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Volume 5, Issue 21, Oct 10, 2022
 Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Eau Claire, Wis.

Published the first business day of each week

Business Advocate Past Issues

Public Meetings Calendar

Chamber Events Calendar

The Chamber's Advocacy Principles

The Chamber's Business Issues Agenda


Referendum Forum: City of Eau Claire and EC School District

 • Monday, Oct 17, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

   Click here for details and to register

With both the City of Eau Claire and the Eau Claire Area School District having tax levy referendums on the November 8 Election ballot, here's an opportunity to learn about both proposals at the same time. We've invited City Council President Terry Weld, School Board President Tim Nordin, and top staff members of both the City and School District to provide information and answer questions about what's on the ballot, tax implications for property owners, and how the additional revenue would be used. This is a valuable opportunity to get an apples-to-apples understanding of both proposals so you can make informed voting decisions.

Additional information:

School District Referendum website (ECASD)

City Referendum website (City of Eau Claire)


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Impact of Tourism

 • Thursday, Oct 20, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

   Click here for details and to register

One of our region's post-pandemic success stories is how local tourism came roaring back, with 2021 room tax revenues exceeding the previous record year of 2019. At this edition of Eggs & Issues, we'll look at the latest numbers, what's on the horizon, and what policy issues might affect tourism's future. Visit Eau Claire Executive Director Benny Anderson will join us to share the importance and success of partnerships, innovative digital marketing, reaching influencers, garnering national earned media, securing sports tournaments, and more.


Pints & Politics: What's at stake in the November 8 election

  • Tuesday, Oct 25, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Chamber office, WNB Conference Room
   Click here for details and to register


More Chamber election education to come

As the election gets closer, the Chamber will be providing additional opportunities for investors to learn more about the what's on the ballot and the positions of candidates on business-related issues. (The Chamber does not endorse candidates.) 

The Chamber's Guide to the Fall Election (Eau Claire Chamber)

In this issue: 

 • UW Regents meet at UWEC

 • Mayo leader: Make UWEC the top pre-med school in the country

 • State and regional stories

 National and economic news

 • COVID-19 updates 

 • Mark your calendar
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
Publications known to have article limits for non-subscribers are marked with "+"


"Our goal for UWEC is to be the top pre-medical school in the country" - Rick Helmers, Mayo Clinic

   As part of a presentation to the UW System Board of Regents on Thursday, Sep 29, Rick Helmers, Regional Vice-President for Mayo Clinic Health System, Northwest Wisconsin, asserted, "Our goal for UWEC is to be the top pre-medical school in the country," highlighted an ambitious anticipated outcome of the partnership his system began with the university five years ago.

   During the Regents' meeting hosted at UWEC, Chancellor Jim Schmidt highlighted the mutual benefits of the partnership.

   “In only five years, thanks to our collaboration, we are impacting the learning experience of our students, expanding opportunities for our faculty, creating a stronger talent pipeline for our region and improving patient care,” Schmidt said. “Our collaboration has inspired new initiatives that Mayo Clinic Health System or UW-Eau Claire could not have accomplished on our own.”

   Dr. Tim Nelson, director of research and innovation at Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin, noted that Mayo Clinic personnel have worked with UW-Eau Claire students and faculty on more than 24 research projects over the past five years. 

   Nelson, a UW-Eau Claire graduate, said Mayo Clinic Health System physicians and clinicians are energized by the collaboration with students and UW-Eau Claire faculty, and the support of the Eau Claire community.

“Together, we can really transform health care,” Nelson said.

  In a wide-ranging UWEC presentation to the Regents highlighting several areas of partnership and student research collaboration, the Mayo partnership was identified as  central to UW-Eau Claire’s implementation of a $9.4 million Workforce Innovation Grant the university received in 2021 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to strengthen the workforce for rural health and well-being. Dr. Michael Carney, assistant chancellor for strategic partnerships and program development, and Dr. Carmen Manning, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, spearheaded UW-Eau Claire’s ambitious effort to secure the WEDC grant. The grant is intended to help address workforce shortages for nurses, teachers and social workers in rural communities.

