unseen in English literature, to his later elegies and odes to his comrades in arms, Owen’s poetry reconfigured the English Romantic tradition and set the stage for Modernism. The program will include discussions of chemical warfare, post-traumatic stress disorder, various forms of war resistance, and Owen’s centennial remembrance.
Company K by William March
Tuesday, December 17 | 6 p.m. | Eau Claire Room
William March Campbell was a Marine who fought in the American Expeditionary Forces and earned a Bronze Star for his actions in combat. After the war he was a businessman moonlighting as a writer of psychological fiction. Company K, with 113 different narrators recounting a wide variety of experiences before, during, and after combat, is perhaps the definitive American novel of the First World War. Its scope and weirdness still have the whiff of truth a century after the end of the war. The program will include discussions of American combat at Belleau Wood, Blanc Mont, and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, as well as the various commemorative practices and political effects that resulted from the War.
Frank Fucile is a scholar of modern literature, military history, and media studies. His work considers literary texts in conversation with the landscapes and events that inspired them. His research on the First World War has been informed by two trips to the Western Front, including one coinciding with the centennial of the Armistice last year. He received his PhD from the College of William & Mary and his AB from Dartmouth College. Fucile is currently a professor in the UW–Eau Claire English Department.
This program is funded in part by the Elizabeth Morris grant, and presented in partnership with UW–Eau Claire.
For information, stop at Information & Reference on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5004, or email the library at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about library programs, check the library website at www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
Last Chance to Find Out What It’s Worth
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire’s last annual “What’s It Worth?” antique appraisal event will be held Saturday, November 16 from 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Eau Claire Room on the library’s lower level. Observers are welcome at any time, but appraisals are by appointment only and reservations must be made in advance. Registration starts Tuesday, October 1. To schedule an appointment, call 715-839-4834.
Appraisals will be conducted by Mark Moran. Moran is the former senior editor of the Antiques and Collectibles series of books for Krause Publications in Iola, Wisconsin. He has served as a contributing editor for Antique Trader magazine, as editor of Antique Review East, and as producer of Atlantic City’s antique show “Atlantique City.” Mark bought and sold antiques for more than 30 years, specializing in vintage folk art, Americana, and fine art. He has been active as an appraiser of antiques and fine art for more than 20 years.
Unlike for-profit ventures which seek to purchase valuables for resale, this appraisal event is independent and for the benefit of the community. Categories of objects for appraisal may include folk and fine art, furniture (usually smaller pieces are best), ceramics, glassware, vintage photographs, advertising, toys, clocks, and costume jewelry. Excluded items include weapons, coins and paper money, Beanie Babies, fine jewelry (including precious gems and watches), most musical instruments, and Nazi memorabilia.
Associate Degree Academy through CVTC kicks off with signing ceremony
Four months ago, Lauren Kainz, 14, was still in eighth grade. Wednesday was her first day of college.
Kainz, an Eau Claire North High School freshman, is one of 12 North students and 9 from Memorial to enroll in the inaugural class of the Eau Claire School District Business Management Associate Degree Academy through Chippewa Valley Technical College. Students who complete the four-year program will graduate from high school with both a high school diploma and an associate degree from CVTC.
CVTC and the Eau Claire School District announced an agreement creating the program in January. CVTC initiated the first such program in the state at River Falls High School two years ago.
North High School freshmen, from left, Janaya Goldbach, Alaina Halvorsen and Averyon Sands sign their commitments to the Business Management Associate Degree Academy at CVTC. Students who complete the program will graduate from high school with both a high school diploma and an associate degree from CVTC.
The academy kicked off with a ceremony at CVTC on September 18, with the students signing commitments to the program after listening to some encouraging words from CVTC, school district and community leaders.
“I thought it was such a good opportunity because it saves me time and money,” Kainz said of her reason for enrolling. She added that she’s excited about the classes. “It’s something I’ve never done before and it’s different.”
“I absolutely encouraged her to sign up for this,” said her mother, Barb Kainz. “I wish I had that opportunity. It’s going to give her more options than a typical high school graduate for getting a post-high school job, or even getting a job while in high school. She’ll have a head-start, and she’s getting free education.”
