Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
At HeatherWood, we believe that elderhood is a time of growth. We offer a vision of growing older that demonstrates how our elder years can be the best, richest, most meaningful time of our lives. We believe you can begin this adventure whatever your age, physical or cognitive condition.
Here, it is easy to get to know others as you become part of a neighborhood of friends, companions and community members. Staff and residents care for one another interdependently. You and your family members will have peace of mind knowing that each person's needs are met: physically, socially, spiritually and emotionally. We are more than an assisted living community - we are a family caring for on another.
Thank you for your interest in HeatherWood Assisted Living and Memory Care. We are honored to serve and care for the elder generation and we embrace and seek what they can teach and give back to us in their friendships and wisdom.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us any time at 715.552.5511 or visit our website. We look forward to getting to know you and your family.
Fleet Farm is now open! We have been watching the mound of dirt being moved for many months. And now we have a beautiful large store. Thanks to the Ambassadors that came to a 6:45 am Saturday ribbon cutting.
From: Lucas Vebber, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
RE: Foxconn Environmental Permitting
Since the announcement of the Foxconn project there has been a lot of misinformation, hyperbole and heated rhetoric used by those who opposed this historic investment. Much of the misinformation has centered around the environmental aspects of the project. This memorandum is intended to provide a brief overview of the key issues surrounding the environmental aspects of the project.
The legislation aimed at spurring the Foxconn project allowed the State of Wisconsin to establish what is known as an “Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zone” (EITMZ). Within the EITMZ certain processes and permitting requires were modified, but absolutely no air or water quality permits or standards were changed or eliminated in any way.
1) Air and Water Quality Permitting. Businesses in the EITMZ are required to obtain the exact same air and water quality permits as everyone else in the state of Wisconsin, and must abide by the exact same limits/standards as everyone else. No exceptions were made in any way.
Foxconn applied for, and was granted, four air permits. The process used was the same as for any other air permit in the state, and was done in a very public and transparent manner (including a public hearing in Racine, and the acceptance of public comments, and DNR response to those comments).
2) Wetland Permitting. To help expedite projects in the EITMZ, certain changes were made to a subset of our wetland laws. To better understand this, it is important to know that there are two sets of wetland laws: state and federal. Federal wetland laws apply universally across the country to wetlands that are connected to a navigable water (the vast majority of wetlands). Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that goes further than the federal law and requires a permit to fill non-navigable, isolated wetlands. The legislation allows for the fill of such a non-navigable isolated wetland within an EITMZ without first obtaining a permit, but still mandates mitigation of such wetland losses on a 2:1 basis. This means for every acre of non-federal wetlands that are taken in an EITMZ, two acres must be created. This is significantly higher than what is required by our current laws for other projects around the state. No changes were made in anyway to federal wetland permitting.
3) Water Use. The Racine Water Utility initially applied for permission to supply up to 7 million gallons per day of Lake Michigan water to the new manufacturing facility. In May, Foxconn announced plans to install a $30 million state-of-the-art Zero Liquid Discharge system that would reduce virtually all discharges of water and significantly limit their water usage down to about 2.5 million gallons per day, an amount consistent with other large manufacturing facilities. All remaining wastewater would be treated by the Racine Wastewater Utility to meet the same stringent standards as every other discharger in the state.
4) Stormwater Runoff. There have been individuals and groups at the national level, and in particular the State of Illinois, who have also been attacking this project claiming that it will somehow lead to mass flooding. It is important to note that in addition to requiring nearly twice as many new wetlands to be created than a typical project; absolutely no exceptions were made to any stormwater standards. Businesses in the EITMZ must meet the same state and local stormwater infiltration and collection standards as everyone else in the state of Wisconsin.
5) Environmental Impact Statement. Finally, one of the other flash points for opponents of this project was that it was exempted from the need to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). An EIS is not a permitting document, it contains no standards and it is not enforceable. It is a summary prepared at the beginning of a project that outlines what permits may be needed at some future point. Preparing an EIS is both costly and time consuming – without having any regulatory purpose or direct environmental benefit or protection.
Elimination of the EIS requirement for the project simply helped streamline and expedite the project. 100% of the environmental reviews required by air and water quality permitting still had to be (and were) conducted prior to the issuance of permits.
By Lucas Vebber, General Counsel and Director of Environmental & Energy Policy, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
Kaylee Tracy, the Chamber’s Legislative and Workforce Development Intern, concluded her work for the Chamber on Friday, September 7. Throughout her time here, she worked on a variety of projects such as cataloging over 100 regional and local workforce programs, providing support to workforce and legislative events, and writing several of the advocacy blogs for the Business Advocacy Initiative.
