Chippewa Valley Technical College
CVTC Expands High School Associate Degree Program
Menomonie School District becomes the third to offer the opportunity
Menomonie, WI – Students in a third western Wisconsin school district will now have the opportunity to earn an associate degree when they graduate from high school. Chippewa Valley Technical College and the Menomonie School District announced the creation of a Business Management Associate Degree Academy to begin at the start of the new school year in the fall.
CVTC became the first technical college in the state to start a program enabling high school students to earn associate degrees with a Business Management Academy in the River Falls School District in 2017. A partnership with the Eau Claire School District followed last fall with the same academy being offered at its two high schools.
Menomonie became the third Wednesday, March 11, when it held an official signing day for the 27 students who enrolled.
“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,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker 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.”
The associate degree academies utilize a combination of existing CVTC college credit classes offered in the 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 also take some online and summer classes.
Students in the program 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, saving them thousands of dollars.
“We have a comprehensive strategic plan that aligns very closely with our number one pillar, which is to produce college career and life ready graduates,” said Brian Seguin, assistant superintendent of Menomonie schools. “Not only will these students have experience in the classroom, they will develop a skill set that’s going to be transferrable to the next stage in their life, whether it’s a further education or going directly into the workforce.”
The academy fits right into the plans of Menomonie eighth-grader Emma Dean. “I know what I want to go into, being a financial advisor, and it has to do with business,” she said. “I thought this would be a cool opportunity to get a head start on a college program. After this program, I want to go to school again and get my bachelor’s degree.”
“Signing up for this was all Emma’s idea,” said her mother, Tanya Dean. “Emma is always up for a challenge and does better when she’s challenged.”
The program is challenging for students, who enroll in it while still in eighth grade with the realization that they will be expected to do college-level work as high school freshmen. But the representatives of CVTC and the Menomonie School District had plenty of encouraging words for them,
“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 cohorts of students at River Falls and Eau Claire high schools working on this same program. So, yes, you can do it. We’ve seen it done.”
“We'll be there every step of the way to help you along,” Barker said. “I know you are capable and we have great teachers and great support systems.”
Heritage of Elmwood
Heritage of Elmwood Honored With Safe Resident Assistance Program
Elmwood, WI - Heritage of Elmwood is one of only seven senior care communities in Wisconsin to be selected to receive a patient lift from LeadingAge Wisconsin.
This device will lift and transfer patients from one spot to another, such as from a chair to their bed. Benefits of using a patient lift include reduced risk of injury to residents and caregivers. Heritage of Elmwood was selected out of 50 applicants.
Ellen Thompson, administrator of Heritage of Elmwood, who was in Madison to accept the award said, “This is great for our facility to practice the best possible care for our residents.”
Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home in Elmwood, Wisconsin is a community-owned long-term care and short-term rehabilitation center.
For more information and to schedule an interview:
Press Contact: Abby Swiecichowski
STOKES|HERZOG Marketing and Consulting
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
UW-Eau Claire nursing program in Marshfield serves as special legacy for western Wisconsin family
Helping others is in their blood. For three area women, the UW-Eau Claire nursing program in Marshfield did just that and more, strengthening their passions in the field to provide quality care for patients. Full story.
Announcements regarding COVID-19
Gov. Evers Directs DHS to Limit Gatherings to Less Than 10 to Slow Spread of COVID-19
Measures also being taken to manage testing capacity in Wisconsin
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order makes exceptions for transportation, educational institutions, child care, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants and bars can only offer take-out or delivery, grocery stores and convenience stores, utility facilities, job centers, and courts. See full order and list of exemptions here. Additionally, schools will be closed for the duration of the public health emergency.
“Our top priority at this time is to keep Wisconsinites safe and healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who are considered high-risk. With limited tests available nationwide and continued community spread, we have to take every precaution to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors,” said Gov. Evers. “I know what this means for our small business owners and the struggles they and their workers will face in the coming weeks, but we are committed to working with our federal partners, state officials, and stakeholders to ensure we are doing everything we can to assist during these uncertain times.”
We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. This means that there are people who have tested positive who have no exposures to a known case nor did they travel to a location where there is known community spread. Today, we have cases in Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha counties indicating that there is community spread happening in Wisconsin. Social distancing will help keep you, your family, and our community from increased risk of exposure.
DHS and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene to move to tiered COVID-19 testing to manage capacity
Despite The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) significantly increasing their capacity for COVID-19 testing, the number of testing specimens being received far exceeds their daily capacity. In order to conserve supplies for testing, WSLH and DHS are now prioritizing two tiers of cases for testing:
Tier One (Individuals who):
Information for healthcare providers on the testing tiers is available at dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm. Patients without symptoms and patients with mild upper respiratory symptoms who are not health care workers should not be tested in order to ensure that there is capacity to test ill people.
