Chippewa Valley Technical college
CVTC Referendum Seeks to Address Workforce Needs
Several projects included in $48.8 million proposal
Eau Claire, WI – Chippewa Valley Technical College is presenting a $48.8 million referendum to voters on the April 7 ballot to fund a number of facilities projects as well as equipment and land purchases.
The proposal includes construction of a new Transportation Education Center for $28 million, an addition and remodeling at the Emergency Services Education Center for $9.2 million, the addition of an Automated Fabrication Lab at the Manufacturing Education Center for $3 million, and purchase of land adjacent to the River Falls campus for $2.5 million. Also included are the development of mobile labs, purchase of new technology, remodeling at the Menomonie and Chippewa Falls campuses, a storage facility, and two science labs.
According to CVTC President Bruce Barker, the overall goals are to meet the workforce needs of the region and address a growing labor shortage in some critical areas.
“The programs we offer and the job skills we teach directly impact the quality of life in the Chippewa Valley,” Barker said. “Skilled positions in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, as well as protective services all require the specialized education that only CVTC provides. That’s why it is critical for CVTC to keep its programming, technology and facilities current.”
The 124,000 sq. ft. Transportation Education Center would bring together CVTC’s transportation-related programs including Automotive Technician; Auto Collision Repair; Diesel Truck Technician; Truck Driving; and Motorcycle, Marine and Outdoor Power, plus an Agriculture Service Technician program scheduled to begin next year. Currently, these programs are in facilities that are too small or outdated and spread over four locations, preventing collaboration between them.
Adam Wehling, dean of agriculture, energy and transportation, said CVTC must also modernize to meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry. “We’re working on integrating the higher tech components – the more advanced computer controls, hybrid systems, electric vehicles, and all the computer controls and diagnostics that go with that,” Wehling said. “Electronics is becoming increasingly more important in all transportation programs. We teach it now, but not to the extent we need to.”
“There are exciting advancements in transportation, and it is impossible to provide adequate training in our outdated, undersized learning labs that were designed and built in the 1960’s,” Barker said.
Improved facilities would help CVTC address a growing shortage of workers in the field, Wehling added.
CVTC’s Emergency Service Education Center was built following passage of a CVTC’s only previous referendum in 1997.
“After 20 years, the demands for training in the emergency areas have changed,” said Shelly Olson, CVTC’s dean of health and emergency services. “What we built in the ‘90s is no longer adequate.”
Eric Anderson, associate dean of emergency services, says the proposed expansion and remodeling of ESEC would address critical needs of the law enforcement program. “We don’t have a place to teach defense and arrest tactics,” Anderson said. “We need a room free from obstructions with padding on the floor. We have to rent time and space at a local karate studio or other fitness center to do that training now.”
The law enforcement programs now have a required fitness component. “We’re also going off-site for fitness training now,” Anderson added.
The proposal includes an expanded firing range for firearms training, allowing for work with rifles and large enough to pull vehicles inside and set up more realistic scenarios. The building would also include a room for use of force virtual simulation.
Kasondra Mero, director of CVTC Paramedic, FireMedic, and EMT programs, said more classrooms and space to work with simulators are needed. “Right now, we have barely enough classrooms and we sometimes have simulations in hallways and closets,” Mero said. “We’ll pile up chairs to form what an emergency scene would look like. The referendum projects would allow us to create more realistic spaces.”
The proposal would add a dedicated Emergency Medical Services simulation area. The FireMedic program would also gain its own apparatus bay, a place to keep fire trucks and other equipment and would also serve as a space for the Candidate Physical Agility Test.
The proposed addition and remodeling would benefit not only students enrolled in degree programs, but people in emergency response positions in local communities.
“Throughout the year, we have a lot of continuing education here, with firefighters and first responders updating and practicing their skills and testing for continues certifications,” said Mark Schwartz, CVTC’s emergency services continuing education coordinator. “It will be better training for them because we would have better facilities.”
The proposed Automation Fabrication Lab would help address employers’ demands for trained welders. The 10,000 sq. ft. addition to the Manufacturing Education Center would allow for an upgrade to the curriculum in the Welding and Welding Automation programs, and increased collaboration with other manufacturing programs.
CVTC has a one-time opportunity to acquire 6.7 acres of land adjacent to the River Falls Campus that could be used for future expansion. The CVTC District Board has already approved the $2.5 million purchase, contingent on approval of the referendum.
