The Eau Claire Area Chamber has many initiatives to help employers retain, recruit and development 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 below are the beginning.
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"Eau Claire is not a place to simply live, but a place that will genuinely reward you if you give to it. From the beauty of our landscape to the warmth of the residents that live here, Eau Claire has given my family and I a sense of pride in belonging that we didn't feel in previous towns or cities" - Wesley Escondo, Big Brothers Big Sisters, moved from Chicago in 2012.
WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
Most communities have at least some good. But some places have a lot of good - and Eau Claire is one of them. Dig into the guide by using the image below for the low down on everything that makes this place so great - the events, music, recreation, neighborhoods, and more that make up a truly outstanding place to live.
Hmong American Leadership & Economic Development (HALED)
Volume One: Networking events can be “transactional,” according to Mai Xiong. There are unspoken rules and expectations, and one must understand what they are in order to make connections with others. It can be a very high-pressure environment, especially for people who are new to the area or those who come from cultures that have only been in the United States for one or two generations, Xiong said.
Xiong is the president of Hmong American Leadership & Economic Development, an organization that aims to promote economic prosperity for Hmong Americans through education, networking, and elevating social equity.
“It’s who you know and your initiative to really talk to people,” Xiong said. “It’s really challenging because in marginalized communities and communities like ours where networking is so new – it’s 40 years new to us … It’s very intimidating.”
"It’s really challenging because in marginalized communities and communities like ours where networking is so new – it’s 40 years new to us – it’s very intimidating." – Mai Xiong, president of Hmong American Leadership & Economic Development
The organization, known as HALED, is in its early stages. Presently, it is focusing on providing structured, fun, and diverse networking opportunities in the Eau Claire area. Events are free to attend, breaking down one potential economic barrier, and feature icebreaking activities to ease attendees into their new relationships.
“The main purpose of why we do these is so that we can help folks expand their networks beyond their current circles and really take the initiative to learn about other folks, other communities, cultures, and all that good stuff,” Xiong said.
In the coming months, HALED will begin to offer low-cost or free classes and workshops in financial literacy. Offerings will focus on taxes, business lending, savings, homeownership, retirement, investment, and more, and will do so in a way that relates the skills and practices necessary for success in the Midwest to cultural practices and values of Hmong people.
Not every approach to financial growth works for every person, Xiong said, so HALED’s classes will help find approaches that function for Hmong people.Classes will be open to anyone, providing the general Eau Claire population to learn financial literacy skills while developing awareness of other cultures and communities in the area.
All of these efforts are designed to address what Xiong and the organization’s treasurer, Mai Houa Moua, have identified as an increasing number of young Hmong college graduates leaving the Eau Claire area because of a lack of opportunity. Many Hmong, Xiong said, find it difficult to transition from a manufacturing or front-of-house role into a supervisory position or higher, and providing resources to develop networking and financial skills will help bridge the gap.
HALED is in the process of developing a membership program with an annual donation in order to fund its efforts. It complements the efforts of the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association, Xiong said. While the association provides support for Hmong residents to meet their essential needs, HALED focuses on promoting prosperity among them.
“Essentially this is the foundation for our newer generation,” Moua said.
“We want to be able to help elevate our past, which is our parents, continue to grow our present, and then support the future, which is our kids, to be able to thrive and be great citizens,” Xiong concluded.
MRA: Workplace Trends - What's Hot and What's Not
"Despite being financially behind, the typical millennial has a practical approach to money, saving for emergencies, and contributing to a retirement account."
Intellectual Humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong
Julia Rohrer wants to create a radical new culture for social scientists. A personality psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rohrer is trying to get her peers to publicly, willingly admit it when they are wrong.
To do this, she, along with some colleagues, started up something called the Loss of Confidence Project. It’s designed to be an academic safe space for researchers to declare for all to see that they no longer believe in the accuracy of one of their previous findings. The effort recently yielded a paper that includes six admissions of no confidence. And it’s accepting submissions until January 31.
“I do think it’s a cultural issue that people are not willing to admit mistakes,” Rohrer says. “Our broader goal is to gently nudge the whole scientific system and psychology toward a different culture,” where it’s okay, normalized, and expected for researchers to admit past mistakes and not get penalized for it.
"'How would I know if I was wrong?' Is actually a really, really hard question to answer..."
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