   Another key part of the partnership is the proposed Science and Health Sciences Building planned for lower campus to replace aging Phillips Hall and expand UWEC's impact in those areas. The first phase was funded in the 2019-21 state budget, and the Regents have included the completion phase in their capital budget request for 2023-25.

Royal Credit Union's Jennifer McHugh: Advocating

for UWEC partnerships is important to business

   The Regents meeting on Friday, Sep 30, included a panel representing businesses along the I-94 corridor, moderated by Steve Jahn, Executive Director of Momentum West. It highlighted and discussed the impact and opportunities presented by university-business collaborations.

  “The war for talent is very real, and we work really hard to be good corporate citizens by doing our part,” said Jennifer McHugh, vice president for Community Engagement, Royal Credit Union. “We know if students are a success, we will be, too.”

   McHugh, who is also Chair of the Chamber's Governmental Affairs Committee, talked about the value to the business community in advocating for investment in UWEC.

   “It is critically important that we share stories with our lawmakers detailing the collaboration that occurs between the universities in our region and the business community. Every year over 100 activists from the Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance, which consists of representatives from the Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie Chambers, travel to Madison to voice our support for projects that will benefit our communities," she said. "This year we advocated for the UW-Stout Heritage Hall renovation and addition and UW-Eau Claire Science & Health Sciences Building Phase II funding, and will continue to do so as we head into the 2023-2024 state budget setting process. It is inspiring to advocate on behalf of system priorities with Chancellor Schmidt and Chancellor Frank and share with elected officials how these projects provide regional economic benefits far beyond the borders of the campus."

   The 29th edition of that advocacy activity, the annual Chippewa Valley Rally, is scheduled for Feb 22, 2023, in Madison.

More information:

UW System’s new strategic framework will benefit Wisconsin - UW Regents Meeting Day One (UW System)

Regents honor recipients of University Staff Excellence Awards - UW Regents Day Two Summary (UW System)

Powerful supercomputing capabilities reshape undergrad research and teaching at UW-Eau Claire (UWEC)

UW Regents visit wraps up with business panel in Eau Claire (Leader-Telegram $)

About the project: Science and Health Sciences Building (UWEC)


Eau Claire City Council meets this week

Meeting information:

Eau Claire City Council

 • Monday, Oct 10, Public Hearing Agenda Packet (62 pages)

 • Tuesday, Oct 11, Legislative Session Agenda Packet (114 pages)

    2023-27 Proposed Capital Improvement Plan (279 Pages)

Link to videos of city meetings (City of Eau Claire)

City Council Online Comment Form (City of Eau Claire)

Contact information: City Council members (City of Eau Claire)

Eau Claire City Council begins 2023 budget talks (Leader-Telegram $)


More local stories:


County Board given budget recommendations, recognizes Sheriff Cramer (Leader-Telegram $)


EC School Board settles on $188M preliminary budget for 2022-2023 (Leader-Telegram $)


UW-EC poised to get increased bus service through new contract (Leader-Telegram $)


CollECtive Choir Inc. Expands Into Downtown Eau Claire Under New Name, CollECtive Arts Inc. (Volume One)


Phoenix Park restroom closed for season due to vandalism (WEAU 13 News)


AMC Theatres closes in Eau Claire's Oakwood Mall (Leader-Telegram $)


NAMI Chippewa Valley welcomes new director, aims for growth (Leader-Telegram $)


UW-Eau Claire to host Free Speech Week events Oct. 17-23 (UWEC)


WisDOT exploring changes to Highway 178 in Chippewa Falls (Leader-Telegram $)


Fall General Election

•  Tuesday, November 8, polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   Offices: US Senate, US Congress, Wisconsin Governor/Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer; State Senate (odd # districts), State Assembly, Eau Claire County Sheriff, Clerk of Courts