“We urge all eligible voters in CVTC’s 11-county district to cast ballots in the upcoming election, and in light of the pandemic that has affected our daily lives, please consider absentee or early voting,” Barker said.
CVTC Essential to All Areas of Local Economy
By Bruce Barker, President of Chippewa Valley Technical College
In January, the Chippewa Valley Technical College District Board of Trustees authorized the placement of a referendum question on the April 7, 2020 election to raise $48.8 million dollars. A successful referendum would greatly increase educational opportunities, but it would also increase taxes on $100,000 of property by $13 annually.
CVTC impacts every aspect of daily life and business in West Central Wisconsin. Our programs and graduates are essential to every business sector, including agriculture, construction, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and business. We have open enrollment, meaning everyone is admitted regardless of ability, history or finances. Once they complete their education, over 91 percent of our graduates stay in Wisconsin and over 72% stay here in West Central Wisconsin, providing valuable goods and services to our residents.
Perhaps the best way to understand CVTC’s importance is to think of your everyday life. If you woke up in a wood framed home, we probably built or repaired it. We heat it in the winter and cool it in the summer. When you hit that light switch, thank our line workers for the power. Early morning trips to the bathroom and kitchen would be different without plumbing and appliances. Thank our tradesmen, machinists and welders. When you get in your car, it starts because of our mechanics. If you hit a deer or tree, our auto collision specialists will fix it good as new.
If you think police, fire fighters and paramedics are needed services in our communities, thank our grads. If you’ve ever been nursed back to health; had an operation; had an x-ray, lab test or ultrasound; or had your teeth cleaned, you’ve benefited from our alumni. We grow your food; we truck it to market. We are the IT and administrative professionals that run offices and data centers. We’re the technicians, electricians, apprentices and journeymen that maintain our factories, assembly lines and distribution centers.
The demands for CVTC grads have never been greater. If we want our local economy to grow and prosper, the College must also grow and expand. We’ve seen the importance of a well-educated workforce and we know the quality of life we enjoy is directly dependent upon the quality of education CVTC provides.
The referendum funding would allow us to make much needed advancements in many areas. In transportation, we are witnessing a change from gasoline engines to hybrids and electric vehicles. This means our future and past grads will need to know how to service cars that are designed and powered differently. This change is also occurring in trucking, where many firms are moving from diesel powered vehicles to ones powered by compressed natural gas. While these are exciting green advancements, it is impossible to provide adequate training in our outdated, undersized learning labs that were designed in the 1960’s.
In manufacturing we see more and more automation and robotics. We therefore are seeking to expand our manufacturing center so we can continue to be a leader in this wealth-producing industry.
We would also like to improve the training for our first responders. Police, fire fighters and paramedics are facing new challenges. These individuals risk their lives to save our lives. Modern facilities would allow us to use more simulation and technology as we train our local forces.
We are unfortunately seeing a shortage of skilled workers in all sectors of our economy. In order to increase awareness and interest in applied education, we have started partnering with local K-12 districts. Last year, we partnered with 41 high schools to provide 36 academies that awarded 2,004 college credits to 347 students, saving those students and their parents almost $269,000. In order to expand these vital partnerships, we are seeking improvements at our Chippewa Falls and Menomonie campuses and wish to purchase additional land in River Falls for future expansion.
The quality of life we enjoy here in West Central Wisconsin is directly dependent upon the education we provide at CVTC. Help us help you by providing the education upon which we all depend.
We urge all eligible voters in CVTC’s 11-county district to cast ballots in the upcoming election, and in light of the pandemic that has affected our daily lives, please consider absentee or early voting.
Per Mar Security Services Announces Openings for Temporary Security Officers
DAVENPORT, Iowa – Per Mar Security Services, a leading provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, IA, announces openings for Temporary Security Officers amid the COVID-19 crisis. Per Mar understands the needs and safety of our community are changing during this pandemic as more people are transitioning to working from home and only essential personnel physically remain in the workplace. To help ensure the ongoing safety of our community and business clients during this time, Per Mar is hiring Temporary Security Officers.
Temporary Security Officers will help to keep the communities we live in safe, while also offering a source of income for those temporarily displaced by this outbreak. Brad Duffy, President of Security Officer Services, said, “We are in unprecedented times and we are humbled to be called upon in various ways to help keep our communities safe and prosperous during this crisis.”
