While Wisconsin continues to experience substantial growth in the manufacturing, construction, healthcare, engineering and many others industries the pace of change continues to accelerate as we prepare tomorrow’s workers for their future jobs, some which do not even exist yet. Many middle schools, high schools and post-secondary institutions are quickly adapting their programs and curriculum to best prepare our students for these new advancements and environments that are developing right here in Wisconsin.

To help strengthen our local employers and district stakeholders Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) and CESA 10 hosted a seminar on February 12th, 2020 where over a dozen businesses and district leaders gathered for a conversation regarding “Central Region Business & Industry.” This seminar luncheon provided district stakeholders valuable feedback from Chippewa County companies on their labor market needs, gaps in technical or employability skills for their industry, and other concerns in the workforce pipeline that they are witnessing far too often. Businesses also had the opportunity to meet with other employers in the area and central region school district members that included Principals, Career and Technical Education (CTE) staff, School Counselors and other from Chippewa Falls, Cadott, Bloomer, and Stanley-Boyd.

CCEDC and CESA 10 organized this luncheon to help Chippewa County companies and district stakeholders to find better ways to enhance our local workforce and community through alleviating the short-and long-term pipeline shortage. Attendees expressed their commitment to identifying, investing in, training and shining a light on the available and willing hidden talent pool in our community. By promoting locally owned businesses and employing people from wide ranges of the community, we can realize sustained community growth that is beneficial for all. The workforce pipeline deficit is a community wide problem that has massive economic sustainability ramifications. Chippewa County as a community, especially businesses, need to come together to determine how we can look local, build local and hire local talent for the diverse range of jobs that need to be filled.