A few of our friends took a vacation to Honduras to do some fishing. They had a blast and a great time. But it got us thinking about the value of having folks visit the Chippewa Valley: they are important and have a huge impact when they come to camp, fish, hunt, snowmobile, and listen to music. The more opportunities we have for visitors to experience our venues, the better our economy becomes. These venues form the fabric of the product that CEDC promotes. We work hard to - no pun intended - see to it [C 2 It] that these venues and activities are highlighted to company executives and business owners in our marketing campaigns. They know that workers and talent gravitate to areas that offer an abundance of quality of life [...]
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While OSHA does have the ability to set workplace safety standards, the United States Supreme Court recently found that their Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) went too far and beyond the organization’s scope, and that it is a “significant encroachment in the lives and health of employees.” OSHA was created to set workplace safety standards and not to set broad public health measures. However, the ruling leaves entrepreneurs and small businesses wondering how they can protect their workers and ensure a safe workplace in the wake of the pandemic. Anticipating a ruling one way or the other, CEDC hosted a BEAR Lunch & Learn to highlight the importance of OSHA and the EPA’s impact on small businesses. As a part of CEDC’s Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program, these lunches are [...]
On a snowy morning last week, Chippewa Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) welcomed Nicola Michels, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)’s Trade Representative in Germany. Nicola is from Berlin, Germany, and is a WEDC consultant working to help Chippewa Valley businesses begin their exporting program. Berlin, Germany’s coat of arms is a bear, of course, so it was only fitting that she be the guest of a CEDC BEAR Discussion centering around exporting! Discovering the opportunities that Germany and the Broader European Market offer was the main topic of the CEDC BEAR discussion. BEAR, or Business Expansion and Retention, is the CEDC’s flagship economic development program and makes up about eighty percent of our efforts as an organization. Our BEAR Program is aimed at helping our existing businesses get the information and resources they need [...]
This morning, CEDC stopped over at the Chippewa Falls U-Haul Moving Center and had a quick BEAR Discussion with Paul Zillmer, the general manager, to gain a little insight on what he sees is happening in migration and out-migration within the Chippewa Valley. Many don't know, but U-Haul publishes their U-Haul Growth Index on a yearly basis. This annual report determines growth by calculating the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state in a calendar year. California and Illinois, for the second consecutive year, witnessed the largest net losses of one-way U-Haul trucks. Zillmer noted that while this report shows migration trends, they do not directly correlate to population growth. However, it's a pretty good gauge of how well cities are attracting and retaining its residents. "The [...]
We've all been through a lot this year: the pandemic, supply chain issues, and talent shortages, just to name a few. What is awesome is that the Chippewa Valley has continued to prosper because of the hard work ethic of our citizens, our businesses' ability to innovate, our abundance of entrepreneurship, and those individuals who support the mission of the CEDC. We close out this year being reminded of how fortunate we are in the Chippewa Valley. This month, the Governor announced that UW-Eau Claire and CVTC were winners in the Innovation Grant Program. Businesses continue to build and expand during the winter, and we are excited for the upcoming adventures that await us in 2022! May the gift of love, peace, and happiness be yours this Christmas. Have a Merry Christmas and [...]
This week, CEDC staff and board members attended Gov. Tony Evers' announcement of the Workforce Innovation Grant Program's winning projects in the Chippewa Valley at the Davies Student Center on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Also in attendance were Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt, CVTC President Dr. Sunem Beaton-Garcia, and other dignitaries. Of the $60 million awarded, over $19 million was allocated to projects that CEDC supported, promoted, and worked on in some degree! It seems like only yesterday when CEDC staff and board members were invited to a meeting at CoLab in Eau Claire to attend a round table discussion and a call for the first round of projects/ideas for the Workforce Innovation Grant Program. [...]
There are countless stories - we read about them all the time - businesses are being purchased left and right. As entrepreneurs, sometimes time slips away. It seems like just yesterday that the business started, and now the thoughts of "How do I get out of the success that I've created?" or "How do I sell?" start coming to mind. In our BEAR Visits and Discussions, many of the region's business owners mention that "it's about time." With this in mind, CEDC organized an intimate BEAR Lunch & Learn that approached the subject of succession planning realistically. Staying abreast of these business owners as they transition out is an important proactive economic development strategy for the community. By being proactive, an economic development organization such as the CEDC can be on the front [...]
Generations Academy is a non-profit charter school in Eau Claire, WI that specializes in individual development and project-based learning. Recently, the Generations Academy students had a business unit; every child from five to eighteen years old was instructed to come up with a business idea. In addition to the hands-on experience they got from their business projects, two groups of students were also able to see small businesses in action by receiving a tour of the Chippewa Valley Innovation Center (CVIC). CVIC Board President and CEDC Board Chair, Tom Waldusky, guided both groups of students through each bay in the building. The students also got to hear from and speak with two CVIC tenants: Dave Espeseth, owner of Excel Medical Corp., and Anthony Nied, owner of Safe & Simple Organic Lawns. Both had their [...]
CEDC’s Charlie Walker was invited to participate in the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Solutions Summit at the Pablo Center. As part of a breakout panel discussion, he highlighted the collaboration between CEDC and Momentum West in developing the regional economic development organization’s video series. The Workforce Solutions Summit is specifically designed to provide area employers with practical solutions. The Regional Talent Initiatives panel also consisted of Alms Creative owner William Alms, UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank, Jenny Radcliffe of Dairyland Power, and Brian Elwood of Xcel Energy. Over 40 attendees participated in the panel discussion. The importance of communicating to the next generation of talent cannot be overemphasized. CEDC Executive Board Member Maureen Carlson was instrumental in launching the promotional video series when she chaired the Momentum West Board of Directors. Maureen continuously [...]
Having the support of major businesses is instrumental to the success of an economic development organization. Luckily, we have had an ongoing partnership with Xcel Energy, a multi-state utility company, for many years. On November 30th, Xcel's Economic Development Team received a tour of the Chippewa Valley's prospective industry hubs and enjoyed a lunch and some engaging discussion at the CEDC office on Technology Way. The main topics of discussion were the history of economic development in the Chippewa Valley, updates on working projects, and plans for marketing the area to industrial customers. The group also discussed what the main challenges to economic development were. In short, this was an opportunity for the CEDC to communicate its largest priorities directly with Economic Development representatives of Xcel Energy. We would like to thank Xcel [...]