Per Mar currently has openings for Temporary Security Officer positions in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. Please visit Per Mar’s careers page to apply for a Temporary Security Officer job in your area. The job description is also included below.
Temporary Security Officer Job Description
Per Mar Security Services has an immediate opening for temporary Security Officers. As a Temporary Security Officer you represent both Per Mar Security Services and the client organization. As such, you must be able to exemplify exceptional customer service. As part of Per Mar Security Services, you will represent a security force, but an approachable one to help people feel safe, while maintaining a positive environment. No in person interview will be conducted during the pandemic.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Kristin Foss has joined the Bank as Mortgage Loan Officer at its new office in Altoona, Wis.
In her new role, Foss will educate and guide clients through the home financing process by offering creative solutions with a variety of loan products and terms. She brings 16 years of experience in the financial industry, most recently with Johnson Financial Group. Because of her past experience in mortgage lending as well as insurance, Foss brings a unique perspective to the conversations she has with clients.
“We’re fortunate to welcome someone with the talent and experience that Kristin brings,” said Tom Seaholm, Vice President and Business Banking Officer. “Her dedication and commitment to customer service, combined with her ability to find innovative solutions, embodies our core values and that will position us for long-term success in the Chippewa Valley.”
“WNB Financial is growing in the Chippewa Valley, and I’m excited to be part of the team,” Foss said. “The values and ethics of WNB align with my own. I take great pride in my client relationships and strive to deliver a positive experience by being honest, clear, and efficient in my communication.”
Foss earned her Business Management degree from Hamilton Business College in Des Moines, Iowa. Her current and past activities include BNI – Greater Eau Claire Chapter, Rice Lake United Way, and Polka Dot Powerhouse – Eau Claire Chapter. Foss is married with two sons and enjoys boating, golfing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
WNB Financial is now open in Altoona’s River Prairie Development across from Woodman’s, offering a full range of personal, mortgage, and business banking services, as well as retirement planning, wealth management, and financial advising. Please call 715-598-1529 to schedule your appointment today.
Healthcare Provider Actively Hiring & Admitting
11 Locations in Northwestern Wisconsin
Amidst so many cancellations and closings related to COVID-19, local healthcare provider Dove Healthcare wants to assure the public they continue to actively hire employees and admit patients.
Regional Director of Operations Jeremy Kiley shared, “We have received multiple inquiries and comments with misinformation and assumptions that hiring and admitting has paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that just isn’t the case. Our team is working every day to fill a variety of openings for CNAs, nurses, and other departments at our 11 locations in northwestern Wisconsin. Furthermore, we are committed to providing care when called upon and that includes during this unprecedented time with COVID-19.”
For more information regarding Dove Healthcare’s six skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and five assisted living residences, visit dovehealthcare.com, email email@example.com, or call 715-930-6004.
Announcements Regarding COVID-19
City of Eau Claire
COVID-19 and City of Eau Claire City Hall
Absentee Voting Drive-Thru
Voting is considered an essential government function. To safeguard this important process and safety and well-being of election workers and residents, the City of Eau Claire Elections Office has set up drive-thru absentee voting in the parking lot of City Hall at 203 S. Farwell St. City of Eau Claire residents should enter the parking lot from Dewey Street only. There are a series of tents set up and staff who will guide voters through the process. Proper social distancing and cleaning guidelines will be strictly adhered to. Absentee Voting drive-thru is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. through April 3, 2020.
City Hall Offices Closed
For the safety of everyone and to Slow the Spread of COVID-10 we will close our doors to the public starting at 12:00-noon today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. We don’t know how long this will last but until we’re able to open our doors again, rest assured that we are here for you; online, by phone, and email.
Please visit: EauClaireWI.gov and click “Online Services” to renew a pet license, get a dog park pass, apply for a building permit, pay a parking ticket, and many of the other services you rely on us for.
