Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
Congratulations to Brooke Petska, Marawood Construction, on being named Chamber Ambassador Rookie of the Year. Brooke's dedication and support of the Chamber for the past year has been very much appreciated!
WNB Financial held it’s first of two summer concerts on June 14, drawing a crowd of over 2,000. The concert featured Bob & The Beachcombers as well as the famous $1 lunch and $1 root beer floats, raising $1,014.25 for The Friends of the Winona Public Library. The purpose of Friends of the Library is to support and promote the Winona Public Library, offer volunteer services, and stimulate the use of the library’s resources and services. Don’t miss WNB Financial’s next summer concert on Friday, July 12. A Pool Party Concert will be held at the Bob Welch Aquatic Center from 12:00-2:00 p.m., with free admission to the Aquatic Center until 6:00 p.m. This concert will feature Rip Roaring Entertainment and all proceeds will benefit Ready Set School.
U.S. employers are reporting the strongest nationwide hiring intentions in 13 years at +21%, according to the Q3 2019 ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) Employment Outlook Survey.* The last time the survey of more than 11,500 employers reported an Outlook as high as +21% was in Q3 2006. Among survey participants, the Wisconsin area employment outlook is the best in the nation.
“In today's market, it is all about networking, connecting and collaboration. We seek the highest levels of talent in the market and share with our clients seeking those same skills and experience, whether the need is now or for down the road,” said Kim Peterson, Executive Vice President of Manpower in Wisconsin/Minnesota. Peterson continues, “To find the best candidates, we invest in in our recruiters through innovative training to help provide them with every advantage to win for our clients.”
Junior Achievement (JA) of Wisconsin, Inc. received a grant for $5,000 from the Xcel Energy Foundation. The Education Focus Area dollars help Junior Achievement continue to reach area youth with programs teaching them about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy at the JA in a Day Career Exploration Events. These skills help empower area youth to manage their own economic success.
Xcel Energy Foundation grant is part of the company's corporate giving education focus area, which supports nonprofit organizations like Junior Achievement in areas of science, technology, engineering, economics and math education.
"Xcel Energy has been a long-time supporter of Junior Achievement programs in Wisconsin. The program is in great alignment with our company’s mission of supporting a variety of educational opportunities. We are thrilled to support these students in their hands-on learning,” said BJ (William) Rauckman, Senior Director – Distribution Operations NSPW, Xcel Energy. “And getting kids excited about a variety of careers is something that is of great interest for Xcel Energy’s future.”
The investment to Junior Achievement allows the nonprofit organization to serve communities throughout northwestern and southern Wisconsin to provide economic and financial programs in area schools. These dollars will impact more than 1,400 area students in their classrooms.
“JA programs help prepare our young people for the ‘real’ world by bringing in a business volunteer to show them how to make money, manage their finances and how to create jobs which makes our communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking at work." said Junior Achievement Director, Susan Peterson.
The RCU Foundation announced that local charities will receive over $27,000 following the 2019 Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic, held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 in downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park. The event featured over 700 run/walkers and hundreds more who enjoyed the food, games, and entertainment. This was the event’s 25th anniversary.
The proceeds are being donated to three partner charities: Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation, The Open Door Clinic and Stepping Stones: Food, Shelter, Support. Registered participants received one free vote at the time of registration; additional votes were available to be purchased online at $2 each. Stepping Stones received 46% of the votes and will be awarded a $15,000 donation, The Open Door Clinic earned 35% of the votes and will receive $7,500, and the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation will receive $5,000 after earning 19% of the vote.
The RCU Foundation’s Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic included a 10K and 2 mile walk/run, ½ and ¼ mile kid’s races, music, family games, and food trucks. Save the date for next year’s Rock the Riverfront on Saturday, June 27, 2020.
The biennial Wisconsin state budget and other recent bills in the legislature will be discussed on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 1 on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls.
Host Dean Kallenbach welcomes Sen. Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) and Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer). Monday marks the start of the new biennium, and the guests will talk about the differences between the two-year budget proposed in February by Governor Tony Evers and the bill considered by the legislature, and how western Wisconsin will be affected. The program will also explore other recent legislation, including bills related to abortion that were vetoed by Governor Evers, changes in drunk driving laws and measures aimed to deal with poverty and homelessness in Wisconsin.
“The West Side” is a call-in program focused on issues specific to western Wisconsin. The show airs at 10 a.m. on Mondays on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls, with a live stream at www.wrfw887.com. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at 1-800-228-5615. Archives are available at www.wpr.org.
Jay Dobson, a member of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Police Department for 23 years, has been selected as the department’s next chief following a national search.
Dobson has served as a lieutenant with the department for the past nine years and has been interim chief since the April retirement of former Chief David Sprick. Dobson will officially assume the chief role on July 1.
“Jay Dobson is widely respected for his depth of knowledge and professionalism while serving in his many integral roles in the UW-Eau Claire Police Department — as indicated by his selection last fall as the recipient of the university’s Excellence in Performance Award for University Staff,” said John Haven III, vice chancellor for finance and administration. “His contributions to the department over time have been significant, and he brings much knowledge and experience to the table to lead his team in ensuring a safe living, learning and working environment here on our campus.”
