Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) had the opportunity to join in this year’s 26th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally in Madison, Wisconsin. This annual event is organized by the Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance, representing the Chippewa Falls, Menomonie and Eau Claire Chambers of Commerce. This unique opportunity brings the collective voices of Chippewa Valley businesses and community leaders to the capital all at one time to recognize and strengthen our region’s mutually-beneficial relationship with state government, which includes topics on transportation, workforce development, economic development, education and other critical areas.

With workforce at the top of the agenda, CCEDC was there to help emphasize issues on workforce challenges, as this shortage continues to be the number one challenge for many local businesses in Chippewa County and throughout Wisconsin. Discussions highlighted on filling positions at all levels for multiple industries and the continued stress on economic growth in the Chippewa Valley. More than ever employers in Chippewa County are responding with creative changes in recruiting practices, retaining present workers, increased wages and marketing efforts for this needed pipeline of skilled workers. However, it was voiced that it is equally vital that the State of Wisconsin takes a major leadership role to address issues that the Chippewa Valley and local businesses cannot solve alone.

Other topics that were discussed included enable critical infrastructure, leveraging the economic ROI of public education, and assure government effectiveness and value. CCEDC was apart of several dozen small groups that met with legislative offices that included Senator Kathleen Bernier, Senate District 23, Representative Shannon Zimmerman, Assembly District 30, Representative Jason Fields, Assembly District 11, Representative Tyler August, Assembly District 32, and Representative Ron Tusler, Assembly District 3. CCEDC’s team included Rosalyn Zirngible, representing CCEDC, Scott Biederman representing Musky Tank, Chancellor Jim Schmidt, representing University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and Anthony Willkom representing Royal Credit Union. CCEDC would like to thank Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance of Chippewa Falls, Menomonie and Eau Claire Chambers of Commerce for this successful event.