People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:
Pablo Center at the Confluence
There is nothing more important to us than the happiness, health, safety, and well-being of every person who comes through our doors. The well-being of building- partners, patrons, artists, and staff will remain our absolute top priority.
Yesterday, Governor Evers declared a Public Health Emergency for the State of Wisconsin. The Eau Claire County & Eau Claire City Health Department, has recommended that all events over 250 attendees be canceled through April 14th, 2020. Effective immediately Pablo Center at the Confluence will be closing the building and modifying all 29 performances, scheduled classes, and special events through April 14, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 virus. County and City health officials stress that the threat to local citizens from this virus remains LOW.
Please know we are working with artists, presenters, promoters, agents, and constituents to quickly provide you with renewed options to see the world-class talent we have curated for you this spring. These 29 performances equal over $500,000 of revenue to our vibrant local arts community. We thank you for your patience and your understanding as we work through each individual show to ensure the best options to present to our ticket holders. All ticket holders for each individual performance will be contacted electronically in the coming days to share the ticketing options available for each unique show and event. These options could include:
• Moving the tickets to a rescheduled performance;
• A potential ability to watch a live stream of the concert or event;
• Donating the value of the tickets back to presenting group or Pablo Center;
• Receiving a full refund.
Refunds will be processed automatically for credit card transactions or via mailed check for cash purchases by calling the box office. Pablo Center’s box office will be available via phone in spite of the building being closed and can be reached at 715.832.ARTS, again 715.832.2787. Pablo Center at the Confluence and Visit Eau Claire Experience Center will close at end of business today and stay closed through April 14, 2020 in response to this public health emergency.
I understand that this is dynamic public health situation. The well-being of artists, patrons, and staff will always be paramount in my mind. Please have some patience and empathy for those businesses, industries, and livelihoods being affected by this continuously changing environment. Be assured that all areas of the industry are working together with county-city health departments on ensuring clarity of accurate messaging and the necessary information to administer schedule changes, cancellations, reschedules, and all this information will be shared as soon as possible.
There are so many incredible things to come from Pablo Center and we look forward to sharing those experiences with you later this spring.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Campus event cancellations related to COVID-19
Many events have been canceled at UW-Eau Claire, including major signature events and annual series. See the list of the major events impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Full story
Security Financial Bank
Security Financial Bank Lobbies to Temporarily Close; Drive-Thru to Remain Open
EAU CLAIRE – At Security Financial Bank, our most important priority is the safety of our employees, clients and the communities we serve. As concerns around COVID-19 continue to evolve, we are temporarily closing lobby access at all of our branches. These changes will go into effect Tuesday, March 17, 2020. At this time, we plan to resume full branch access on Monday, April 6, but this will be subject to local health concerns at the time.
We will continue to offer regular drive-thru services during office hours. In addition, our night deposit box will remain open.
We encourage all our clients to utilize mobile banking whenever possible. Through this service, many of our financial services are available right from the convenience and safety of your home. You can view accounts and transfer funds, pay bills, make a deposit and view statements, notices and checks. Our SFB mobile app is available to download HERE for Apple and HERE for Google Play.
SFB provides cash access at the drive up ATM 24 hours a day in our Bloomer, Durand and Eau Claire locations. In addition, SFB debit cards can be used at any MoneyPass® location without paying a surcharge. To find a MoneyPass® location, visit https://moneypass.com/atm-locator.html
Our personal bankers and lenders will continue to work regular office hours and are ready to help with business or personal banking needs, including mortgages, access to safety deposit boxes, treasury management and loans. To make an appointment, please call 888.254.0615. For a listing of SFB lenders, please visit here. Click on their name to send them an email.
As always, SFB’s Customer Service team is ready to help with any questions or concerns. You can contact us at 888.254.0615.
Royal Credit Union
ROYAL CREDIT UNION TO CLOSE OFFICE LOBBIES; DRIVE-UPS REMAIN OPEN
Eau Claire, WI – Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020, lobby areas will be closed until further notice at all Royal Credit Union offices. Drive-ups will remain open. An update will be provided when lobby service resumes. Please visit rcu.org/Coronavirus for the latest updates.
The Royal Credit Union corporate center will also be closed to the public during this time. This preventive measure is being taken to protect Members and team members from the spread of COVID-19. Member and team member safety remains Royal’s top priority.
· Drive-ups will remain open normal drive-up hours.