As chief of the UW-Eau Claire Police Department, Dobson will oversee 11 full-time and two part-time officers and will be responsible for the management, planning and direction of the university’s law enforcement program. He also will work closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Dobson has had progressively increased responsibilities during his career at UW-Eau Claire. Fiscal management, delivery of departmental trainings, participation on various on- and off-campus committees, and educational presentations to community groups have been among his many departmental administrative duties. His police duties have included supervision of the department’s sergeants, detective, officers and student staff in addition to his varied law enforcement responsibilities. Dobson also has served as an adjunct instructor since 2002 in the Chippewa Valley Technical College Law Enforcement Academy.
“Jay Dobson was selected from a strong pool of final candidates for the chief position,” said Deb Newman, UW-Eau Claire associate director of Housing and Residence Life and chair of the search and screen committee for the position. “Through the interview process, he demonstrated his commitment to our students, mission, and goals and has excellent professional experiences that have prepared him well for his role as chief.”
Dobson earned a bachelor’s degree in management from UW-Eau Claire and an associate degree in criminal justice from Chippewa Valley Technical College, and he is a graduate of CVTC’s Law Enforcement Academy. He also completed the Supervision of Police Personnel training program at Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety and is currently enrolled in the Executive Leadership Institute and the Command Leadership Institute through the FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.
“Being a Blugold for the last 23 years has had such a positive effect on my life,” Dobson said. “I take seriously the value of leading our department in building relationships with our campus and community partners, all while continuing our tradition of exceptional protective services. I look forward to the opportunities for continued contributions toward UW-Eau Claire’s mission, values, and vision.”
On Thursday, June 20, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s Board of Trustees recognized the contributions of outgoing members Sarah Harless and Rob Reid.
Harless, an attorney recently elected to a local judgeship, served two terms on the Board (2013–2019) and held the offices of Secretary (2014–2015), Vice-President (2015–2016), and President (2016–2017). Reid, a children’s author and former library employee about to retire from his position as Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at UW–Eau Claire, served one term (2016–2019) and held the office of Vice-President (2017–2019).
“Both members have made important contributions during the recent, very active time for the Board,” says Bob Eierman, President of the Board of Trustees. “Sarah was a clear, strong advocate for the library, and was frequently called on to provide legal expertise,” Eierman continued, “and Rob’s vast experience in libraries and education was very valuable during deliberations.”
Two new members, Katherine Cook and Seng Xiong, have been appointed to replace the outgoing members starting in July 2019.
Eight legislators and 80+ business & community leaders
Bi-partisan agreement on the UWEC Science Building, but disagreement about other issues like accepting Federal Medicaid expansion, highlighted the exchange on Friday, June 21, among eight legislators who represent the Chippewa Valley in Madison. They appeared at the Holiday Inn South as part of the Chamber's monthly Eggs & Issues breakfast series, discussing the state budget and answering questions submitted from among the 80+ Chamber members attending.
Participating in the breakfast were State Sens. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) and Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire), and Reps. Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire), Jesse James (R-Altoona), Romaine Quinn (R-Cameron), Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi), Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) and Warren Petryk (R-Eleva). The panel was moderated by the Chair of the Chamber's Governmental Affairs Committee, Jennifer McHugh of Royal Credit Union.
Broad local bi-partisan support for the UWEC Science Building
The $109 million capital item proposed for the UWEC Science Building was included by Governor Evers and retained by the legislature's Joint Finance Committee (JFC), whose version of the budget is expected to be taken up the the Assembly and Senate this week. The project, which includes a research partnership with Mayo Clinic, even received specific praise in comments from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Joint Finance Co-Chair Alberta Darling.
"The good news is that it's in the budget from both parties," said Sen. Jeff Smith, who noted that the project has the potential for "turning Eau Claire into the rural healthcare center for not just Wisconsin, but the rest of the nation."
"The key element is how the Chippewa Valley can pull together as a team regardless of which side of the aisle you're on," said freshman Rep. Jesse James.
"It's a great project. It was a huge lift, but it's not done yet. I know how important this is to western Wisconsin," said Rep. Romaine Quinn.
Senator Kathy Bernier said she hopes to pursue a pilot project to have the building bypass the state's usual process through the Department of Administration, both to speed up its completion but also to save overhead costs.
Path forward on the budget, other issues
The wide-ranging discussion with legislators on Friday also touched on issues like transportation funding, Medicaid expansion, workforce and education.
With a Democrat in the Governor's office and Republicans still in firm control of both legislative houses, Senator Smith said he prefers to think of it in terms of "it's not split government, it's shared government."
Even once the budget is done, noted Rep. Rob Summerfield, "there's work to do on issues like workforce and clean water."
Rep. Warren Petryk, who chairs the Assembly Workforce Committee, noted that workforce continues to be a critical priority, and that he and his staff worked with JFC to get initiatives into the budget that serve to "attract, retain and train" to meet the needs of Wisconsin employers. In particular, he noted increased funding for technical colleges, Project Search, job training for inmates in corrections, youth employment, apprenticeships and more.
