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Collaboration, partnerships at the heart of UW-Eau Claire's $9.4 million Workforce Innovation Grant
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire received a $9.4 million grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. through the agency's Workforce Innovation Grant program. Gov. Tony Evers announced UW-Eau Claire's award at a press conference on campus on Dec. 14. UW-Eau Claire's three-year award, the first of 12 such grants announced across the state, will focus on strengthening the workforce for rural health and wellbeing.
When Dr. Mike Carney first met with Dr. Carmen Manning to develop UW-Eau Claire's proposal, their goal was to craft a bold plan to address the significant needs of rural communities tied to education, health care and small business success.
Carney and Manning knew the only way their bold plan could become a reality was for UW-Eau Claire to lean into the expertise of its faculty and staff and the broad network of partners and collaborators that have helped shape the university for decades.
Carney, assistant chancellor for strategic partnerships and program development at UW-Eau Claire, said he was thrilled to learn from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. that UW-Eau Claire's proposal had been selected for funding.
Manning, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at UW-Eau Claire, said collaboration is at the heart of UW-Eau Claire's grant proposal, which seeks to respond to the crisis in rural areas that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic by providing a comprehensive strategy to address immediate and medium-term solutions to critical workforce needs and a long-term strategy to foster innovation and design-thinking in new and existing businesses.
UW-Eau Claire's project will address the three critical needs outlined by Gov. Evers' 2020 Commission on Rural Prosperity; health care, education and small business development, all of which have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years. As school and county human service agencies face a dwindling number of teachers and social workers, small businesses confront worker shortages and pandemic challenges and experts anticipate a spike of nurse retirements across the country, rural communities in Wisconsin are facing a perfect storm.
The four pillars of the project include addressing workforce shortages for nurses, teachers and social workers in rural communities; developing new degree programs and career pathways at UW-Eau Claire in high-demand health care fields; piloting a health care delivery model based on technology-enabled health care hubs and "care coaches" trained to facilitate bidirectional communication between provider and patient; and creating innovative curriculum and providing entrepreneurs and local business owners with business services and innovation support to better weather future economic challenges.
CVTC awarded $10 million Workforce Innovation Grant
Chippewa Valley Technical College has been selected to receive a highly competitive $10 million Workforce Innovation Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to address the critical workforce shortage in the manufacturing industry throughout northwestern Wisconsin.
Gov. Tony Evers announced the 3-year grant, one of only 12 in the state out of more than 130 applications, during a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
"Employers are struggling to hire qualified workers into key metal fabrication careers throughout the manufacturing sector," said Sunem Beaton-Garcia, CVTC president. "While these jobs are high-paying and in demand, we need to do what we can to attract people to the field through skilled training and education, which will lead to successful, long-term careers."
CVTC"s RESTORE (Restoring Employment through Support, Training, Outreach, Recruitment and Education) program will partner with Northwood Technical College, Workforce Resource, Inc., Bloomer School District, Osseo-Fairchild School District, St. Croix Central School District and PMI - a metal fabricating business, to facilitate career pathways in metal fabrication for underserved populations throughout rural northwestern Wisconsin.
"The project will work to provide innovative options to access learning opportunities throughout our communities," Beaton-Garcia said. "This will be done by creating training hubs to access education and equipment in strategic locations of the region utilizing mobile labs, implementing short-term training programs, and facilitating career pathway planning events.
"These strategies will assist prospective workers in their pursuit to high paying careers in manufacturing."
Nohre & Co is pleased to announce that Austin John has joined our team
Austin earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Comprehensive Accounting Major from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2019. He began his professional career in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a Big Four firm. He has multiple years of experience working with businesses and individuals providing income tax planning and return preparation, audit and accounting services and business consulting.
MOM program; milk depot and dispensary at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital celebrate milestone
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is celebrating one year of success for the Maternity onto Motherhood (MOM) program, and the operation of western Wisconsin's first breast milk depot and dispensary.
In the first year, the MOM program has assisted nearly 60 percent of all families who delivered a baby at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. The program helps families navigate the physical, emotional and lifestyle changes that come with parenthood from conception to baby's first birthday. Together, the care team and baby's family design and individualize each birth journey to ensure the safest and highest quality of care. This includes prenatal care coordination, delivery planning, proper car seat installation, lactation consultation, scheduling appointments, finding community resources and lending a friendly ear to those who want to talk through family related topics.
"It is so rewarding to see families benefitting from the MOM program," said Maria Green, Women and Infants Center director. "Our MOM coordinators are like personal assistants to families. We're so thankful to share our expertise in the hope it gives families valuable support and information."
December also marks one year since the breast milk depot and dispensary opened at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, which is the only hospital in western Wisconsin to provide both services in one convenient location.
In partnership with Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, based in Elk Grove, Illinois, the program has provided 500 gallons of donated, pasteurized milk to babies in the Chippewa Valley area over the past year.
The depot and dispensary serves three purposes:
Green anticipates the breast milk depot and dispensary, and the MOM program to continue growing as more community members learn about the services.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.