Because of the partnership between CVTC and the Eau Claire School District, the students do not have to pay the tuition and fees that regular CVTC students working toward the same degree pay. With the transferrable credits, graduates could finish a bachelor’s degree in as little as two additional years of college.
“I get a better chance to show what I can do,” said North freshman Averyon Sands, 14. “And it’s a better chance for me to get an education and get a step up on other people.”
CVTC President Bruce Barker said the program points toward the future of education.
“Over a hundred years ago, we created a three-level system, but 100 years ago a lot of us were riding horses and at CVTC we were training telegraph operators. The world has changed and it’s time that education also changes. We realize that people don’t learn at three different levels. We realize that education and learning are lifelong ventures. This new approach really reflects that.”
“This partnership between CVTC and Eau Claire schools is huge,” said Dave Minor, president of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce. “This isn’t going on across the country. Watching two educational institutions partner like this to try to figure out that next step that we have to do is exciting. It tells me they are trying to prepare that next generation, that next workforce, the best that they can.”
The program uses a combination of existing CVTC college credit classes offered in the Eau Claire schools and some new classes needed to complete the 61-credit associate degree. In addition to classes as part of their regular high school class schedule, the students will also take some online and summer classes.
“I give you credit that you are investing your time in this program, because it’s a rigorous program,” Dave Oldenberg, Memorial principal, told the students.
It was just sinking in to Lauren Kainz that she would be taking college classes already. “It’s a little intimidating, but I think if I pay attention, I can get it,” she said.
“We want you to leave here this morning with the sense that ‘yes, I can do this,’ ” said Kristel Tavare, director of PK-12 initiatives for CVTC. “We have three cohorts of students at River Falls High School working on this same program. So, yes, you can do it. We’ve seen it done.”
“I know you are capable and we have great teachers and great support systems,” Barker said.
“If there is an early alert of a student who is struggling, I will work directly with them and their instructors and guidance counselors to ensure they stay on track,” said Keith Stearns, high school academy specialist at CVTC.
The first graduates of the academy are anticipated in May 2023.
With over 97 programs offered both online and on-campus, Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the community. CVTC programs are designed with input of business and industry to prepare graduates for today’s jobs, with 95 percent employed within six months of graduation and associate degree graduates earning an average annual salary of $46,816.
Mark Gunderman, Chippewa Valley Technical College
A ribbon cutting was held to celebrate a new business in Altoona called Rays of Sol. Shown here is Ginger Lynch, owner of Rays of Sol, cutting the ribbon.
Drew Conrad to deliver keynote on progress made, next steps for Momentum West Talent Initiative
Drew Conrad, Institute for Decision Making
Organizers of the 2nd Annual Workforce Solutions Summit have announced that Drew Conrad, one of the authors of Momentum West's Talent Retention & Attraction Strategic Action Plan, will deliver one of the event's keynote addresses. Conrad's remarks will focus on progress made in the past three years since release of the plan, and next steps towards measurable solutions to the region's workforce challenges. The Action Plan was developed to identify the critical workforce issues for Momentum West's 10-county region in West Central Wisconsin, and recommend achievable steps to address them.
Conrad is Director of the Institute for Decision Making, based at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He has over 26 years of experience in facilitating strategic planning and regional economic research in communities and local and regional economic development organizations. He designs, delivers and provides follow-up support for economic development services including strategic and short-term planning, community assessments, cluster analysis and target industry analysis and other applied research projects.
Click on the image above to read the full report
Authors of the Action Plan identified eight key goals for the region, centering on strategies to expand the talent pool and improve the labor market:
In his remarks at the Workforce Solutions Summit, Conrad will provide updated regional data, discuss progress made on the goals, and identify next steps critical to ensuring the region is competitive in solving its workforce challenges. In addition to the keynote scheduled during the morning session, there will also be a break out workshop during the afternoon, "Updating and accomplishing our regional strategy," which will delve deeper into implementing those measures. It will also feature a case study of an active, collaborative health care initiative in the region that is aligned with talent strategy.
Drew Conrad's keynote remarks are presented thanks to Xcel Energy.