Sen. Bernier also noted the $15 million included to place an additional 22 beds at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph's hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls to address a severe shortage of mental health facilities in the region.
Mixed feelings on transportation budget
The most-asked question submitted by breakfast participants related to long-term transportation funding, and why JFC didn't endorse the gas tax increase proposed by Governor Evers.
"We are fairly sure most everyone agrees there is a need for more money for infrastructure," said Rep. Romaine Quinn, who said there were real differences within the Republican caucus on how to achieve that. "We had to be realistic that the Senate would not pass a gas tax," which meant pursuing other means, such as the $400 million the JFC plan will raise primarily through increased title and registration fees.
"Even WMC says we should do a 5 cent gas tax increase," countered Rep. Jodi Emerson, who said "too many people are hung up on the 'tax' word," and asserted that "the other side of the aisle didn't want to give Governor Evers a win" by doing a gas tax increase.
Rep. Treig Pronschinske suggested that the state should give counties the opportunity to raise their own sales taxes for transportation, and Rep. Warren Petryk noted that this budget has the lowest level of transportation bonding since 2001. Sen. Kathy Bernier pointed out that the budget provides $90 million in one-time money for local roads to help catch up from reduced funding in previous years. Senator Jeff Smith said the $400 revenue increase didn't go far enough to meet the needs that would have been achieved with the Governor's proposed $600 million, and that title and registration fees are really just as much of a tax and a gas tax.
No Medicaid expansion - right or wrong?
The sharpest exchanges between legislators came between the Democrats and Republicans on the JFC's refusal to go along with the Governor's proposal to expand Medicaid to cover an additional 82,000 individuals falling in the area between 100% and 130% of the federal poverty level.
Democrats maintain that bringing in over $1 billion in federal expansion money would free up over $300 million in state funds for other priorities. "Instead, we are spending more Wisconsin taxpayer dollars on health care," asserted Rep. Jodi Emerson, "we are giving away a billion dollars in federal tax money that is going to other states." Sen Jeff Smith said "it's disingenuous to call this welfare. Your costs go down if we accept Medicaid expansion."
Republicans defended JFC's budget that spends an additional $588 million on health care programs, including increased reimbursement rates for nursing homes and hospitals, and higher wages for personal care workers. Rep. Romaine Quinn maintained that those who would be covered under expanded Badger Care already are already covered though federally-subsidized private insurance on the exchange. Rep. Warren Petryk asserted that Wisconsin is "already the only state that covers every man, woman and child below the federal poverty level," and that only 5% of Wisconsin residents are uninsured.
Monthly Eggs & Issues breakfasts
The Eggs & Issues monthly governmental affairs series is one of the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Events. Investors include: Partner level, Xcel Energy; Advocate level, Miron Construction, and Supporter level, Banbury Place/Cigan Properties, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, and HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals.
The next breakfast will be Friday, July 19, at the Lismore Hotel, and will feature Wisconsin Transportation Secretary-designate Craig Thompson.
Proposed plan would fast-track new UWEC Science Building (WQOW News 18)
Wisconsin Legislature website (contact information for local legislators)
July 19 Eggs & Issues: Wisconsin's Transportation System
Posted by Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Paul Rudersdorf, president and CEO of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Mark Chilson has been appointed to lead SFB’s newly-expanded insurances services. Chilson, who has been a licensed insurance agent since 1985, will help bring the bank’s insurance products to clients in other SFB locations.
Chilson joined SFB in 1991 and has served as a relationship manager focusing on agri-business loans. He has been the Durand market president since 2014 and will continue to serve as market president in his new role directing insurance sales.
“Mark’s expertise in both ag insurance and lending has made him a tremendous asset to our clients in the Durand area,” Rudersdorf said. “With his leadership, we are excited to be able to help more clients with their insurance needs in our other markets.”
SFB offers agricultural-related insurance products including crop-hail, dairy revenue protection (DRP) as well as multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI) with production and revenue coverages. In addition, SFB offers term life insurance. Chilson will be offering these products to clients in Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith, River Falls and the surrounding areas.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are pleased to announce that Laura Baalrud has accepted the role as Director of Community Health for the two hospitals.
Baalrud has served at the two hospitals since 1977, most recently as Community Health Educator 3D Community Health: Body.Mind.Spirit, a service line of the hospitals.
She was instrumental in the development of QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer – an education initiative for both adults and students; and has implemented the first Mental Health First Aid community education series in our region. Both programs have reached thousands of individuals in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties.
Baalrud leads the Chippewa Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) community coalition and is the point person for community benefit reporting for both hospitals. In her tenure with HSHS, Baalrud has served as director of volunteers and director of food service, both at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“We’re thrilled to have Laura in this expanded role,” said Sommer Miller, Vice President of Strategy Development and Implementation at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “Her passion and dedication toward improving the health of our community is apparent and her experience, knowledge and strong community connections offer exciting opportunities for the future of our Community Benefit team.”
TSI Voice & Data welcomes Sara Johnson to our Eau Claire office at 1607 Harding Ave as Project Manager and member of the customer service team.
