The Eau Claire Area Chamber has many initiatives to help employers retain, recruit and develop employees. Many of these programs, committees, and events have been around for years; At the 2019 Annual meeting our CEO/President David Minor announced the intention of focusing on Workforce Challenges and Solutions in the Chippewa Valley. This publication and the initiatives highlighted at the end of the edition are the beginning.
Next Chamber Virtual Town Hall: Apr 2 with Rep Ron Kind
Join us for our next Virtual Town Hall with 3rd District Congressman Ron Kind and John Kirchner from the US Chamber to answer your questions about the CARES Act and federal response to COVID-19.
• Virtual Town Hall: Thursday, Apr 2, 4:30 p.m.
Registration deadline Apr 2 at 11 a.m. Register Below
Eau Claire City/County Health Department
Weekdays at 3:30 p.m. Eau Claire City-County Health Dept (Facebook live)
Absentee Voting: deadline April 3
With social distancing and other issues, if you're concerned about going to the polls on Election Day, there are two alternatives:
1. Vote Absentee: If you're a registered voter, you can request a ballot to be mailed to you. Simply go to the MyVoteWI website, click "Vote Absentee," and follow the instructions.
2. In-Person Early Voting: Weekdays between now and April 3, you can vote early at your local election office.
Click here for early voting hours and locations in the City of Eau Claire, City of Altoona and Town of Washington, as well finding details for other municipalities.
Candidate and ballot information
The Chamber does not endorse candidates, but provides voter education information to help you make informed decisions.
Click here for the Chamber's Guide to the Spring 2020 election, including how to find what's on your ballot and links to candidate information. Included are links to our Good Government Council Questionnaires for Eau Claire City Council, Altoona School Board, Eau Claire School Board, and Eau Claire County Board.
Make sure your voice is heard. Be sure to vote in the Spring Election.
Eau Claire County Voting Safely Procedures
2020 Western & Central Wisconsin Wage Survey
The survey is distributed the week of March 16, due back by May 15, and is published in mid-July. We are proud to be covering employers from nine chambers of commerce including Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Marshfield, Menomonie, Portage County, Rice Lake, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids. Also involved are the local chapters of Society of Human Resource Management in the Chippewa Valley, La Crosse, Wausau and Winona. We need area employers to contribute their data in order to keep the wage survey viable and relevant; data is kept confidential. We have made it easy to participate, so please review the instructions and complete the forms. All documents for survey participation is on the Eau Claire Chamber's website.
There is a minimal cost to receive the report when it is available in mid-July, and chamber, CVSHRM, and Wipfli HR Forum membership qualifies businesses for discounted pricing.
If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Kummer at (715) 858-0618.
Chamber Job Board
Workforce News and Resources
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
MADISON – The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on Tuesday it published a final rule establishing a system for the development of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). The final rule follows a multi-year process to expand apprenticeships around the country and complement the Registered Apprenticeship program already in existence.
“Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship program has been a successful way to provide individuals with necessary training in a variety of industries since it started in 1911,” said Chris Reader, Senior Director of Workforce & Employment Policy at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). “The final DOL rule establishing an industry-recognized program will offer employers yet another option to fill the significant number of job openings we have in the state.”
Working From Home
The below resources were shared from T. Neeham an Enterprise Fiber & Managed Services Consultant with Spectrum Enterprise.
How to WFH (Work from Home)
Passionate Technologist, Entrepreneur & Crypto Enthusiast
As someone that has worked from a home office for almost 3 years in Montreal, serving customers around the world, I've had a lot of experience with the WFH model. Below are some of my thoughts on how to leverage technology to enhance your productivity as you consider WFH for yourself or your employees.
As more and more companies look to adjust their current work models to enable work from home scenarios as a result of the spread of Covid 19, there are three key elements that they need to consider in order to retain the effectiveness and efficiencies of their workforce as they leave the office and work from home.
Successful work from home models requires the right mix of Communication, Collaboration, and Security. Luckily, as a result of ever-growing popularity of cloud technologies, it has never been easier to recreate them in-office or on-premise experience while working from home. Below are some of the ways companies can leverage SaaS and cloud technologies to run their businesses remotely.
3 tips to help you work from home
I grow High Tech Companies, especially Cyber Security ones
So now that we have a pandemic on our hands we are going to see more employers asking employees to work from home. I am someone who from time to time has spent periods working from home and have picked up some best practices. For the record I am NOT a big fan of working from home, either personally or for my staff. That is not to say that I cannot do it as I can, nor that I have not had team members who excel at it as I have. It is something which is hard to do well and requires levels of disciplines and personal sacrifice that seem unreasonable in your own home. There are however three things I think you can do to make it work better.
COVID-19 Critical Business Updates
Eau Claire Chamber Virtual Town Hall for Business
Recorded on Thursday, March 26
An online opportunity to hear about business resources available to deal with COVID-19 and ask questions. Guests include Luke Hanson, Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp.; Heather Smith, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and Aaron White, Economic Development Director, City of Eau Claire.
This event was recorded. Click here to see the video (about 1 hour).
Click here to download the Resource Guide referenced in the video
Click here to download the text of the chat box from the video
CARES Act signed by the President; Includes forgivable loans to small businesses to keep workers employed
President Trump on March 27 signed the sweeping $2 trillion relief bill, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act , designed to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.
The bill allocates $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the “Paycheck Protection Program,” the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
The US Chamber of Commerce has developed a Guide and Checklist to help small businesses understand and use this program. Click below to access it:
US Chamber Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist
The CARES Act also includes direct payments of $1200 to individuals, a corporate relief fund, an extension and increase in unemployment benefits (including help for self-employed individuals), tax incentives for businesses to keep people on the payroll, aid to the health care system, and funding for state and local governments.
US Chamber: Comprehensive analysis of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Federal “CARES” Act Summary (Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce)
Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act (US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship)
Immediate help for Organizations who are laying off workers or closing
West Central WI Workforce Development Board
"The West Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board is here to help. We can help those affected immediately!"
- Jon Menz – Chief Executive Officer
Rapid Response Services for employers with employees being layed-off
Contact: Dave Paulson - Director of Business Development
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development – Employee Layoffs, Company Closures, WARN Notices: State of Wisconsin
Workforce Resource, Inc. – Eligibility for Dislocated Workers or Inquiries for Services
Dislocated Worker Hotline: 855-792-5439
Also includes W2 Emergency Assistance, Food Share, and other services. Click on the link below to find out if you are eligible (once you are at the website splash page click on ‘WRI Application’
MRA has created a dedicated Coronavirus webpage with resources for employers - everything from guides, sample letters, policies, webinars and more.
Images and Infographics for use
Provided by: Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), Eau Claire City/County Health Department and the CDC
Eau Claire Chamber Workforce Initiatives
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.