A Local Resource To Area Businesses
"The Perspective" is a monthly publication of the Chamber's Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Task Force, comprised of approximately 30 representatives with a passion for sharing information and learning best practices about diversity, inclusion and minority business development to improve our workforce.
Goal Statement from the Chamber Business Plan:
Task Force Chair: Wesley Escondo, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wisconsin
Staff Liaison: Kaylynn Stahlbusch, Workforce and Program Director
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Chamber Partners on national Initiative to address inequality of opportunity
The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce announced it is partnering in a national initiative with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to address inequality of opportunity, an extension of the work of its local Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.
"Recent events around the country reinforce what we know: Inequality and violence tears apart communities and we must do better," notes the Chamber in a statement released today and signed by President & CEO Dave Minor.
"The Eau Claire Area Chamber values diversity and practices inclusion within our membership. For the continued advancement of these efforts, we champion equal access and equity of opportunity through the intentional inclusion of all. Further, we encourage and provide leadership and resources to our membership of chamber professionals and the community. However, it will take leadership at every level – national, state, local, community, and citizen – to move forward in an inclusive and productive way."
Click here to read the full statement
In announcing the national effort, US Chamber President Suzanne Clark said her organization “believes that the moral case for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is indisputable, and there’s overwhelming evidence that greater diversity benefits the American economy, businesses, communities and employees."
"We know what a job means to a family and to a community," Clark continued. "We will leverage our expertise and relationships to help develop solutions that will enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in our economic system." she said. “We are proud to partner with the Eau Claire Chamber on this initiative and help develop a robust plan of action.”
The national initiative gives the Chamber an opportunity to enhance and extend the efforts of its Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, which was formed in 2016 and is chaired by Wes Escondo of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Wisconsin. Its goal is to share information and learn best practices about diversity, inclusion and minority business development to improve our workforce. It works to leverage members’ combined experience and knowledge to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion programs and practices throughout professions; provide business members with access to information, individuals and ideas that will help them build more economically and socially inclusive organizations; and to become a forum to discuss new diversity and inclusion ideas and initiatives.
June 25 National Town Hall: The Eau Claire Chamber will join the U.S. Chamber’s national townhall event on June 25 where business and community leaders will discuss concrete actions that can be taken by government and the private sector to address inequality through education, employment, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice reform. We'll share details when they become available.
A message to the business community and those we serve (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)
U.S. Chamber Launches National Initiative to Address Inequality of Opportunity (US Chamber of Commerce)
MRA, The Management Association - New and updated resources in light of current events
Recorded Webinar: Engaging in Diversity and Inclusion
Research shows that inclusive workplaces make better companies—but how does an organization engage in building a diverse and inclusive culture?
Explore the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace and how diversity will impact your company.
This FREE one-hour webinar includes information on:
Toward One Wisconsin
A Conference on Building Communities of Equity and Opportunity
This conference will bring together individuals and organizations from multiple sectors across Wisconsin to address the most persistent barriers to inclusion, what is working, and what is promising on the horizon.
The 2021 Toward One Wisconsin Conference will be held in Eau Claire, WI!
Rescheduled for November 12-13, 2020
Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
2040 Airport Drive
Green Bay, WI 54313
Training for your business
Valuing Diversity & Inclusion – Company Insights - MRA, The Management Association
Where is your organization on its Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) journey? While each organization makes its own unique path, there are recognizable milestones and valuable steps for moving forward.
MRA hosts an annual D&I Leadership conference to bring together thought leaders, community leaders, and D&I leaders to explore initiatives, share best practices, and engage in critical conversations.
As a result of the recent 2019 D&I conference, organizations that are in the Valuing stage of their D&I journey — where a vision is outlined but more needs to be done to make D&I part of the everyday culture — shared their insights on how they are incorporating D&I into policies and values, cultivating an attitude of respect and dignity, and providing education and awareness.
Here’s what they shared:
Bias interrupters are small adjustments to your existing systems. They should not require you to abandon systems currently in place.
TOOLS FOR ORGANIZATIONS. Incremental steps that improve diversity in your organization can yield large gains. Diverse work groups perform better and are more committed, innovative and loyal. Gender diverse workgroups have better collective intelligence, which improves performance by the group and its members, leading to better financial performance. Racially diverse workgroups consider a broader range of alternatives, make better decisions, and are better at solving problems. Bias, if unchecked, affects many different groups: modest or introverted men, LGBT+, individuals with disabilities, class migrants (professionals from non-professional backgrounds), women, and people of color. We’ve distilled the huge literature on bias into simple steps that help you and your company perform better.