Sara has a wide variety of knowledge in the telecommunication community coming from her background with a multi carrier agent in the area.
TSI Voice and Data sells, installs and services phone systems and related technology including network cabling and infrastructure.
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire will be closed Thursday, July 4, for Independence Day. The library will resume its normal hours on Friday, July 5.
On June 27, a registered nurse from HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals will be at area pools to share free summer safety tips, sunscreen, sunglasses and bottled water at 1 p.m. at Bernard F. Willi Pool, Chippewa Falls (Bridgewater Ave.) and at 2:30 p.m. at Fairfax Pool, Eau Claire (4200 Fairfax Street, Eau Claire).
As the first days of summer come to pass, these visits are designed to remind community members of the importance of sun safety during the hot summer months. To stay safe in the sun, the two hospitals recommend these simple tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Larson Companies, along with their long-standing partners in Keystone Corporation, Ayres Associates, have yet again tapped into their philanthropic roots with the upcoming demolition of the obsolete Clarion Hotel. Larson Companies will not only be donating all of the furniture inside the property. Larson Companies' partner in community-minded Keystone Corporation, Ayres Associates, has also agreed to donate space to Western Dairyland for a period of six months while they stage and distribute the vast donation.
The space will be in the temporarily vacant building formerly occupied by Wipfli. Another example in the long history of these organizations giving back, reinvesting in this region, executing their mission of passionately helping people. What our community is all about.
Philanthropy is engrained in the fabric of both of these companies, going back over more than forty years. For example, in 1993 Larson Companies purchased this particular property the community now knows as Clarion Hotel out of foreclosure and donated contents of hotel in similar fashion at that time for charitable use. Tracing to 1994, Larson Companies purchased what is now known in the community as The Lismore and similarly donated.
In fact, the philanthropic history of Larson Companies includes the Eau Claire Community Foundation, of which Dick Larson is a founding member, as well as generations of support and service to Mayo Hospital spanning over 100 years. Shining examples of businesses in our community with a rich history of giving back. It’s engrained in the culture of these companies and its people, who regularly donate their time and support to beloved charitable causes and events like the Eau Claire Marathon and Big Brothers Big Sisters, to name just a couple of the many.
Connie Pedersen, board chair of the Eau Claire YMCA, and Rolly Enderes, immediate past board chair of the Chippewa Valley Family YMCA, announce that effective immediately, both organizations have officially joined to form one YMCA association known as the YMCA of the Chippewa Valley.
This joint venture is the result of nine months of careful analysis and planning. The process began in August 2018, when volunteers from the Chippewa Valley Family YMCA approached the Eau Claire YMCA about exploring possible shared services or a consolidation. The boards of directors of both YMCAs commissioned a task force to explore and evaluate joining as one association, which was announced in December 2018. In April, based on the overwhelmingly positive results of the task force’s study, both boards unanimously voted to officially join as one association.
“The Chippewa Valley Family YMCA is very pleased with this outcome and we look forward to advancing the YMCA’s cause throughout the entire Chippewa Valley,” states Rolly Enderes.
The merger will benefit members of both organizations and communities. Nationwide membership means that members of each facility were already able to use neighboring Ys. However, Chippewa Falls members could not take advantage of membership rates for programming at the Eau Claire YMCA, such as gymnastics at the L.E. Phillips Sports Center, or tennis at the John & Fay Menards Tennis Center. Now as members of the new association, they’ll have access to the member rates in all association facilities.
One of the unique and exciting aspects of this union is that it involves two dynamic and vital organizations with a common set of goals and vision for the future. The combination of strengths and traditions from our two organizations will create one powerhouse for good.
“Bringing these two YMCAs together enables us to be more innovative, to create and launch new programs, expand existing programs to additional communities, and operate more efficiently. We will expand our base of volunteers, donors and partners, enabling us to positively impact more children and families,” says Theresa Hillis CEO/Executive Director of the YMCA of Eau Claire, who will serve as CEO of the new association. “Our teams are excited about moving forward as one Y and are already working together to ensure a smooth transition for our members and program participants.”
Pedersen agrees. “As we explored the opportunity to bring the two Y’s together, it was evident that we could make a bigger impact working together than we ever could working alone,”
The YMCA of the Chippewa Valley headquarters will reside at 700 Graham Avenue in Eau Claire. Collectively, the YMCAs will serve over 16,000 members and participants, employ more than 950 people, and engage approximately 550 volunteers with an annual operating budget of $9 million.
The combined association has five facilities:
· Eau Claire YMCA – 700 Graham Ave, Eau Claire
· Chippewa Falls YMCA – 611 Jefferson Ave, Chippewa Falls
· John & Fay Menard Family YMCA – 1260 Menomonie St, Eau Claire
· L.E. Phillips YMCA Sports Center – 3456 Craig Rd, Eau Claire
· Camp Manitou – 27960 137th St., New Auburn
Additionally, before- and after-school care services are provided in 18 schools across Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties and two Early Learning Centers at the Chippewa Valley YMCA and the Eau Claire YMCA.
