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.
Last chance to register - 27th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
Even with a different format, this annual event with business and community leaders representing the Chippewa Valley is critically important because of the budget decisions lawmakers will be making in Madison in the coming months.
Key among local economic issues important to this joint effort of the Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Menomonie Chambers of Commerce include expansion of broadband, second phase funding for the UWEC Science and Health Sciences Building, plans for UW-Stout's Heritage Hall, making state land available for economic development in Chippewa Falls, and state leadership in meeting workforce challenges.
With meetings and legislative visits taking place in short segments over four days, you can participate without leaving your home or office. Participants are being asked to be available for one morning of legislative visits (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday). There will be an Issues Briefing on Friday, March 5, at 11:00 a.m., with the same content repeated on Monday, March 8, at 1:00 p.m. Other all-attendees sessions include an address by Governor Tony Evers, meetings with cabinet secretaries, a workforce development issues discussion, and a wrap-up session with Chippewa Valley area legislators. See the schedule link below for times and topics.
Full Rally Schedule
2021 Chippewa Valley Rally Issues
Registration information (please register by March 3)
2021 Human Resource Conference
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Virtual Conference hosted on Perigon
Cost to Attend: $89 for Chamber/CVSHRM Members
$119 for Non-Members
$49 for Students
The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and the Chippewa Valley Society for Human Resource Management (CVSHRM) will present its annual Human Resource Conference specifically geared for human resource professionals, small business owners and managers. The conference will provide a variety of sessions to keep the HR professional or business owner in the know about key issues affecting the workforce. SHRM credit approval is pending.
Morning Mingle with CVSHRM 8-9 a.m. Bring your favorite morning beverage and network with CVSHRM and other HR Conference attendees!
2 fantastic Keynote sessions:
Cost to attend is $89 for Chamber or CVSHRM members, $119 for non-members, and $49 for Students.
To sign up for the conference, click here to register or call the Chamber office at 715-834-1204. Registration deadline is Monday, April 5, 2021.
Sponsored by: Achieve Wellness LLC, Edvest - WI College Savings Program, M3 Insurance and Marshfield Clinic, ReforMedicine, Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C., United Healthcare.
Perigon Sponsors: Prevail Bank and Royal Credit Union
2021 Western & Central Wisconsin Wage Survey - Opens March 15
The Chamber's Western & Central Wisconsin Wage Survey is now in its 22nd year. The survey will be available for download on March 15, 2021. The deadline for employers to participate is May 3, and the results will be published in July. This regional survey has been conducted since 2000 and has expanded over the years.
We encourage area employers to contribute their data to keep the survey viable and relevant. All data is strictly confidential. It is easy to participate for both small and large employers as the survey is in an Excel spreadsheet developed specifically for this purpose. You do NOT have to be a Chamber member to participate.
There is minimal cost to receive the results report when it is available in July. All participants in the 2021 Wage Survey will be eligible to join us on July 28, 2021 for a presentation from Deb Marshall, of Wipfli, explaining the data results. More information about this event will be available as the date approaches.
For any questions or comments, contact Danielle Kummer with the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org or (715) 858-0618.
EDI Series - Partnership with Chippewa Valley Technical College
Title: Virtual Lunch & Learn- Workplace Allyship Series
A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace creates a space where all employees feel safe and supported. These types of workplaces are made through the work of allies.
Join us for the Workplace Allyship Lunch & Learn Series, where we will explore topics surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion. We'll focus on inclusivity in the workplace, representation in a global world, and how, when left ignored, these issues can lead to loss of productivity, turn-over, and lawsuits.
Each session will include a presentation from an industry expert and a Q&A. Grab your lunch and get ready for engaging conversation. No matter what role you play in your organization, you can increase your organization's inclusivity. You can be an ally!
EDI TRAINING IN YOUR BUSINESS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17 | 12 - 1 P.M.
This course will focus on how to increase employee buy-in and investment in training on equity, diversity, and inclusion when met with disinterest or even hostility. The learners will also explore how this type of training in their business is crucial to their effectiveness as workplaces become more diverse in gender, age, race, religion, etc.
CREATING INCLUSIVE WORKPLACES
TUESDAY, APRIL 6 | 12 - 1 P.M.