Summit keynotes will also be delivered by Ted Abernathy of Economic Leadership LLC, “The Trends Transforming Our Workforce Future,” Jim Morgan, MRA, "The new realities of attraction and retention - We can't do things the old way anymore," and Wes Escondo, "Employee Retention: Work, Play and Stay in the Chippewa Valley."
Click here for full details on the Nov 13 Workforce Solutions Summit, including registration information.
Full event sponsors include the Marshfield Clinic, Momentum West, MRA, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, Prevea, Royal Credit Union, Xcel Enegy, and the Chamber's Employers Workforce Initiative.
Posted by Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Congratulations to Chippewa Valley Free Clinic on their beautiful new location at 1030 Oak Ridge Drive!
State grants help train health care staff in rural Wisconsin
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System will partner with Wisconsin technical colleges and universities to provide health care training after it was awarded grant funds from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
These grants create opportunities for students and current health care workers with the desire to learn new skills. More importantly, it will improve access to quality care in rural areas of Wisconsin.
“The assistance from the State of Wisconsin is welcome to train healthcare workers who are vital to the care we provide to patients throughout Wisconsin,” said Dr. Matthew Jansen, internal medicine physician and medical director of the Health System’s Division of Education. “Knowing that their education will be paid for may be the impetus a person needs to continue their education in a very rewarding industry.”
2019 Allied Health Professional Education and Training Grant
This $245,092, two-year grant is a consortium between the Health System, Mid-State Technical College, Chippewa Valley Technical College and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.
The Health System and the technical colleges will provide matching funds or in-kind services to train 36 employees or non-employees to be medical assistants.
2019 Advanced Practice Clinician Training Grant
This $50,000 grant will provide rural rotational experiences for University of Wisconsin-La Crosse physician assistant students. It also will provide clinical and didactic experience to newly licensed physician assistants and nurse practitioners within the Health System. The goals of both programs are to provide to the participants and serve as a recruitment and retention tool for our rural locations.
Marshfield Clinic Health System will also be involved in a two-year Workforce Advancement Training Grant that was awarded to the consortium of Mid-State Technical College, Chippewa Valley Technical College and Wisconsin Indianhead College. This grant will train up to 30 Health System employees as certified nursing assistants. There will be a three-credit nursing assistant training program at each campus.
CNAs are critical to the Health System’s team-based approach to health care and the training will help overcome a shortage of CNAs in Wisconsin.
For more information about these programs, contact Heidi Kramer, Recruitment & Retention manager, at 715-389-3869 or email@example.com.
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
Local Companies Combine Efforts to Provide Career Exploring in Engineering to High School Students
Several companies in the La Crosse Area are working together with the Gateway Area Council to provide a hands-on, interactive program to explore careers in Engineering. The La Crosse County Solid Waste Department and Trane, along with SEH Consulting, Wisconsin DNR, Davy Engineering, Dairyland Power, Mathy Construction, Torrance Casting Inc., the City of La Crosse and Marshall Technical Services combine to provide 15 evening sessions throughout the school year. At each session, a professional from a local firm leads an activity that allows students to explore an engineering field such as: Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Product Development, Design Considerations, Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering. The different sessions cover concepts such as Gas Systems, Electrical Power, Product Development, Road Design, Project Management, Robotics, Energy Planning, Sustainable Energy, Chemical Balance, and Fluid Power. Where do the Explorers meet and how often? Meets twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, from 6 – 8pm, starting on Tuesday, October 22nd at the La Crosse County Landfill Office at 3200 Berlin Drive La Crosse WI 54601. How much does it cost? There is an annual fee of $37. Scholarships are available. What are the requirements? Students need to be currently enrolled in high school, complete an application by parent/guardian, and be able to attend at least 10 out of the 15 sessions. Capacity is 20 students. Parents of the Explorers from last year appreciated this program saying, “Great program! Gave students a realistic view of what engineers do in different areas of engineering. Thanks for being so flexible with school activities. Excellent organization. If only all activities that my child participated in were this organized.” The High School Students enjoyed last year’s program, saying, “It has given me an appreciation for the different types of engineering.” “It opened my mind to new opportunities. ”This program is open to all local area high school students – boys and girls welcome! For more information, go to www.GatewayScouting.org/Exploring or Contact Elizabeth Kramer, Exploring Chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org
University Wisconsin Eau Claire
Author, educator and literary critic Bill Deresiewicz to be Forum speaker Oct. 16
Once an Ivy League professor himself, Deresiewicz has spent the last decade writing and speaking about what he sees as the disadvantages, dysfunctions and disservice to society of an elite education in the U.S. Full story.