The Healing Place, a free service of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital that helps anyone who has experienced a loss and is in need of spiritual and emotional support, is offering the following programs and sessions in July. All sessions will take place at The Healing Place, 2125 Heights Drive, Eau Claire, unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 715-717-6028.
Demand for workers continues to grow across Wisconsin and the United States. According to the Q3 2019 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, Wisconsin area employment outlook is the second best in the nation for the coming summer months of July through September. Low unemployment plus the demand for more employees makes the services provided by Manpower and their associates even more valuable to local business leaders. In order to successfully make matches between job seekers and clients in a very competitive job market, Manpower colleagues are actively pursuing new knowledge and training in recruiting practices.
Last week, Manpower recruiters from Wisconsin attended a training workshop in Chicago with other Manpower recruiters from around the country. According to Alicia Paulette, Talent Coordinator from Manpower of Rice Lake, “The Chicago Talent Acquisition Workshop was a great place to interact with other recruiters, and develop new or improve existing recruiting and sales processes.” Paulette continues, “We find that job seekers often consider more than just wage when considering a new position, and this workshop helped those in attendance to develop ways to tell the ‘story’ of our client in a way that will better resonate with job seekers. This will help us to better match candidates with the company culture, and in turn will increase employee satisfaction long term.”
The importance of ongoing recruiter training is echoed by Kim Peterson, Manpower Executive Vice President of Wisconsin/Minnesota, “Our people are our greatest assets. Investing in them through innovative training is just one of the many ways we live to our core values. Recruiters today need the energy, expertise and resources to thrive in this very competitive talent environment. We want them to have every advantage to win for our clients.”
Sadly, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Of more than 123,000 women in a 60-mile radius of HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals who are eligible for mammography screenings, fewer than 25 percent are anticipated to receive those screenings.
A mobile mammography bus is the best way to provide advanced imaging to women who may not have the opportunity to travel for this type of service, especially those who live in rural areas.
HSHS hospitals in Green Bay, Sheboygan and Oconto Falls, in partnership with Prevea Health in those communities, have been providing mobile mammography services since 2018. It’s the goal of the western Wisconsin division of HSHS, which includes HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, to bring a similar life-saving bus to our communities in western Wisconsin permanently. This will be accomplished through the HSHS Sacred Heart Foundation and HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundation, which have begun raising support for this important project.
Later this month, community members will have the chance to tour the mammography bus from eastern Wisconsin as it makes its way to visit the communities of Rice Lake, Ladysmith, Cornell, Menomonie, Mondovi and Arcadia.
The goal of the two hospitals’ foundations is to fund the purchase of a similar mobile mammography bus in 2020 and begin offering mobile mammography services at Prevea Health clinics in rural areas of western Wisconsin.
“Early detection continues to be the best defense against breast cancer,” said Ken Brown, director of imaging services for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “The ability to take this technology to women outside of the medical facility and to their location will increase the opportunity for women to access screening mammograms easily.”
Community members are encouraged to check out the mobile mammography bus at the dates and times below:
Cornell: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Cornell Area Care Center, 320 North 7th Street, Cornell
Ladysmith: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Prevea Ladysmith Health Center, 1101 Lake Avenue West, Ladysmith
Chippewa Falls: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Prevea Chippewa Falls Health Center, 2509 County Highway I,
Rice Lake: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Prevea Rice Lake Health Center, 1051 West Avenue, Rice Lake
Menomonie: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Cardinal Glass, 2200 Stokke Parkway, Menomonie
Mondovi: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Prevea Mondovi Health Center, 250 State Road 37, Mondovi
Arcadia: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Prevea Arcadia Health Center, 945 Dettloff Drive, Arcadia
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and the Wisconsin Parkinson Association are partnering to host a free educational community event June 21 from 9 a.m. to Noon at Lismore Hotel Eau Claire, 333 Gibson Street. Join us to learn about Parkinson’s symptoms, treatment and more. Whether you’re affected by this disease, or are a care partner, friend or family member, or a professional in the Parkinson community, you’ll have your questions answered! The event is free, but registration is required by calling 414-312-6990 or register online here.
Wisconsin Job Market Expected to be Among Strongest in Nation as U.S. Employers Report the Most Optimistic Outlook in 13 Years
· For the coming summer months of July-September, hiring heats up in Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality, and Government.
· Overall prospects look bright for jobseekers as U.S. hiring intentions hit 13-Year-High.
· Double-digit Outlooks reported in all 50 states, according to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.
· Nationally, Strongest Outlooks reported by employers in West (22%) and Midwest (21%).
U.S. employers are reporting the strongest nationwide hiring intentions in 13 years at +21%, according to the Q3 2019 ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) Employment Outlook Survey.* The last time the survey of more than 11,500 employers reported an Outlook as high as +21% was in Q3 2006. Among survey participants, the Wisconsin area employment outlook is the second best in the nation.
“At a time of record low unemployment and employer optimism at levels we haven’t seen since the mid-2000s, we need to do more to connect people to jobs if we’re going to sustain economic growth,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America. “With such strong competition for talent, skilled workers are choosing when, where and how they work. We find jobs for 275,000 workers every year and know flexibility, access to childcare and clear career paths are especially attractive benefits to women and men. To find and retain top talent, the best companies are offering holistic benefits packages with accelerated training programs and opportunities to learn, earn more and move up so employees have the skills for jobs today and tomorrow.”