This course will help employees and supervisors explore what “inclusion” is and how it increases staff productivity and performance. Providing tools everyone can use, learners will build diversity into their workplace to make their own company more inclusive and representative in a global world.
INCLUSIVITY IN THE TEMP LABOR FORCE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 | 12 - 1 P.M.
This course helps employers and supervisors explore what inclusion is and how it increases all staff productivity and performance. With a focus on short-term and temporary employees, it will provide tools everyone can use to make their own company more inclusive and representative in a global world. A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace creates a space where all employees feel safe and supported. These types of workplaces are made through the work of allies.
Chippewa Valley Technical College is offering a Chamber member discount for. Please use the button below to get the code and registration link.
Programs & Services
Eau Claire County Humane Association (ECCHA) – Public Perception Survey
As part of a group project being completed by the “Team Blue” members of the Leadership Eau Claire Class of 2021, community members are being asked to complete a survey to gather their perceptions and needs of the Eau Claire County Humane Association.
The information collected will be used to provide the ECCHA a better understanding of what the community needs now and in the future.
To take the survey, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8MXQTX8
All responses will remain confidential and are due no later than Friday, March 5. To learn more about the ECCHA, go to https://www.eccha.org/
Now Accepting YLEC Applications!
The Chamber Foundation is currently accepting applications for its Youth Leadership Eau Claire class. Do you know current sophomores from Altoona, Augusta, Fall Creek, Memorial, North, Regis, or Wildlands Charter schools who want to develop leadership skills and become more involved in the community? Encourage them to apply! Application deadline is April 9, 2021.
The application is completely online – follow this link to apply & learn more!
The Eau Claire Chamber Education Foundation is seeking sponsors to support its Youth Leadership Eau Claire program. Each year, about 70 students apply for the class with enrollment of only 36. The program is made possible with $500 sponsorships for each student. Please consider becoming a sponsor and helping us develop our future community leaders. If your business would be interested in providing a $500 sponsorship for a student to participate in the program, visit our website or contact Casey Schumacher (715-858-0614). Thanks for the consideration.
COVID-19: Updates and Information
OSHA Issues "Stronger" Guidance on COVID-19 in the Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new, "stronger" Guidance on identifying and preventing coronavirus exposure risks in the workplace. Although this is labeled a "Guidance" and OSHA says that it is advisory, employers are cautioned that they can be at risk for standard OSHA penalties under the General Duty Clause if reasonable efforts are not made to minimize COVID-19 risks in the workplace, including efforts consistent with recommendations in the Guidance. And, it is possible that the elements listed in this Guidance, or something similar, could be required in the near future.
The bulk of the Guidance deals with encouraging employers to implement COVID-19 prevention programs. On his second day in office, President Biden ordered OSHA to consider whether an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 is necessary and, if so, to issue it by March 15, 2021. So, the distinct possibility exists that workplace prevention programs will be required if OSHA issues the emergency standard.
The new Guidance emphasizes that workers receiving the coronavirus vaccine "must" continue to follow safe practices, such as face coverings and social distancing. This is "because at this time, there is not evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission of the virus from person-to-person," and more information is needed about vaccine protection before changing these recommendations.
The Guidance recommends that prevention programs contain 16 elements:
EC City Council, County Board approve back-up mask mandates
*Would take effect if state mandate not in place
Both the Eau Claire City Council and Eau Claire County Board last week approved companion ordinances that would create a local mask mandate if there is not state mandate in place.
By votes of 11-0 at the City Council and 24-4 at the County Board, passage of the ordinances, if in place, would require individuals to wear masks indoors if in an enclosed space with one or more additional persons, and require buildings with public access to post a sign indicating that masks are required. The ordinances have a sunset date of June 30.