   Referendums: City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire Area School District

More information:

The Chamber's Guide to the Fall Election (Eau Claire Chamber)

MyVoteWisconsin (Register, find your polling place, what's on your ballot)

Wisconsin Legislative and Congressional District Maps (Wisconsin Legislature)


Election news:


Chamber hosts Pfaff for meet the candidate event (WEAU 13 News)


Judge upholds ruling barring clerks from fixing errors on absentee ballots in Wisconsin (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Tim Michels floats possible flat income tax in Baraboo stop (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Barnes campaign: Raises over $20.1 million in Q3 of 2022 with nearly half a million donations (WisPolitics.com)


Ron Johnson releases sample abortion referendum, pushes back on Evers' special session call to make it possible (Journal-Sentinel +)


Barnes visits Eau Claire (Leader-Telegram $)


Sen. Ron Johnson pushes for abortion referendum vote as Wisconsin GOP declines governor's call (WPR)


Mandela Barnes tries to shift debate from crime to abortion as U.S. Senate race reaches a critical juncture (Journal-Sentinel $)


Wisconsin State Bar: Public, media invited to attorney general candidates debate on Thursday, October 27 (WisPolitics.com)


Political Ad Watch (WisPolitics.com)


Gov. Evers Announces Next Budget to Include $91.4 Million Increase for Shared Revenue to Support Statewide Public Safety (Office of the Governor)

Evers proposes increase into local funding for public safety (AP)


More state and regional stories:


Wisconsin Law Firm Sues to Block Student Loan Forgiveness (US News)


La Crosse Hy-Vee supermarket and convenience store to open Oct. 18 (La Crosse Tribune +)


WE Energies and WPS reach deal with groups as they seek to raise rates next year (WPR)


Barges grounded by low water halt Mississippi River traffic (AP)


Top 8 Coolest Things Made in Wisconsin Announced - Voting for final 4 ends Tuesday (WMC)


National and economic news:


US mortgage rates hit 16-year high (NewsNation)


Biden to release 10M more barrels from Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November in wake of OPEC+ cuts (Fox Business)


Will the billions of dollars Congress has committed to increasing broadband access be a good investment? (The Dispatch)


Plan to Grant More Green Cards to STEM Graduates Resurfaces in Congress (The Dispatch)


Separated Bike Lanes Means Safer Streets, Study Says (StreetsBlogUSA)


COVID-19 Updates 

Chippewa Co Public health director: 'Pandemic not over here' (Leader-Telegram $)


COVID-19 Resources: 

COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing (EC City-County Health Department)
Local COVID-19 Testing Sites (EC City-County Health Department)
Interactive COVID Data Tracker (CDC)
COVID-19: Staying Safe in Your Community (EC City-County Health Dept.)
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub 
Eau Claire weekly COVID Situation Report 
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Vaccination Page 
Metrics Dashboard
Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force


Mark your calendar:


Chamber & CVTC Business Community Breakfast

 • Tuesday, Oct 11, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Transportation Education Center


Business Day in Madison

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

 • Wednesday, October 19, Monona Terrace


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Impact of Tourism

 • Thursday, October 20, Pablo Center at the Confluence


General Election

• Tuesday, November 8, Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   The Chamber's Guide to the Election


Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Wednesday, November 16, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Eggs & Issues: Election Analysis with Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

 • Thursday, November 17, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast

 • Friday, Dec 16, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


"Eau What A Night:" The Chamber's 108th Annual Meeting

 • Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Pablo Center


29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally

 • Wednesday, February 22, 2023, Madison


Business Salutes Eau Claire Annual Golf Outing

• Monday, August 7, 2023


Public Meetings Calendar

Click the link above for the our regularly updated schedule of public meetings.


Thanks for reading this issue of Business Advocate. If you have comments or questions, contact Scott Rogers, Vice President Governmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org 

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