Researcher shares expertise to help Wisconsin schools better support struggling students
Dr. Jennifer Muehlenkamp, a psychology professor and expert on nonsuicidal self-injury, helps staff in Wisconsin schools develop protocols for dealing with NSSI behaviors. Nearly 20% of middle and high school students engage in these behaviors. Full story.
11th Annual Schneider Disability Issues Forum to host author, mental health advocate
Kelly Jensen will speak on her most recent book, "(Don't) Call Me Crazy," and strategies for opening conversations about mental health during this year's Schneider Disability Issues Forum at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in UW-Eau Claire's Schofield Auditorium. Full story.
Security Financial Bank
SFB to Close on Columbus Day to Volunteer in Community
In celebration of Columbus Day, Security Financial Bank (SFB) will be closed on Monday, October 14, 2019. But SFB employees won’t be sleeping in during the federal holiday. Instead, employees are using the day as an opportunity to volunteer in the communities they serve.
“It’s part of SFB’s mission to invest in the communities we serve. Columbus Day is a perfect opportunity for our employees to give back to various organizations and help to continue to make our area a great place to live,” explained Paul Rudersdorf, SFB president and chief executive officer.
SFB has locations in five cities throughout western Wisconsin as well as a corporate office in Eau Claire. About 100 employees will be volunteering in the following locations:
Eau Claire Branch – SFB employees will be volunteering at the Eau Claire Children’s Theatre.
Durand Branch – SFB employees plan to clean veterans’ markers at Forest Hill Cemetery and also will volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul’s and the Durand Area Food Pantry.
Bloomer Branch – SFB employees will paint the ice rink and visit residents at the local nursing home.
River Falls Branch – SFB employees will volunteer at Turning Point.
Ladysmith Branches – SFB employees will be volunteering at the Rusk County Senior Center.
Corporate Office – SFB employees be completing various projects for the Beacon House, Beaver Creek Reserve, Hope Gospel Mission, Trinity Equestrian Center, Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA Sports Center.
For more information on SFB, visit www.sfbank.com or call 888-254-0615.
October is Co-op Month!
Over $875,000 returned to Co-op Members
Fall colors of October not only show off nature’s colorful landscape, but it’s also our time to honor Co-op Month and our consumer-members. We celebrate Co-op Month in conjunction with sending credits checks to our eligible members. This year over $875,000 is being returned to more than 15,800 eligible consumer-members. In fact, over $17.9 million has been returned to our members since 1938. That’s the Co-op Difference!
Co-op Employees give back this month!
This month Lee Alberson, a line worker at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, has joined 11 other line workers from Wisconsin to build electric lines in an underserved area of Guatemala. They are bringing power for the very first time to a community of 42 homes, 1 medical outpost and 1 school for a total of 44 connections. They are spending over two weeks there to help improve lives in north central Guatemala. That’s the Co-op Difference!
With the Co-op headquarters located on Highway 12 between Eau Claire and Fall Creek, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative provides reliable and affordable electricity and related energy services to over 11,000 residential, business and farm members in Eau Claire County plus portions of Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau and Jackson Counties. As a Focus on Energy and Touchstone Energy Partner, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative prides itself in the high member satisfaction ratings they continue to receive.
For more information on Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, go to https://www.ecec.com/
Wisconsin Among Strongest Outlooks In The Nation According to the Q4 2019 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey
· For the coming months of October-December, employers are optimistic to hire in Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, and Government.
· Positive job forecasts reported across all 50 states and 100 largest metro areas with a +20% national Outlook for Q4 2019, up 1 percentage point year-over-year.