Among employers surveyed, 35 percent plan to hire more employees from July through September. This number is offset by the 1 percent that plan to reduce payrolls, while 62 percent of employers expect to maintain current staff levels and 2 percent indicate they are not sure of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook* (NEO) of 34%.
"Wisconsin employers have reported a stronger hiring pace compared to Q2 2019 when the Net Employment Outlook was 22%," said Lisha Akers, spokesperson for Manpower, a ManpowerGroup brand. "Compared to this time last year, hiring activity has remained stable when the Outlook was 32%.”
Summary of Results for Wisconsin
View complete Q3 2019 U.S. survey results: Manpowergroup.us/MEOS
*The Net Employment Outlook (NEO) is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.
Across the United States, employers in all 13 industries report double-digit hiring intentions, suggesting continued strength in the labor market at a time when open jobs have outnumbered unemployed U.S. workers for 13 consecutive months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the coming summer months of July-September, hiring heats up in Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality, and Government. Job prospects in Information and Other Services remain unchanged.
“Our ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind,” said Chris McKay, spokesperson for Experis, a ManpowerGroup brand. “As technology and automation continue to transform the world of work, it’s important to learn from the past to ensure a great future. That’s why our findings from each quarterly MEOS combined with our insights into the World of Work and rich suite of innovative workforce solutions are so vital for every employer.”
U.S. Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors, Regions and Metro Areas/States
· Nationwide, employers in all 13 industry sectors expect to add staff in Q3 2019. The strongest Outlooks are reported in Professional & Business Services (+28%), Leisure & Hospitality (+27%), Transportation & Utilities (+25%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+24%) and Construction (+21%) followed by Government (+20%), Mining (+19%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+18%), Financial Activities (+17%) and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing (+16%).*
· Both the West (+22%) and the Midwest (+21%) have the strongest regional Outlooks in the country and the highest reported Outlooks in 11 and 18 years, respectively. Hiring prospects in the South (+20%) are close behind with employers in the Northeast (+19%) not far behind.
· Employers in Maine (+34%), Wisconsin (+34%), Alaska (+33%), North Dakota (+32%), and West Virginia (+32%) report the strongest Outlooks nationwide. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job gains are expected in Charlotte, N.C., (+37%), Grand Rapids, Mich. (+36%), Madison, Wis. (+34%), Columbia, S.C. (+33%), Milwaukee, Wis. (+33%) and San Jose, Calif. (+33%).
MARCO EARNS SPOT AS A CORE TECHNOLOGY PROVIDER IN WISCONSIN
Thanks to organic growth, high customer satisfaction and recent acquisitions, Marco has become a staple in Wisconsin. The technology provider offers comprehensive services, including copier/printer, Managed Print Services, Managed IT, voice, carrier services, audio/video and data solutions.
Marco entered the Wisconsin region in 2011 - with a single office in Eau Claire - and Marco built its Wisconsin footprint from that first office and only three employees. Today, the company has seven offices across the state and 139 employees.
“Starting and growing Wisconsin was an exciting risk. I’m so grateful for our clients who put their trust in us early on and believed in us when we were still the new kids in town,” said Kevin Schmidt, Marco Sales Director.
In 2011, Schmidt moved his family from the Twin Cities to Eau Claire, leaving an established sales role to take a chance with his future. “Moving our family was risky; I left behind a great job, but I believed we could grow in our new region,” said Schmidt.
And grow the company they did. Since venturing into Wisconsin, Marco has integrated six businesses, including Enterprise Systems Group, Northeast Photocopy, Hadley Office Products and the most recent Accent Business Solutions. “I still remember walking in the room when we first acquired Northeast Photocopy. I was excited but also a little nervous,” Schmidt said. He explained his team had a strong game plan, but wondered about the culture fit, comradery, role shifts and how everyone would work most efficiently together.
Schmidt and the other Marco members didn’t need to worry; the teams immediately connected. “We had a lot of fun integrating. In fact, we grew sales and delivered their highest producing year! Being our first major acquisition in the state, this team really set the example to our employees who came in later acquisitions that they can be a part of something special.” Schmidt added that many of the staff have secured prominent roles and developed their Marco careers.
After Marco acquired Hadley Offices Products’ copier group in Wausau, they also experienced exceptional organic growth. In 2018, Marco placed an additional 632 copiers in the field to new customers in the Wausau area alone.
To read the complete story about Marco, click here>>
9th Floor Gives Patients New View on Life
What do patients on the top floor of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital see? Along with a remarkable view of Eau Claire and the beautiful Chippewa River valley, a renewed quality of life comes into focus.
The 9th floor of the hospital is home to inpatient physical rehabilitation services. Here, individuals faced with a life-changing injury or illness work with therapists and nurses to rebuild function and regain independence.