City Council Meeting – March 24, 2020
While the Tuesday, March, 24; City Council Legislative Session will take place, in person attendance by the public will not be allowed. City Council meetings are televised live and can be viewed via: • Basic Cable Channels 96 and 97 • Digital Cable Channels 993 and 994 • Digital TV Tuner Channels 98-13 and 98-14 • Online streamed live at Valley Media Works.com (click “Programming” then “on demand”) • Simulcast on radio station WRFP 101.9 FM. Please note: the two public hearings regarding rezoning for a proposed Kwik Trip on Gateway Drive and a residential development northeast of Caden Court and Aspen Ridge Drive that were scheduled for Monday, March 23, were canceled and action on those items is expected to be postponed by City Council during the Tuesday, March 24; Legislative hearing. The new public hearing date is expected on Monday, April 13, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. with legislative action by City Council the following day, on April 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation
Foundation Offers Emergency Teacher Grants and Student Support
The Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation (ECPSF) has launched an emergency grant program to support Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) teachers and staff who are educating students remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting school closures.
Typically, ECPSF offers grants in fall for the district’s teachers and staff to use toward classroom needs. However, the current remote format may require different educational tools.
To date, $10,000 from the foundation’s unrestricted funds has been allocated for the program.
“The cornerstone of what we do at ECPSF is provide grant funding to support ECASD’s greatest needs and educator innovation,” said Sarah French, ECPSF executive director. “We are thrilled to be able to continue to support our teachers’ innovation and creativity in these uncertain times.”
Teachers and staff who are seeking funding must complete a simple online application form to make their request; all requests are reviewed by a committee of the ECPSF Board of Trustees. Funds will be granted on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and to adapt to evolving needs.
In addition to the emergency teacher grants, the foundation is raising money to support district, student, and family needs in the transition to remote learning. The Districtwide Greatest Needs Fund for Today generally helps schools provide students with the essentials families cannot. With the evolving public health crisis, those needs are changing.
Donations to the Districtwide Greatest Needs Fund for Today, as well as other foundation funds, can be made on the foundation’s website at www.ecpsfound.org.
Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit, independent organization that connects the community and the Eau Claire Area School District to inspire and enhance the educational experience of students. Through charitable donations from community members and businesses, ECPSF assists schools with their greatest needs, supports educator creativity, and raises endowment funds to enable future foundation giving.
Hours of operation changing at Marshfield Clinic Health System locations
MARSHFIELD – To help “flatten the curve,” Marshfield Clinic Health System is implementing temporary changes in the hours of operations at our centers throughout Wisconsin. These changes will allow us to reallocate providers, staff and supplies in anticipation of a surge of patients who may have COVID-19 and most importantly, keep our patients and staff safe.
The changes are listed below. All of our hospitals remain open 24/7. We encourage patients to call ahead and verify if their appointments are still scheduled and if the appointment has been moved to a different location. These hours may change as the situation evolves and will be updated at marshfieldclinic.org.
We realize this is a difficult decision, but we are doing this to be most prepared to treat our patients with COVID-19 symptoms. We need to be ready for the surge of cases. We need to keep our staff and patients safe, and minimize exposure. That means limiting face-to-face contact.
Our patients who are ill and need to see a physician will be seen. Our cancer care centers remain open. Call and we will find a way for the patient to get the care and treatment they need.
Telehealth is a key resource
We also are strongly encouraging patients to use our telehealth program.
Marshfield Clinic Health System patients can contact Nurse Line at 1-844-342-6276 with questions. Non-Health System patients can use Care My Way®, available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Each session costs $40 and you can pay with any major credit card at the time of service. Visit marshfieldclinic.org/care-my-way for more information.
You may also call our COVID-19 Helpline, open 24/7, at 877-998-0880, to ask questions and get factual information about the virus.
New online COVID-19 screening tool
Concerned that you have COVID-19 symptoms? Visit marshfieldclinic.org to use our online screening tool for COVID-19 symptoms. Click on the pop-up chat box in the lower right corner of your computer or mobile device and type your message.
In an abundance of caution, the Health System has implemented a number of changes in recent weeks already to help fight coronavirus, including:
Hours of Operation:
Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam – Hospital services remain 24/7, with potential modifications to select services. Majority of our Beaver Dam medical offices will remain open Monday thru Friday.
Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire – Hospital services remain 24/7, with potential modifications to select services. Majority of our Eau Claire clinics will move to Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule. Cancer Care Services remain M-F.
Marshfield Medical Center-Ladysmith – Hospital services remain 24/7, with potential modifications to select services. No surgeries/procedures until further notice.
Marshfield Medical Center (Marshfield) – Hospital services remain 24/7, with potential modifications to select services. Majority of medical offices will remain open Monday thru Friday. Cancer Care Services remain Monday-Friday.