Kaylee began her work for the Chamber in September 2017 during her senior year at UW-Eau Claire. After graduating in May in Political Science and Organizational Communication, she stayed on and worked full time through the summer primarily to port several workforce-related initiatives. Among her most significant contributions was working on employer outreach for Inspire Connections, the online program that connects employers with local 6-12th grade students.
Kaylee has accepted a position with ReachGlobal to do refugee ministry in Berlin, Germany for two years. Kaylee’s ministry in Berlin will be primarily focused on coming alongside refugees – a people group that is processing through the loss of their homes and family members, and looking for a new hope and sense of identity. If you would like to hear more or consider becoming a partner to this ministry, email Kaylee for more information at: email@example.com.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Congratulations EC Super Wash on your grand opening in Westridge Center. Doing laundry could be fun, your machines and technology are pretty amazing!
Huebsch Services, a family owned and operated commercial laundry business established in 1891, was honored last week for its commitment to sustainability. The third annual Sustainable Eau Claire Awards recognized businesses, individuals, and organizations’ successful work in creating a more sustainable Eau Claire. Huebsch was recognized under the Sustainable Products and Processes category. Huebsch’s commitment to being green includes the use of solar energy, driving energy efficient vehicles, water reuse and conservation, heat reclamation, utilizing efficient chemical formulations, and offering customers reusable textiles.
Ryan Olson, CPA has become a partner at Nohre & Co., S.C. Olson consults with businesses and their owners in a number of areas including tax, audit and assurance services, tax planning strategies, financial management, perpetuation planning, and mergers and acquisitions. He currently serves as the firms’ director of marketing and business development. Olson has more than 10 years of professional experience working in the Chippewa Valley.
Science instructor Mary Puvis and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) instructor Steve Gutsch were presented with the John Frank Excellence in Education Award recently as Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) prepared to open its 2018-19 academic year. Named for retired instructor and award sponsor John Frank, the Frank Award is the highest honor for a CVTC instructor. The award comes with a $1,500 stipend.
In addition, CVTC’s Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program instructor Rob Teutenberg was presented with the Domer Award for new faculty. Chris Wehlan, an instructor in the Humanities, Behavioral and Social Sciences department; and Daphne Daugherty, an Oral and Interpersonal Communications instructor were recognized for the Paul and Karen Kohler Adjunct Instructor Excellence Awards presented to them this past spring.
Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Residential Construction program recently broke ground on a new home construction project and celebrated a partnership with the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association (CVHBA). Each year, the students in the program gain hands-on experience while building a new home from the ground up. The students participating in the 2018-2019 program will build a home, which will be entered into the CVHBA 2019 Parade of Homes, taking place
June 8-15, 2019. The CVHBA and CVTC’s Residential Construction program are working together to address the need for more skilled workers in the construction industry.
The Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation had a record year in grants awarded to the Eau Claire Area School District. In the 2017-18 school year, more than $120,000 was granted from the Foundation to ECASD. These gifts are made by donors, parents, businesses and community members and support several innovative projects, hands-on collaboration, immersive experiences and field trips, extra-curricular clubs, high-impact scholarships, support for students in need, playground equipment, classroom supplies, and MORE for our students and staff.
Mythri Kowlumane Laxminarayana, M.D., recently joined Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Kowlumane Laxminarayana, who goes by Dr. Laxmi, completed medical school at Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Mysore, India. She completed residencies in family medicine at Royal College of General Practitioners in London, U.K., and internal medicine at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Dr. Laxmi is certified in advanced cardiac life support. Her professional interests include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, family planning, hypertension, osteoporosis and women’s health.
What a turnout for the ribbon cutting at Marshfield Clinic's new hospital and cancer center! This facility is beautiful and will serve many in this community.
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved a biennial capital budget proposal that includes funding for a new UW-Eau Claire Science and Health Sciences Building. The approved budget proposal includes enumeration of $109 million for the new building in the 2019-21 biennium and advance enumeration of $147.15 million in the 2021-23 biennium, for a total of $256.15 million to build the new facility that would replace UW-Eau Claire’s aged and inadequate Phillips Science Hall. A new science building to replace Phillips Hall has been identified as a UW-Eau Claire facilities priority since the 2011 publication of its Campus Master Plan, the university’s roadmap for future facilities development. Since 2013, official UW-Eau Claire project priority submissions to UW System’s Office of Capital Planning and Budget have consistently requested that a new science building be funded beginning in the 2019-21 budget biennium. The Campus Master Plan calls for the new science building to be constructed on the existing site of two lower-campus residence halls, Katherine Thomas and Putnam halls.