Local officials advanced their anticipated action date after legislative leaders moved to consider a repeal of Governor Evers' statewide mandate. There is also a court case on the legality of the Governors' orders under consideration by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
EC City Council approves face mask mandate to take effect if statewide order quashed (Leader-Telegram $)
County Board approves mask mandate (Leader-Telegram)
Eau Claire City Council & County Board pass ordinances creating a mask mandate (WEAU 13 News)
Eau Claire City Council passes mask ordinance (WQOW News 18)
Health department: Mask order crucial to keep virus in check (Leader-Telegram)
Local Governments Adopt Mask Protections as GOP Prepares to Kill Statewide Safeguard (UpNorthNews)
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: Gov. Evers Signs Special Session Senate Bill Shielding Businesses from COVID-19 Lawsuits
Gov. Tony Evers signed 2021 Special Session Senate Bill 1 into law as 2021 Act 4. This Act contains a liability shield that protect businesses—and other entities—from predatory COVID-19 related lawsuits.
Section 8 of the Act outlines one of the most robust COVID-19 liability shields in the country. The provision does the following:
WMC has advocated for a meaningful and easy-to-understand liability shield against COVID-19 related lawsuits for responsible businesses for over a year, since WMC released its Relief & Recovery Agenda last spring.
In early December, WMC led a coalition of more than 70 organizations including business groups, chambers of commerce and others asking Gov. Evers and the legislature to approve this type of liability reform legislation.
The Senate passed the bill last week 27-3, and the Assembly approved it on Tuesday 89-0.
WMC thanks all of our members who emailed or called their elected officials to talk about the importance of this issue to the business community. We could not have done it without you.
If you have any questions, please contact WMC General Counsel and Director of Tax, Transportation & Legal Affairs Cory Fish at email@example.com.
Teachers, childcare workers next in line as COVID-19 vaccine expands to newly eligible groups on Monday
A WEAU article reports that more groups of people are becoming eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning March 1, 2021, the vaccinations will be available to teachers and childcare workers. The article includes other groups of people that will be eligible:
Developing the Workplace
Explore Eau Claire Concierge Program
The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce has released a new workforce solution to the area! We found a solution to help you bring in and retain the talent you work so hard to find.
The Eau Claire Area Chamber has launched Explore Eau Claire, a community concierge program. This program is exclusive for you, our investors! Thank you to our newest Investor University of Wisconsin Eau Claire for supporting this program and its growth in our community.
The Explore Eau Claire program acts as a connection to your job candidates/new hires and their families as they make the choice to call Eau Claire home and begin the process of relocation. We ask what’s important to them and will make the connections that help newcomers integrate in our community. In areas such as:
• Schools • Churches • Hobbies/Interests
• Housing • Pet Care • Community Involvement
You can find more information here. If you have any questions or would like to be one of our limited initial investors, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You sell your company. We sell the community.
Gallup Article: Harness the Power of Your Organizational Culture in 3 Steps
COVID-19 created a shift in the dynamic of the workspace as offices closed and employees connected virtually. The inability to connect in person can create a disconnect among a company's culture. Employee's may find it difficult to stay motivated and focused without the value that comes from workplace culture. Gallup's article addresses this as an opportunity for company's to check in on their workplace culture. They recommend the following three tips:
1. Audit your organization's culture.
Though most leaders can pinpoint how their role supports their organization's purpose, most workers can't -- only four in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that the mission or purpose of their organization makes them feel their job is important. That means nearly six in 10 employees don't feel that way. Six in 10 are showing up to work feeling some level of disconnect from their company's mission or purpose -- and ultimately, from their own workplace culture.
To check in and assess the state of your organizational culture, ask yourself:
Leaders should anchor their ideal culture in the results it creates -- in the employee experience, customer experience and bottom-line outcomes. This ensures that the unique value each employee brings continues to propel your high-performance culture forward.
History has shown that cultures fail when they don't welcome divergent opinions or ways of thought. If employees can bring new ways of reaching your goals, their methods should be treasured and celebrated rather than seen as counterculture or, more ambiguously, that the employee is "not a good fit."
3. Specify how your values support that ideal organizational culture in day-to-day work.
To identify and articulate how your values reinforce your workplace culture, lean on your high performers who are on the front lines with your customers. They are the ones who, through their actions, are actively building and contributing to your organization's culture every day. With their help, mock up developmental scenarios that might occur in their work environment that will help prompt other employees to speak to how they might handle that same situation.
Podcast: ACT Workplace Solutions- Rebooting Economic and Workforce Development for 2021
The year 2020, although officially part of history now, presented significant market disruptions with lasting impact. What does it mean for workforce and economic development leaders who are grappling with the shifts continuing into 2021? Episode 25 of Ready for Work welcomes Chad Chancellor to the mic to discuss what trends to expect for economic and workforce development in 2021.