Milwaukee, WI (Sept. 10, 2019) – U.S. employers expect the hiring pace to remain positive in Q4 2019 with hiring intentions improving one percentage point compared to a year ago, according to the ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) Employment Outlook Survey. The last time the survey of more than 11,500 employers reported a Q4 Net Employment Outlook (NEO) as high as +20% was in Q4 2006.* For the coming quarter in Wisconsin, employers expect to hire at a healthy pace of 23%. Among employers surveyed, 31 percent plan to hire more employees from October through December. This number is offset by the 8 percent that plan to reduce payrolls, while 60 percent of employers expect to maintain current staff levels and 1 percent indicate they are not sure of their hiring plans. Among survey participants, the Wisconsin area employment Outlook is the tied for the third strongest in the nation.
"Compared to last quarter’s Net Employment Outlook of 34%, Wisconsin employers have reported a weaker hiring pace of 23%," said Amber Laurent, spokesperson for Manpower, a ManpowerGroup brand. "When looking at expectations from this time last year of 20%, hiring managers anticipate the upcoming season’s payrolls to pick up.”
Summary of Results for Wisconsin
For the coming months of October-December, employers are optimistic to hire in Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, and Government. In contrast, local employers expect a decrease in payrolls in Information. View the complete Q4 2019 U.S. survey results: Manpowergroup.us/MEOS
L.E. Phillips Career Development Center
Joins Broad Effort to Observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Nationwide campaign will take place in October
EAU CLAIRE, WI – SEPTEMBER 24, 2019 — L.E. Phillips Career Development Center today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "The Right Talent, Right Now".
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
"Every day, individuals with disabilities add significant value and talent to our workforce and economy," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "Individuals with disabilities offer employers diverse perspectives on how to tackle challenges and achieve success. Individuals with disabilities have the right talent, right now."
Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, L.E. Phillips Career Development Center will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate its employees and the community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include Tapping into the Community on October 3, 2019 at the Growler Guys; Haunted Hustle 5K on October 19, 2019; and Lunch & Learn on October 23, 2019 at L.E. Phillips Career Development Center.
L.E. Phillips Career Development Center is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said Angela Kjellberg, Marketing Coordinator, “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities and disadvantages." L.E. Phillips Career Development Center 1515 Ball Street Eau Claire, WI 54703 715-834-2771 www.lecdc.org Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting www.dol.gov/NDEAM.
John & Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center & Tennis Pro, Matt Boughton, Nationally Recognized
Eau Claire, Wisconsin (October 1, 2019) – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced the recipients of Section Award Winners and Outstanding Facility Awards – both of which have found recipients in the Eau Claire area.
“On behalf of the USTA Outstanding Facility Committee, we would like to congratulate your tennis facility on receiving a 2019 USTA Outstanding Facility Award. This award recognizes John & Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center’s exemplary facility and commitment towards the growth and development of tennis in your community,” wrote Beau Fieldsend, Community & Facility Development Coordinator of the USTA. This award is graciously received just one year after the John & Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center opened its doors to the Eau Claire community.
The construction of the 60,000 square-foot facility was coordinated by Dell Construction, a 53 year-old family-owned firm from Eau Claire who served as designer and general contractor, and whose focus was on using as many local products as possible.
Eau Claire-based Midwest Manufacturing, a division of Menards, designed and manufactured the majority of the materials used for this project and employs nearly 1,000 Chippewa Valley residents. It is likely the John & Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center used the highest percentage of locally-manufactured materials to construct a public building in Eau Claire in recent history. This exemplary facility is under the direction and supervision of USPTA Certified Tennis Professional, Matt Boughton.
“Tennis is thriving in the Chippewa Valley,” says Matt Boughton. “This beautiful new tennis center allows current players to play more often while attracting new people to the sport. That wouldn’t be possible without the vision of the Menard Family and John and Fay’s commitment to making it a reality. Also, thank you to Dell Construction and all the subcontractors for their hard work and dedication to this project. What a fantastic job by everyone involved in building this facility.”
Boughton is the proud recipient of the Frank Voigt Pro of the Year Award. “The Frank Voigt Pro of the Year Award is given to a tennis teaching professional who demonstrates leadership Page 2 skills on and off the court. Matt Boughton has coached top junior players in USTA Northern and has also served as a national coach for the section. He also runs quality section junior tournaments in Eau Claire, WI. Along with being a well-respected member of the tennis and pro communities in the section, Boughton currently serves on the USTA Northern Board of Directors,” wrote Daniel Borgertpoepping of the USTA Northern Section office.