After initial treatment for a major injury or illness, such as a stroke, traumatic brain injury, heart attack, or other major medical event, hospitalized individuals take a crucial step on the road to recovery when they begin rehabilitation. At HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation Center, the only one of its kind in western Wisconsin, the team that includes rehabilitation therapists, nurses, a physiatrist and a social worker creates an individually tailored therapy regimen to prepare each patient to return to life at home.
“By offering our patients an intense rehabilitation program of three hours of therapy, five days per week, we increase their chances of making meaningful recoveries and enjoying good quality of life,” says Jamie Wright, RN, CNRN, BSN, nursing manager of rehabilitation services at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “They receive physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as other services such as wound care, respiratory therapy and spiritual care as needed.”
THERAPY IN MOTION
At the Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation Center, rehabilitation therapy takes place in several morning and afternoon sessions in patients’ rooms or the center’s gym, which houses a variety of physical therapy equipment to help individuals rebuild their strength. One of the gym’s newest additions is the Bioness Vector System – a harness hung from the ceiling that supports patients as they practice walking. Watch the video below to learn how patients can recover more quickly and safely with the Bioness equipment.
The gym also features a dedicated occupational therapy space complete with a kitchen for practicing ways to navigate indoor environments.
Two of the most challenging conditions to overcome – stroke and traumatic brain injury – can leave patients with significant functional deficits. For rehabilitation therapists and nurses, those cases often become the most rewarding.
“People come to us at their lowest levels, and we teach them how to live again by helping them relearn the basic skills we take for granted,” Wright says. “Life might not be the same as it was before, but we can help them enjoy it. That’s why we do what we do.”
Click here to learn more about the Inpatient Physical Rehabilitation Center at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, or call 715-717-4361.
The Eau Claire law firm of Weld Riley S.C. is pleased to announce John Behling, a partner with the firm, has been elected to serve as president.
As part of a planned transition, the previous president and firm founder, Steve Weld, is stepping down from the presidency. Weld will continue to co-chair the labor employment law section for the foreseeable future at the firm and plans to continue to represent numerous clients.
"This is a great honor and I'm very proud to lead this firm into the future. Steve has set a great example and we'll continue to provide our clients with the very best legal representation for decades to come,” attorney Behling said.
Behling practices in the areas of Frac Sand, Mining and Minerals, Government Relations and Administrative, Cooperative, Municipal & Environmental law. John is currently the President of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and was previously an aide to Governor Tommy Thompson in both Wisconsin and Washington.
While in the Thompson administration, Behling was the Governor's policy advisor on labor, employment and regulatory issues. Behling was appointed to serve in the office of the Secretary at the Department of Commerce. In that role, he assisted businesses working to expand or relocate in Wisconsin. Behling is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in political science and economics. He also attended Georgetown University of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
"John has been serving as the Vice President in the firm for more than a decade and is well versed in the practical aspects of running a 21st century law firm. He is the right choice and I'm happy to know the firm is in great hands for the future," Steve Weld commented.
Attorney Daneille Strong has been awarded a Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.
"I am incredibly humbled to have been selected to receive the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award. To stand amongst the other honorees was inspiring,” Strong said.
According to the university, the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award acknowledges the special achievements and great promise of alumni who are within 15 years of their graduation from UW-Eau Claire.
Strong was the first in her family to graduate college. After attending UW-Eau Claire and receiving her degree in criminal justice in 2005, Strong earned her law degree from Hamline University School of Law. While in law school, Strong earned a summer clerkship at Weld Riley, S.C., where she was then hired full time after graduation and has practiced for the past 10 years. She was elected shareholder in 2014, and her practice focuses on creditors’ rights, collections and foreclosures, and worker’s compensation defense.
In addition to her legal practice, Strong has been active in the Eau Claire community, both professionally and personally. She was named Outstanding Young Professional by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce in 2017, and has spearheaded fundraising drives for the area’s homeless children program. She has also volunteered as Membership Advisor for UW-Eau Claire’s chapter of Alpha Xi Delta for 10 years.
Strong added, “My time at UW-Eau Claire was both fulfilling and motivating; it gave me not only memories but a future. I am proud to represent both the motto of “Excellence” and “the Power of [AND].”
Paul Rudersdorf, president and CEO of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Melody Sheehan has been appointed senior credit officer for the bank. With this promotion, Sheehan will be responsible for the development and enforcement of the credit quality of the loan portfolio and the credit culture for the bank.
“Melody is an asset to Security Financial Bank, and her knowledge and expertise will be instrumental in leading SFB to a new level,” Rudersdorf said. “We congratulate her on this well-deserved promotion and look forward to watching her continued success."
Sheehan, who has been with SFB since 2011, most recently served as the director of credit and loan administration before her promotion. She has 16 years in the financial services industry.
Sheehan received a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and is currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Banking.
HSHS Sacred Heart Foundation and HSHS St. Joseph’s Foundations are excited to announce that Charter Bank has gifted $400,000 to help fund a mobile mammography bus that will travel to rural areas and outlying clinics to bring much-needed imaging services to women in those areas.