Wipfli LLP announced that a new partner has been named in the firm’s Eau Claire market. Marci Boyarski, CPA is among the group of 14 associates, half of whom are women, named to the partnership on June 1. Boyarski leads the firm’s employee benefits practice and is responsible for the development and delivery of benefit plan services. From one-person organizations to large companies, she works with clients to design and implement plans that meet their unique needs and goals. She specializes in administration and record keeping, consulting and auditing of employee benefit plans such as retirement plans, cafeteria plans and welfare plans. Boyarski is a member of the American Institute of the Certified Public Accountants, the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the National ESOP Association. She is also a member of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Department of Accounting and Finance Advisory Board, Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce (past board member) and the Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley (past member and past chair).
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative recently won four awards for presentation of local news in the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News, the voice of the state’s rural electric cooperatives. Mary Kay Brevig, communications & public relations manager at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative and editor of the co-op’s local pages, accepted the awards at the 2018 Electric Communicator’s Conference in Tomah August 23. Eau Claire Energy Cooperative’s magazine pages were judged to have been the best overall in the categories of Co-op News and Photography for the previous year. The co-op also received Honorable Mention certificates in the categories of Human Interest and Energy Education.
Per Mar Security Services, a leading provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, IA, announced it was awarded Manitou Elite Certification from Bold Technologies for completing the elite certification program, and having an exceptional Alarm Monitoring Center. The Manitou Elite Certification is a program built around the principles of establishing processes and metrics, keeping employees positive and empowered, and being dedicated to meeting the customers’ needs. Monitoring centers that complete the program learn how to do more with their resources and enable their teams to be ready and available to meet any customer need.
Twenty-four students started classes Monday at the new Culinary Arts program at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Strong urging and support from the restaurant industry led to the CVTC board’s approval of the program in November 2016. Instructors Kevin Brown and Jonathan Fike were hired in September 2017 and have spent nearly a year in curriculum planning, community promotion, and designing and setting up the kitchen and classroom facilities. The new kitchen that features 24 cooking stations, an international cookery suite, and a professional baking space shines with never-been used stainless steel equipment. A separate demonstration area can be used for interactive lectures and community education, or space for a small restaurant. Completing the two-year program leads to an associate degree, with certificates and diplomas earned at earlier stages.
Cindy Ming recently began her new role as the operations administrator of Primary Care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. For the past nine years, Ming served as director of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services in northwest Wisconsin. In this new role, Ming will oversee operations of Express Care, Express Care Online, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine and Urgent Care. Ming received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UW-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Photo from the U.S. Chamber.
Renewal of the Perkins Act
Thanks to strong bipartisan support, Congress recently renewed the Perkins Act with a voice vote. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act became law on July 31, 2018 to equip more Americans with the right skills to enter high-skilled and in-demand careers. Passage of the Perkins reauthorization was a major priority of the U.S. Chamber; the Eau Claire Chamber engaged in the efforts by signing a letter of support.
What the act does
With the local and national unemployment rates being so low, employers are having a difficult time finding skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs. Business associations and economic groups across the nation have supported the act’s amended renewal to ensure that secondary and postsecondary educational institutions can effectively offer career and technical education (CTE) curriculum to grow the amount of skilled workers. The law amends the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 and reauthorizes it through the FY 2023 to address that need.
The law focuses on changing funding patterns in order to encourage best practices and innovation for CTE programming, make CTE programs more accessible to students, and give state and local communities more flexibility in managing program funding. “Highlights of the reauthorization include new opportunities for partnerships between employers and educators to improve student preparation for in-demand jobs, measures that improve alignment with other workforce development programs, and increased program accountability,” (U.S. Chamber)
Businesses are in support of the act
Over 450 businesses and economic associations in a letter to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions wrote in support of the act. The U.S. Chamber actively promoted it and issued a Key Vote Alert for members of Congress. Their main reasons for supporting the act are for its ability to:
Quick take: Your Primer on the Act (U.S. Chamber)
Statement on Reauthorizing the Act (U.S. Chamber)
Posted by: Kaylee Tracy, Legislative & Workforce Development Intern
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.