Marshfield Medical Center-Neillsville – Hospital services remain 24/7, with potential modifications to select services.
Marshfield Medical Center-Rice Lake – Hospital services remain 24/7, with potential modifications to select services. Majority of our Rice Lake medical offices will remain open Monday thru Friday. Cancer Care Services remain Monday-Friday.
Flambeau Hospital – Hospital services remain open 24/7 with no changes. Urgent Care services will move from Flambeau Hospital to Park Falls Center on 3/30.
Beaver Dam Center – Temporarily Closed (services consolidated into the Institute of Movement and Orthopedics in Beaver Dam's Vita Park office building).
Bloomer Center –Temporarily Closed 3/26 (patients to be redirected to Chippewa Center).
Cadott Center - Temporarily Closed 3/25 (patients to be redirected to Chippewa Center).
Chetek Center - Temporarily Closed (in-person services moved to Rice Lake medical offices with patients being seen via telehealth services to the greatest degree possible).
Chippewa Center – Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule.
Clairemont Center – Temporarily Closed as of 3/21 (patients redirected to Eau Claire medical offices).
Colby Center – Will remain open as a walk-in clinic Monday thru Friday 6:45 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Columbus Center - Temporarily Closed (services consolidated into the Institute of Movement and Orthopedics in Beaver Dam's Vita Park office building).
Cornell Center – Temporarily Closed as of 3/24; patients being seen via telehealth services.
Cumberland Center - Temporarily Closed (in-person services moved to Rice Lake medical offices with patients being seen via telehealth services to the greatest degree possible).
Eagle River Center – Temporarily Closed – patients to be redirected to telehealth or Minocqua Urgent Care.
Greenwood Center - Temporarily Closed as of 3/25 (patients redirected to MMC-Neillsville or Colby Center).
Hayward Center – Temporarily Closed (in-person services moved to Rice Lake medical offices with patients being seen via telehealth services to the greatest degree possible). Hayward pediatrics has moved to Park Falls.
Hayward Physical Therapy Center – Temporarily Closed as of 3/26.
Horicon Center - Temporarily Closed (services consolidated into the Institute of Movement and Orthopedics in Beaver Dam's Vita Park office building).
Juneau Center - Temporarily Closed (services consolidated into the Institute of Movement and Orthopedics in Beaver Dam's Vita Park office building).
Ladysmith Center – Open Mon, Wed and Fri from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Thursday. Urgent care is open.
Lake Hallie Center – Urgent Care schedule remain the same, family practice moving to Mon, Wed, Fri schedule.
Loyal Center – Temporarily Closed (patients redirected to Marshfield Medical Center-Neillsville). Physical Therapy closed. Occupational health continues to provide pre-employment services 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Menomonie Center – Temporarily Closed as of 3/25 (patients redirected to Eau Claire medical offices).
Mercer Center and remote pharmacy – Temporarily Closed – patients to be redirected to telehealth or Minocqua Urgent Care. Effective 3/27.
Merrill Center – Open Monday and Thursday. Closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Effective 3/30.
Merrill Eye Center - Temporarily closed. Patients can be seen by Dr. Sarazen at the Wausau Center for any emergency eye care issues--M/W/F
Minocqua Center – No changes in hours or closure. Cancer Care Services remain Monday-Friday.
Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam Chiropractic Center – Temporarily Closed.
Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam Sleep Center – Temporarily Closed.
Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire Cancer Center – Schedule remains the same.
Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire Physical Therapy - Schedule remains, with some reduction in services.
Mosinee Center – Temporarily closed effective 3/30 (Remaining appointments will be rescheduled to the Weston Center).
Oakwood Center – Temporarily Closed 3/27
Park Falls Center – Center expanding their hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. And 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends. Taking Urgent Care from Flambeau Hospital.
Phillips Center – No changes in hours or closure
Rice Lake - Medical Arts Building and Pediatric Therapy Clubhouse - Temporarily Closed 3/27.
Rice Lake - Lakeview Medical Center Health & Wellness Center - Temporarily Closed.
Rice Lake – Lakewood Center - Lakewoods will continue behavioral health and lab point of care (INR) testing services.
Riverview Center – Temporarily Closed 3/27 (in-person services moved to Eau Claire medical offices with patients being seen via telehealth services to the greatest degree possible).
