The Workforce Connector is a monthly publication made possible by HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, Prevea Health, and Xcel Energy.
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 on our website are the beginning, use the button below to "learn more".
The chamber's workforce initiatives are led by the Workforce Development Committee Chair, Monica Obrycki of Eau Claire Energy Cooperative and Kaylynn Stahlbusch, Workforce and Program Director of Eau Claire Area Chamber.
The EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is designed to assist small businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by assisting with long-term, fixed rate, low-interest working capital loans.
WEDC Report Assesses Ongoing Economic Impact of COVID-19 pandemic
In light of the evolving nature of the pandemic and its still-unfolding impact on the state’s economy, the report calls for the state to focus on three priorities:
Now Available for purchase
Due to employers devoting most of their resources COVID-19 pandemic response during our submission period, participation in the recently completed survey declined 25% this year – to 119 vs. 162 last year. This was especially, and understandably, acute in the healthcare sector. We are optimistic that 2021 will see a return to our previous robust response rate.
As the survey results are effective April 1, 2020, it is difficult to say if this data will be reliable for compensation planning in late 2020 or into 2021. It appears that average pay increase percentages have remained consistent at around 3% in the area. As with any emergency situation though, the impact across employers is uneven with some being very negatively impacted and others scrambling to hire more employees in high-demand jobs. It will be an interesting year for compensation. Now more than ever, employers will need depend on applying good business judgment to determine their response to the pandemic’s impact on wages and salaries.
The survey results were compiled from submissions by 119 organizations in various industries, in an area encompassing the chambers of commerce in Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Marshfield, Menomonie, Portage County, Rice Lake, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids. Also involved were local chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the Chippewa Valley, La Crosse, Wausau and Winona, MN. The survey is administered by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce.
To purchase a copy of the wage survey, please contact Danielle Kummer (715) 858-0614.
Working Parents, Childcare, & COVID-19: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Altoona, Eau Claire Schools Announce Reopening Plans
Hybrid in-person, online instruction at both districts
Both the Altoona and Eau Claire school districts last week announced their plans for resuming classes in the fall. In both cases, the districts will offer a mix of in-person and online options, with families also being able to choose an all-online option.
In Altoona, K-5th grade students will attend classes in person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, while 6-12th grades will be divided into sections, which will attend in-person classes two days per week, and learn online the other three. All buildings will close on Wednesdays for cleaning.
“The Railroader Return-to-School Plan was collaboratively developed to both follow health official guidance and maximize resources to bring students back to school safely," said Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos.
In Eau Claire, the mix between in-person and online classes will vary by grade level. For grades 1-2, students will attend in-person classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, while grades 3-12 will be assigned a cohort to attend in-person two days per week and online the other three. All schools will be closed on Wednesdays for cleaning.
See the links below for more detailed information from each district regarding their plans.
Challenges for employers, parents and families
With students not going to school five days per week, parents and families will face logistical challenges, as will, by extension, their employers. Eau Claire Superintendent Mike Johnson said the district is exploring partnerships with organizations that can help, like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, local churches and others. He said that was one reason for getting the plans out as soon as possible. "By planning now, we can help them plan for the future," he said on a morning interview on WEAU last Tuesday, the day after the School Board acted on the plan.
The Chamber will be following up with businesses on how fall school plans will affect their employees and families, and share ideas, resources, and best practices as they develop.
6 steps for employers with a cOVID-19 Positive Case
Click the link below to view the document which exists to assist employers with the proper steps to take should a positive case of COVID-19 exist in the workplace. This document was drafted by the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task force in collaboration with the The Eau Claire City/County Health Department & research through various HR Management firms in the Chippewa Valley.
Virtual Eggs & Issues: The State of public k-12 education
Join us for insights into plans for local school districts this fall as they navigate COVID-19 concerns to deliver education to students in our communities. Confirmed guests include newly-installed Superintendents Heidi Eliopoulos at the School District of Altoona and Michael Johnson at the Eau Claire Area School District.
An online virtual event: Thanks to the Perigon system provided by WIN Technology, you'll be able to participate in this event live from your computer.
Registration closes at 12:00 noon on Thursday, August 20. An email address and mailing address is required for each attendee to register. A link to login to this session will be emailed to you about 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 20.
***PLEASE NOTE: If you do not receive the email containing the link to log in to the meeting, please be sure to check your spam folder.
Building Cultural intelligence (certificate Series) - UW - Eau Claire Continuing Education
MRA presents "Hot Topic Leadership Series" - a Chippewa Valley exclusive virtual Event to showcase business leaders and member success stories
First session on August 11, 2020
Acquiring and Retaining Talent in a Recovery World The talent acquisition landscape has shifted dramatically given the pandemic’s impact on businesses and industries alike. As some employers froze job postings or decreased headcount, others maintained hiring plans or stepped up recruitment efforts. As we look ahead to a job market that may be wildly different from today’s landscape, what is your game plan?
Member: $25 per session or $100 for the entire five-part series
Nonmember: $30 per session or $115 for the entire five-part series
All sessions will be held from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. CDT.
Recordings will be available for those who register but are not able to attend.
Series topics include:
August 11: Acquiring and Retaining Talent in a Recovery World
September 24: Compensation Trends: Pay, Benefits & Best Practices
October 13: Elections and Politics in the Workplace
November 10: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Your Responsibility as an Employer and Leader
December 8: 2021 Forecast
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Junior Achievement Study: Almost 500 Wisconsin High School Seniors say they are changing their post graduation plans
A study by Junior Achievement of Wisconsin shows almost 50% of graduating high school seniors have changed their post-high school plans. Out of 1,000 high school seniors in Wisconsin, almost 500 of them changed the course of their futures, in some way or another, because of COVID-19.
National Career Readiness Certification Event (NCRC)
Volume One - Where the jobs are
UW-Stout Summit Tackles Teacher ShortagesCOVID-19 may exacerbate concern, and Gen-Z may provide the answerHow to attract and retain diverse teachers because of a growing shortage nationwide was the main topic of UW-Stout’s fifth annual Career and Technical Education Summit held ...
Eau Claire Metro Area Jobs by the NumbersFor nearly a decade, these numbers told a pretty positive story about the Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin, and the nation as a whole, with the economy expanding and unemployment steadily ...
The Young Professionals of Chippewa Valley is a personal and professional development program of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce that encourages young business people to interact socially, exchange ideas, share common interests, learn more about the area’s business community and engage in the community’s future. The Young Professionals began in September 2003. If you are between the ages of 21-40, please look into membership or contact Casey Schumacher at the Chamber for more information.
To get connected, get involved or learn more please contact Kaylynn Stahlbusch, Workforce and Program Director at the Eau Claire Area Chamber.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.