· Members with scheduled appointments will be contacted directly.
· Most lobby services will be available through the drive-up.
· Members can access their accounts online. A variety of transactions can be completed using online banking or the mobile app including transferring money, making payments and depositing checks.
· Account and loan applications are being accepted online or by phone. Please call 800-341-9911 for more information.
· Other services such as ATMs and night drop deposits will continue as usual.
Royal will provide additional updates as they are available and will resume lobby service as soon as possible.
VITA PROGRAM AND APPOINTMENTS CANCELED
Eau Claire, WI – In order to ensure the safety of our community, team members, and students during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Royal Credit Union and Chippewa Valley Technical College have made the decision to cancel all remaining VITA Tax Appointments. Weekly appointments were scheduled on Thursdays through April 9. Clients are being contacted directly via email or phone. VITA clients are encouraged to make alternative arrangements to prepare and file their tax returns in accordance with the State and Federal guidelines.
Royal Credit Union in partnership with Chippewa Valley Technical College and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides assistance to community members with their tax returns each year. Student volunteers take steps to become certified by the IRS and Wisconsin Department of Revenue to prepare tax returns. The VITA partners apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to bringing back this important service next year.
At WNB Financial, it’s our social responsibility to help protect the health and safety of our customers, our coworkers, and our community. After closely monitoring Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic updates from the Centers for Disease Control and state health authorities, we have made the proactive decision to reduce face-to-face contact and temporarily close our office lobbies March 20 – March 31. We’ll continue to monitor the pandemic situation and reassess our April 1 open date as we learn more.
This is an unprecedented situation, but customer funds are safe and insured by the FDIC. There is no reason to withdraw extra cash. Please call 507-454-8800 or toll free 800-546-4392 with any questions or concerns. Visit WNBFinancial.com/coronavirus-update for timely updates.
Citizens State Bank
Citizens State Bank is heeding all recommendations and guidelines in regards to COVID-19. The Bank has precautionary measures in place and increased sanitation. Citizens State Bank is issuing communication on the closure of lobby locations.
Lobbies closed: effective Thursday, March 19, 2020 lobby facilities will be closed for the safety of customers and team members.
Drive-Ups and Cadott Main Bank Walk Up: these facilities will be open to serve and meet customer needs.
Tools and resources for banking from afar: telephone banking, online and mobile banking, mobile deposit capture functions, and E-statements. The deposit team is ready to assist with questions or help utilize these tools. Please call for any help.
Aid to any customers impacted by COVID-19: The focus is on understanding needs to be able to create the best solution(s) to aid customers. If customers are experiencing difficulty of any kind, they are urged to call a loan officer or the deposit team immediately.
Don’t panic: customers are urged to think about the safety of their money. The Bank can answer any questions on safety and best practices.
Citizens State Bank was founded in 1902 and is located in Cadott, Chippewa Falls, Lake Wissota, and Cornell. For more information and questions, please call 715- 289-4253.
The Eau Claire Jazz Festival
The Eau Claire Jazz Festival and the accompanying Jazz Crawl, formerly 52nd Street, will not take place in April of 2020 out of concern for the health of attendees and in recognition of governmental efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The health of all our festival participants and those close to them—from middle school band members to our esteemed adjudicators and guests from around the country—and the wellbeing of the Eau Claire community are of top concern to the Eau Claire Jazz, Inc. board,” board president John Genskow said. “While this was not an easy decision to make, we believe it is the most responsible decision we could make in light of concerns about the novel coronavirus and the disruptive impact that has had on all levels of education and society.”
This will be the first year the Eau Claire Jazz Festival has not occurred since its inception in 1967. The longest-running student-operated jazz festival in the country, the Eau Claire Jazz Festival welcomes participation from middle, high school, and collegiate jazz ensembles for a two-day experience that spans UW-Eau Claire’s campus and downtown Eau Claire. Students participate in Master Classes, Student Sessions, and a signature Concert Series, which brought Doc Severinsen to the festival in 2017 and featured Grace Kelly and the New York Voices in 2019. Severinsen remains an honorary board member of Eau Claire Jazz, Inc.
The annual Jazz Crawl—formerly 52nd Street—is also cancelled in light of restrictions on public gatherings, as well as on the bars and restaurants that serve as performance venues. Jazz Crawl is operated by Eau Claire Jazz, Inc., and proceeds from the annual event support the accessibility and affordability of the Jazz Festival for participating ensembles. Additionally, those funds go toward a scholarship fund through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.
