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The Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC), the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and Workforce Resource Inc.  were in attendance at the Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s (WEDA) Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA) ceremony on September 14, 2016 in Madison.  During the ceremony the CCEDC was the recipient of the CEDA Human Capital Award for the
Chippewa County Exploring & Training Academy/Bootcamp (CCETA) workforce development program. 

CCEDC in partnership with the BSA, Chippewa County, Workforce Resource, several Chippewa County independent school districts, higher education institutions, and the private sector collaborated to customize this career explorer program. The CCETA provided customized training opportunities that offered both classroom and hands-on instruction related to manufacturing.   This customized program designed by local private sector manufacturers was also utilized to attract new employees into the workforce, strengthen workforce skills, help reduce rural youth out migration, increase a pool of workforce ready employees, enhance the skillsets of the participants, and promote workforce retention. The program was offered to youth boys and girls ages 12-20 in Chippewa County.  Participants in the CCETA benefited through career information and insight into the advanced manufacturing vocation. They were exposed to practical, real, and meaningful hands-on experiences, new career and personal skills, opportunities to try leadership roles, a cooperative relationship between adults and youth, and service to others.

"On behalf of the Chippewa County Exploring and Training Academy the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation was excited and appreciative of the opportunity given by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association to showcase a collaborative, complex, and creative customized program designed by private sector manufacturers that would energize our future workforce about the growing job opportunities that are available in Chippewa County.  The CCETA offered boys and girls ages 12-20 training and exposure to advanced manufacturing and the program is an example of an array of economic development stakeholders coming together and utilizing their particular expertise to address the issue of rural out migration and the manufacturing skills gap." stated Charlie Walker, President/CEO.

WEDA recognized the CCEDC efforts and collaboration with other workforce partners for the program development and strategic approach to strengthen the skills of the workforce by the privates sector, increase and develop the workforce pool, enhancing the skills of the lower skilled labor, and building a workforce system.  

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