“We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift from Charter Bank,” said Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO, HSHS Western Wisconsin Division, which includes HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “Because of our mission, we have an obligation to create better access to high-level mammography services, resulting in earlier detection which saves lives.”
A mobile mammography unit is the most effective way for HSHS to provide advanced imaging to women who may not have the opportunity to travel for this type of service. The mobile mammography bus is expected to serve at least 2,500 women annually in our outlying communities.
“Charter Bank is committed to the health and well-being of this region,” said Paul Kohler, president and CEO, Charter Bank. “We know that early detection saves lives, and we know that there are women who are not currently accessing this screening. We want to be part of the solution to provide more birthdays, more anniversaries, and more celebrations.”
Of more than 123,000 women in a 60-mile radius of HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals who are eligible for mammography screenings, fewer than 25 percent are anticipated to receive those screenings. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. This would mean that 12,000 women in our area will potentially miss early detection and either have or develop breast cancer, but wouldn’t make this discovery until it has developed to an advanced stage.
“Early detection continues to be the best defense against breast cancer,” said Ken Brown, director of imaging services for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “The ability to take this technology to women outside of the medical facility and to their location will increase the opportunity for women to access screening mammograms easily.”
The mobile mammography unit is scheduled to begin operation in spring 2020 and will make regular visits to communities with Prevea Health clinics, including Rice Lake, Ladysmith, Cornell, Menomonie, Mondovi and Arcadia.
Both hospital Foundations are currently looking for additional donors for this project. For more information, visitwww.sacredhearteauclaire.org/Giving or www.stjoeschipfalls.org/Giving.
There is always a great need for whole blood from healthy donors. It’s a valuable resource that’s in short supply. To help bridge that gap, HSHS St. Joseph’s and Sacred Heart Hospitals are hosting American Red Cross blood drives at the two hospitals.
On June 21, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is hosting a blood drive, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in McDonald Hall, 2661 County Hwy I, Chippewa Falls. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter “St. Josephs” (no apostrophe).
One June 27, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is hosting a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Rotunda, 900 West Clairemont Ave. Eau Claire. To schedule an appointment, call 715-717-4074 or visit www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter “Sacred Heart Hospital.”
Eligible donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health and feeling well.
Paul Kohler, president and CEO of Charter Bank, Eau Claire, will serve as the 2019-2020 chair-elect of the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA).
The Wisconsin Bankers Association is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing nearly 235 commercial banks and savings institutions, their nearly 2,300 branch offices and 23,000 employees. Kohler will serve as the chair of the association in 2020-2021.
Also serving as officers on the WBA Board are: Chair Mark Meloy, CEO of First Business Bank, Madison; Vice Chair Ken Thompson, president and CEO of Capitol Bank, Madison; and Past Chair Dave Werner, president and CEO of Park Bank, Milwaukee.
Joining the board for three-year terms are: Alvaro Araque, executive director – market director banking, JPMorgan Chase Bank, New Berlin;Mark Erickson, regional president, MidWestOne Bank, Osceola; Timothy Kotnour, president & CEO, State Bank Financial, La Crosse; and Mark Wierman, president, Ixonia Bank. James Chatterton, president, National Exchange Bank, Fond du Lac was selected to serve the one-year unexpired term left vacant by Thompson’s selection as Vice Chair.
Those continuing their terms on the board are: Christopher Del Moral-Niles, executive vice president/CFO, Associated Bank, Green Bay;Donna Hoppenjan, president & CEO, Mound City Bank, Platteville; Jerry Jacobson, president, Northwestern Bank, Chippewa Falls; Daniel Peterson, president/CEO, The Stephenson National Bank and Trust, Marinette; Thomas Reil, president, Waldo State Bank; Scot Thompson, president/CEO, Denmark State Bank; and Tom Van Pelt, president/CEO, Citizens State Bank, Hudson.
Proposals to bring passenger rail service back to parts of western Wisconsin will be the topic on “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 3 on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls.
Host Dean Kallenbach welcomes three members of the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition, which has been exploring options for developing a passenger rail line between Eau Claire and the Twin Cities. Those guests are Scott Rogers, governmental affairs and workforce director at the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, who chairs the coalition; Mark Quam, who also represents Wisconsin in a nationwide organization called the Rail Passengers Association; and Rob Kreibich, the director of the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Also joining the conversation will be Jim Coston, executive chair of Corridor Rail Development of Chicago, which has been working with the WCWRC in developing the passenger rail plans.
How does the change in season impact your organization? Depending on the nature of your business, you might depend on seasonal employees to get you through the summer. Or, you might struggle through the warm months to fill the gaps left by those who use much of their vacation time to enjoy the beautiful weather. Regardless the type of employee you’re looking for, Manpower has the experience to find you the people you need to fill the gaps.
STILL IN NEED OF SEASONAL EMPLOYEES?
WISH YOU HAD AN EASY BUTTON FOR STAFFING COVERAGE?
Let Manpower find candidates with the skill sets and work style your organization requires! Contact one of our Chippewa Valley offices today!
Eau Claire Manpower
1119 Regis Court, Suite 100
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Chippewa Falls Manpower:
475 Chippewa Mall Drive
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.