Chad, co-founder and CEO of Next Move Group, shares insights and predictions that he’s already seeing take shape in his part of the country. The population is shifting where they live and therefore where their dollars are spent. If he’s right, now is a huge window of opportunity for rural and small- to mid-sized markets. Listen to the episode for recommendations to leaders looking to attract site selectors and executives to their region.
In case you missed it, ACT pulled together the workforce industry’s best ideas for leading a skills-based economic recovery into one easy-to-use toolkit. Get the free toolkit here. Looking for success stories for disaster recovery and crisis management? We have those, too.
Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify
MRA: Turnover Survey
Managing employee turnover is important, but it can be a little overwhelming to figure out where to start. Especially now, as organizations continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's turnover report will begin to show the impact it had on participating organizations over the last year. Here is what you can expect from this year's survey:
Gallup Article: Productivity vs. Priority Overload - 3 Steps for Leaders
3 Steps for Effective Business Priorities: A Case Study
1. Use purpose to say 'no.'
The first step one professional services firm took was completing a companywide study asking associates about their purpose. The almost unanimous response was, "To make money and generate value for shareholders." This response might seem safe -- but in reality, a purpose like this does not enable effective prioritizing or goal setting.
So it's little wonder that this firm had literally hundreds of different initiatives in play. How many ways can an organization make money? Plenty -- far more than a single workforce can do well. And when Gallup looked closer at how this firm's purpose was influencing its employee experience, one word came back: exhausted.
In most cases, a purpose that's too broad -- or a purpose that is not aimed at a shared, human need -- will leave an organization jumping from one good idea to the next. The result? Unrealized gains and depleted workforce.
The right purpose guides leaders and teams to the right use of time and energy.
2. Use core competencies to focus priorities.
The organization in question then asked itself, "What does our organization do better than anyone else in the world? What is the unique contribution that makes us essential to those we serve?"
Before partnering with Gallup, employees in the organization were not unlike the 59% of American workers who can't see how their workplace differs from its competitors. But then Gallup's companywide survey revealed that many associates believed clients did business with them because they were more pleasant than other firms. That is, many employees viewed their unique core competency as "being nice."
With Gallup's help, the firm dug deeply into operations and discovered what truly differentiated its service: the organization's incredibly capable functional leaders and support staff who were renowned subject matter experts in their functions. Their operational excellence made the organization easy to do business with. Ultimately, this resulted in custom, white-glove, above-and-beyond service.
By setting their sights on ease of doing business and organizational excellence, client leaders were able to reorder, demote, and even remove initiatives that weren't aimed at their core competency in service of their purpose.
3. Collectively review priorities.
With an actionable purpose and unique core competency identified, client leaders were prepared to bring teams together to assess shared and individual priorities -- and to gauge the extent to which each leader's initiatives aligned with the overarching purpose and unique competency. Setting an example for teams companywide, the executive leadership team force-ranked priorities and eliminated actions that did not clearly strengthen their core competency and accelerate their purpose.
Ted Talk: How to Get Your Brain to Focus
Working from home, surrounded by your devices, make it challenging to focus you brain. Listen to Chris Bailey as he discusses how to get your brain to focus.
Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce: Upcoming Events
Click the Following Links to Learn More & Register
Menomonie Area Chamber & Visitor Center - Updates and Information
Virtual Junior Chamber Career Fair Partnership Invitation
Participating businesses will connect with up to 500 high school students from five local school districts to promote employment opportunities, describe career pathways, available scholarships and advocate for internships, co-ops and youth apprenticeships. Choose to present a live session or a pre-recorded session. Regardless of presentation style, all information will be available for six months after the event.
Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants
The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) competitive grant program is designed to strengthen Wisconsin's agricultural and food industries by working to reduce the marketing, distribution, and processing the impedes the expansion of sales of Wisconsin's food products to local purchasers.
A total of $300,000 is available in grant funding through the program; the maximum award for each project is $50,000, and grant applicants must provide a cash or in-kind match of at least 50 percent of the total project budget. Applications are due March 26 by noon.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.