Theresa Hillis, CEO of the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley, notes the importance of this gift to the community. “The Eau Claire YMCA has been a cornerstone in our community for nearly 140 years. Over that time, generous donors have stepped forward to provide places where people can find opportunities to live healthy, exercise, and nurture their spirit. John and Fay Menard’s substantial gift is an investment in our community that is more than a physical structure; it’s a place where people can help each other out, develop friendships and nurture a sense of belonging. Thanks to their generosity, the new center will enhance the quality of life in the Chippewa Valley as the Y continues to serve the community into the 21st century.”
The YMCA of the Chippewa Valley is grateful to John & Fay Menard and to Matt Boughton for their continual commitment to developing and growing the tennis community in Eau Claire, WI.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Coat & Blanket Distribution This Saturday!
WHAT: Winter coats, winter apparel and blankets will be available at no cost for anyone in the community in need. Coat sizes range from baby to adult.
WHEN: THIS Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
WHERE: Redeeming Grace Church, downtown Eau Claire (312 South Barstow St.)
GREAT PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITY!
Mary Pengra, Director of Volunteer Services at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital adds state-of-the-art linear accelerator to fleet
EAU CLAIRE – The Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has hired a new team member to help patients in their fight against cancer. The center is welcoming a new Varian TrueBeam® linear accelerator to its fleet, further enabling the center and hospital to offer the very best cancer care to patients in the Chippewa Valley. This upgraded technology replaces the linear accelerator the center previously had.
A linear accelerator is used to treat all organs of the body and delivers high-energy x-rays to the region of a patient’s tumor. These x-ray treatments are designed in such a way that they destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer the latest in radiation treatment therapy to patients in our region and beyond,” said Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.
“The combination of state-of-the art physicians and equipment, plus the ability to keep care local really makes the community the ultimate benefactor in this,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO, Prevea Health. “We take a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer, and the addition of the Varian TrueBeam® linear accelerator will help to improve patient care.”
The Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital will hold a blessing of the new linear accelerator Wednesday, October 16 at 9 a.m. at the Prevea Cancer Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 900 West Clairemont Ave. Community members are invited to attend and registration is not needed.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
The tradition continues: Blugold Homecoming 2019
Be sure to check the calendar of events for the week of Homecoming at UW-Eau Claire. Events begin Oct. 6, with the parade and football game set for Oct. 12. Full story.
Gender and Sexuality Resource Center staffers receive statewide awards
UW-Eau Claire has received multiple recognitions in recent years for the work of its Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. Center staffers Christopher Jorgenson and Kallie Friede have been recognized for their efforts that led to those top rankings. Full story.
Bob Baca to receive WMEA Distinguished Service Award
Baca, UW-Eau Claire professor of music and director of jazz studies, will receive the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Music Educators Association Oct. 24. Full story.
L.E. Phillips Library
Live Raptors at the Library!
Explore the world of raptors at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire on Thursday, October 24 at 1:30 p.m. in the Eau Claire Room on the library’s lower level. “Raptor Show” is a Carpenter Nature Center educational program featuring live birds of prey! This event is a part of Raptor Week in the Youth Services area, which runs October 21 through 27, and celebrates a wide variety of feathered friends.
“We are excited to welcome Carpenter Nature Center as a part of our Raptor Week activities,” says Alisha Green, Youth Services Coordinator. “Birds of prey are amazing creatures; there’s really no ‘talon’ what you might see. Come to the show, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s definitely worth a round of ‘a-claws.’”
From 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, October 25, ask a Beaver Creek Reserve naturalist all your bird-related questions at the “Dissect an Owl Pellet” drop-in program. Other Raptor Week activities include scavenger hunts, games, crafts, and bird-themed story times. Don’t miss out on the feathered fun!
For more information, stop at Youth Services on your next visit to the library, call 715-839-5007, or email email@example.com. To learn more about library programs, check the library’s website at www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
Congratulations to Bye, Goff & Rohde on the ribbon cutting for their new location at 310 Pinnacle Way!
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.