Rhinelander Center - Temporarily Closed; patients to be redirected to telehealth or Minocqua Urgent Care. Effective 3/30.
Stettin Center – Transitioning to a "Well Center" effective 3/23 seeing pediatrics, OB and family medicine patients without respiratory symptoms relocated from Wausau and Weston; respiratory or suspected infectious patient directed to Wausau Urgent Care.
Stevens Point Center – No changes in hours or closure. Urgent Care has been temporarily closed. Cancer Care services remain Monday-Friday.
Stratford Center – Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Thursday.
Waupun Center - Temporarily Closed (services consolidated into the Institute of Movement and Orthopedics in Beaver Dam's Vita Park office building).
Wausau Center – Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule (Urgent care expanding into vacated pediatric space, open 7 days week), effective 3/30.
Weston Center – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule (Urgent Care open 5 days/week), effective 3/30. Cancer Care Services remain Monday-Friday.
Wisconsin Rapids Center – No changes in hours or closure. Suspended some outreach - orthopedics after 3/26, podiatry 3/27, cardiology 3/26, nephrology.
Wittenberg Center – Temporarily Closed effective 3/30 (remaining appointments will be rescheduled to the System's Weston Center); patients moved to Weston Center.
Woodruff Center – Transitioning to a "Well Center" for OB and pediatric patients without respiratory symptoms relocated from Minocqua Center; respiratory or suspected infectious patient directed to Urgent Care.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
CVTC Takes Next Step to Help Slow Coronavirus Spread
Campuses closed to public
Eau Claire, WI – In an effort to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Chippewa Valley Technical College has closed its campuses to the public as of 5 p.m. Friday, March 20. Arrangements are being made for students and staff needing to retrieve items from campus through Monday, March 23 at 5 p.m.
After making the decision to suspend face-to-face instruction for the time being, the College continues to closely monitor the evolving situation and decided to close public access to its buildings as the next precautionary measure. In this effort, CVTC staff have been busy transitioning to provide remote services options.
Classes are set to resume in alternate delivery methods starting March 30 and faculty are working diligently to transition their classes for this shift. Student and staff support services will remain available through electronic methods. CVTC’s e-learning specialist is available for video conferencing and phone appointments to students and College Professional Development is working to assist faculty and staff who are transitioning to remote work environments.
“We are taking the situation very seriously and are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said CVTC President Bruce Barker. “I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we take the necessary action to keep our students, employees and community safe.”
For the most current CVTC update on COVID-19, visit www.cvtc.edu/covid19.
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.
CVTC Joins Fight Against Virus
Personal protection equipment donated, ventilators provided
Eau Claire, WI – Chippewa Valley Technical College’s health and emergency services programs are providing supplies, equipment and expertise to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and faculty members are ready to bring their expertise.
The value of equipment and supplies donated to local emergency service centers is over $10,000, according to Shelly Olson, executive dean of health and emergency services.
“We inventoried all FireMedic and Emergency Medical Services supplies, including non-disposable equipment and disposable personal protection equipment (PPE),” said Mark Schwartz, emergency services continuing education coordinator. “Our disposable PPE, like masks and gloves were divided up for our 11 county area and distributed to the majority of the counties Monday. We were able to send out about 80 N-95 masks, eight boxes of gloves and a small amount of surgical gowns and masks to each county.”
An additional 30 gowns, several cases of gloves and hand sanitizers and equipment disinfectant from the Health Education Center were also provided to the 11 counties.
The supplies were distributed to the Emergency Management departments in each county, which will determine the best use of the equipment and supplies and distribute them.
CVTC has also loaned three ventilators from its Respiratory Therapy program to Mayo Clinic Health System hospital and two to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. Ventilators are critical pieces of equipment for people who have severe cases of COVID-19 or underlying health problems that put them at risk. Healthcare facilities fear not having enough respirators for people who need them as the disease spreads, which has already happened in some parts of the country.
CVTC’s Respiratory Therapy faculty members Theresa Meinen and Donald Raymond are ready to join the fight as well.
“I was an employee of Mayo for 20 years, leaving in 2015, and Don worked there for a time as well,” said Meinen. “We have renewed our employment there and are ready to come to work should the hospital need us during the outbreak.”
Mayo has also hired four CVTC students who will be able to do some lower level respiratory care work. “The students are eight weeks from graduating and are confident in most things,” Meinen said.