The toolkit covers The Challenge and provides The Solution with instruction of metrics, and implementation, along with PDF resources to utilize in the process.
Project Search Interns in search of permanent employment
Project SEARCH is a 9 month program which provides training and education leading to integrated and competitive employment for youth with disabilities. Project SEARCH is based on a collaberation that includes a local business, school district, DVR, disability services agencies and family. Mayo Clinic Health System has hosted Project SEARCH interns for three years, with 33 interns successfully completing the program. Five Project SEARCH graduates are currently working with Mayo Clinic Health System or Morrison Healthcare. Project SEARCH graduates are also working at businesses in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Bloomer. All partners are vital to the success of the program.
Publications To Educate And Broaden Knowledge In Areas Of Diversity & Inclusion
Local protests continue to be peaceful; City Manager, Police Chief write open letter to the community
Local demonstrations continued in response to the the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as increased public dialogue included the release of an open letter to the community from Eau Claire City Manager Dale Peters and Police Chief Matt Rokus.
Local reaction included a rally and march that drew more than 1,000 people.
The letter from Peters and Rokus included the following: "We stand as a partner against police brutality, as a partner against violence and are committed to strengthening trust within our community. Trust is built through our individual and institutional actions. Trust is displayed by honoring our community values of integrity, compassion, commitment and transparency. Trust is furthered by making certain we hire police officers who reflect our community, have the right ethical qualities and care about others. Trust is strengthened by properly training our officers, ensuring accountability and listening to and responding to community concerns. Trust is realized when we work together as a community to solve problems, ensure safety and security, and make Eau Claire a better place for all, regardless of our differences."
Eau Claire Police Chief, City Manager Write Open Letter to the Community (Volume One)
Thousands march downtown, rally in Phoenix Park (Leader-Telegram$)
Thousands gather Friday for Black Lives Matter rally and protest (WEAU 13 News)
'Against Everything I Stand For': Police Chiefs Decry Violence Against George Floyd (WPR)
Protesters have demanded police departments be 'defunded.' Tony Evers says that goes too far. (Marshfield News-Herald)
Healing Our Nation Starts at the Community Level (Quint Studer, Strong Towns)
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
“If we move into a space that we can live every day being an anti-racist person in everything that we do, we can really make this place a more safe and wonderful community for all of us to live.” – Brooke Jee-in Newmaster, Eau Claire.
When Volume One’s “Turn of the Decade” feature was posted in January with videos and quotes of community members discussing the 10 years ahead of us, nobody knew just how bad the start to this decade would become. But threaded throughout those thoughts were actionable ideas about what we can do as individuals, and what we can do as a community, to foster more ethnic and racial diversity and actively seek equity for all people. For more from this project, visit http://VolumeOne.org/decade
Office of Minority and Women Inclusion - Annual Report to Congress
Despite the absence of mandated contracting goals for other than small businesses, Treasury Departmental Offices’ commitment to minority-owned and women-owned business (MWOB) utilization has remained strong. In FY 2019, Treasury Departmental Offices’ total procurement contracts for goods and services represented $329 million in obligations (with 1,754 contract actions), with over one-third (34 percent) of contract dollars totaling $112 million going to either minority-owned or women-owned businesses. A total of $82 million, or 25 percent of total contract obligations, was awarded to minority-owned businesses. A total of $76 million, or 23 percent of total contract obligations, was awarded to women-owned businesses of all sizes. Among the small business categories, contract obligations to small disadvantaged businesses represented 6 percent of all Departmental Offices contracts; and contract obligations to women owned small businesses represented 17 percent – both above the 5 percent statutory goal.
Since OMWI first began tracking MWOB contracting in 2011, there has been an almost steady upward trajectory in MWOB utilization. The percentage and dollar amounts of minority-owned business and women-owned business contract obligations by Treasury Departmental Offices were among the highest ever in FY19. These achievements were accomplished without mandated goals as incentives for other than specific small business categories. With such strong performance in the utilization of minorityowned and women-owned businesses in FY 2019, it is difficult to propose or predict challenges.
However, with the implementation of category management strategies as a recent directive for the government-wide acquisition community, there remains the potential for a negative impact on contracting with minority-owned and women-owned businesses as an unintended consequence, particularly in specific industries where such businesses are not abundantly present. Therefore, even though no particular challenge in this regard was noted in FY 2019 for the second consecutive, this is an area where continued monitoring will be important
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.