“Eau Claire Jazz remains focused on supporting excellent educational experiences for students, inspiring performances for our community, and appreciating the talented artists who participate in our events,” ECJI executive director Quentin Volk said. “We’ll continue looking for opportunities to support musicians, educators, and students as this situation evolves. For now, deciding not to hold our events as scheduled is the first action we can take to support the health of these communities.”
Band directors, adjudicators, and musicians have been contacted regarding the board’s decision, and registration fees for this year’s events will be refunded. Processes are underway to ensure refunds for any members of the public who purchased tickets for any of these events. For additional information and updates on refunds, visit www.eauclairejazz.com. For additional comment, members of the media may contact Quentin Volk, Executive Director, at 970-685-2533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wisconsin public Radio
The Effect of the Pandemic on the Local Arts Scene on “Spectrum West” March 19, 2020
The shutdown of the local arts scene due to COVID-19 will be the focus of discussion on “Spectrum West,” which airs at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. The program will include interviews with the executive director of the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, a local musician who has written a song about the pandemic and its effects on society, an Eau Claire sports talk radio show host and an organizer of a Shakespeare festival in Minnesota.
Host Al Ross visited the empty balcony of the RCU theater at the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire this week to interview Jason Jon Anderson, the executive director. Ross will share their conversation about the organization’s decision-making process that led to the shut-down of the arts center, only in its second season, that may last up to eight weeks.
Stone Lake native musician and music educator Rand Sabien will join the show to talk with Ross about how the current health emergency is affecting those in the entertainment business. He will also play a song he wrote about it titled “Corona, Corona.”
Dan Kasper, host of the sports radio show “Dan Kasper and the Morning Locker Room” will be talking with Ross about the challenge of talking sports for hours at a time when there are no games to comment on. Kasper’s show airs weekdays on Sports Talk 105.1 FM and 790 AM in Eau Claire and has a live stream on its website at www.wayyradio.com/dan-kasper/.
Stepping away from the coronavirus theme, correspondent Katharine Thomas will be sharing her conversation with Eileen Moeller, marketing and sales director the Great River Shakespeare Festival, which takes place every year in Winona Minnesota. The conversation will center around women in Shakespeare, which will be a theme of this summer’s festival.
“Spectrum West” is a weekly program exploring the music, arts and humanities in western Wisconsin. The show includes in-depth behind-the-scenes interviews and stories about area writers, musicians, theater, visual arts and much more. The show is broadcast at 10 a.m. Thursdays on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM University of Wisconsin River Falls via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. A repeat broadcast plays at 7 p.m. Fridays on 89.7 WUEC-FM Eau Claire and 90.7 WVSS-FM/ Menomonie. Archives of “Spectrum West” are available at wpr.org/programs/spectrum-west-al-ross.
CVTC Referendum, COVID-19 Update on “The West Side” March 20
A $48.8 million referendum to improve facilities at the campuses of the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) will be discussed on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 20 on The Ideas Network Stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. The program will also feature a segment exploring local public health efforts related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Host Dean Kallenbach will be joined by CVTC President Bruce Barker, who will talk about the proposed improvements that would be funded by the April 7 referendum in the eleven counties served by the college.
Also joining the program will be Brittany Fry, the director of the Western Wisconsin Public Health Readiness Consortium, which consists of 13 local public health agencies and two tribal health agencies. Brian Kaczmarski, health officer for Polk County, will also be on the show.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side
Chippewa Valley Technical College
CVTC Suspends Classes, Moving to Online Instruction
Classes will resume online only March 30
Eau Claire, WI – Chippewa Valley Technical College has suspended classes until March 30 while instructors prepare to provide all classes by online delivery or other remote technology in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, CVTC’s primary focus remains on education,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “While instruction has been disrupted, we are committed to the safety of our students, employees and the community and doing our part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease. In response to the directive of Governor Tony Evers to suspend face-to-face instruction, CVTC will implement modifications to the academic schedule and campus staffing.”
Barker added that CVTC will work to reconvene regular instruction as soon as possible, pending further guidance from federal, state and local agencies. There are no current plans to lengthen the spring semester beyond the academic schedule of May 15. Events, seminars and other special training activities will also be suspended effective immediately. The Spring Open House, Spring Gala and Scholarship Award Reception have all been postponed.
Staff is transitioning to a remote work environment where possible, with limited on-site presence. Employees will continue to work their regularly scheduled hours and will be available to serve students and the community. Individuals who are on campus should maintain a six-foot radius from others and stay within designated spaces.
“We are taking things one step at a time as we navigate unknown territory,” Barker said. “I understand that there are many questions now and there will be more as we move forward. We will do our very best to answer them as they arise to make these transitions as smooth as possible.”
With over 155 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.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.