Personal protection equipment and other medical supplies are stacked at CVTC just before being delivered to the 11 counties in CVTC’s district as they prepare to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s
An important update regarding hospital visitor restrictions
Revised restrictions will go into effect at 7 a.m. on March 21, 2020
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls – In an effort to further control the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) into our hospitals as well as throughout the community, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are implementing updated visitor restrictions, effective at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Visitors are not allowed at either hospital until further notice. The new and only exception to this policy allows for ONE (1) approved adult visitor, who is cold/flu symptom-free, for the duration of a patient’s stay under the following circumstances:
It is imperative to make these changes for the safety of all patients and hospital staff to reduce the risk of infection and to preserve important health care resources during this time of a public health emergency. We understand how important it is for loved ones to be able to connect to patients during times of need, and so we encourage the use of cell phone calls, text or video chat if available. Loved ones can also call our hospitals directly to be connected to patients’ rooms via telephone.
In accordance with the recent executive orders from Governor Walz in Minnesota and Governor Evers in Wisconsin, WNB Financial is doing its part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As an essential business, WNB Financial will remain open but will extend temporary lobby closures to the following dates:
Through this time, Drive-Ups remain open during regular business hours, and Electronic Banking services remain open 24/7.
Customers can be assured that their money is safe and fully insured. WNB offers insurance of funds through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which covers up to $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category.
WNB Financial understands that borrowers may face financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, and every situation is different. Customers who may need assistance are encouraged to call 507-454-8800 or toll free 800-546-4392 to discuss how WNB can help create a solution tailored to the specific situation.
Visit WNBFinancial.com/coronavirus-update for timely updates.
Wisconsin Public Radio
Discussions with Arts Directors on “Spectrum West” March 26, 2020
Host Al Ross will talk with two statewide arts organization directors on “Spectrum West,” which airs at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls. The program will also feature interviews with the editor of Eau Claire’s Volume One, a professor from University of Wisconsin-Stout and the author of a book about fur trading in northern Wisconsin.
Anne Katz, executive director of Arts Wisconsin and George Tzougros, director of the Wisconsin Arts Board visit with Ross to talk about their organizations handling of the current healthcare crisis. Both groups are at the forefront of helping the creative sector cope during this time which is cancelling many aspects of their livelihoods.
Nick Meyer, editor and publisher of Volume One, visits with Ross to talk about the innovative ways his staff is working to mitigate the effects of the current health scare on the arts and hospitality culture of the area.
Kevin Tharp, UW-Stout associate professor of digital marketing technology, will also join the show this week. He has devised what is being called a crash course in alternative learning teaching to help colleagues deal with the challenges of virtual classrooms during the pandemic.
In conclusion this week, correspondent Jim Oliver will talk with Bob Silbernagle, author of the book “The Cadotts: Fur Trading Family on Lake Superior.”
“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.
Western Wisconsin Tourism, COVID-19 Update on “The West Side” March 27
The state of tourism in western Wisconsin in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a topic of discussion on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 27 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 Benny Anderson, the new executive director of Visit Eau Claire, the community’s convention and visitor’s bureau. They will talk about the outlook for spring and summer tourism, how businesses are adapting the experiences they offer, and how they are adjusting their expectations for the coming six months.
Also joining the program will be Brian Kaczmarski, the director of the Polk County Health Department in Balsam Lake, and chair of the Northwest Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition, to talk about that group’s work to provide a coordinated response to disasters, and how it is responding to the current pandemic. The coalition is made up of health departments, emergency management divisions, tribal governments, clinics and hospitals in a 15-county area ranging from Osseo to Superior and from Ellsworth to Ashland.
“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.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
UW-Eau Claire grad working to produce masks for health care workers, others
A UW-Eau Claire graduate who runs a Twin Cities textile company is stepping up to help meet the needs of health care workers and others who are struggling to find enough personal protective equipment to avoid contamination during the coronavirus crisis. Full story.
Continuing Education program changes amid COVID-19 pandemic
The health, safety and well-being of our customers remain the top priority for Continuing Education at UW-Eau Claire. The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a risk across our communities, and we want to share the actions we've taken to keep our customers and employees safe and healthy. Full story.
Blugold leads Mayo Clinic research team developing COVID-19 tests
Sara Lassila, who earned a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from UW-Eau Claire, is a test development supervisor at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her team developed a test that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Full story.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.