Regional Report: February 2017

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

All eight strategies developed as part of the regional talent initiative are off and running.  I’d like to acknowledge some of the folks that have taken a leadership role in the regional talent initiative.  These folks are chairing the eight committees that are launching the recommendations from CREC.

Nick White
Emily Lindholm
Seth Hudson
Charles Bomar
Danielle Campeau
Jon Menz
Deb Leslie
Janice Lemminger
Michelle Golden
Dan Lytle
John Goodman
Brenda Kretzschmar

These folks and dozens of other team members are already driving the initiative forward.  Your dedication to bettering our regions talent development, retention and attraction is appreciated!

The Momentum West Annual Meeting is fast approaching.  This year we are pleased to announce that Janet Ady from Ady Advantage will be the keynote speaker.  The event is March 8th at Bills Distribution in Menomonie, from 11:30 – 1:30pm.  There are sponsorship opportunities available, but a special thanks to our title Sponsor Bremer Bank and Gold level sponsors Ruder Ware, Xcel Energy, Market & Johnson, Security Financial and Westconsin Credit Union.  Additional sponsors include Cedar Corp, Royal Credit Union, Manpower and Hoeft Builders.

Finally, I’d like to share some information on a neat program being launched in the St. Croix Valley.  According to Tom Holland, Community Impact Director for the St. Croix Valley United Way, The United Way of St. Croix Valley has launched the nation’s first Family Friendly Workplace™ certification program in an effort to provide sustainable funding for early childhood initiatives in Wisconsin while engaging the private sector to address the state’s workforce shortage.

More people are leaving the workforce in Wisconsin than entering it, and this trend is expected to increase in the coming years.  One element that is proven to increase graduation rates, workforce readiness and job productivity is quality early childhood education.  According to Dr. Art Rolnick, retired Director of Research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, investing in early childhood is “the best economic investment a community can make.”

To address this issue, United Way St. Croix Valley initiated the Family Friendly Workplace™ certification program, which connects the business community and families.  The project partners with businesses and organizations to honor and recognize workplace practices that support families and that provide financial support for local early childhood and parent education programs.  A few examples of family-friendly policies recognized by the program include flexible schedules, maternity/paternity leave, tax-saving options for childcare expenses and private areas for nursing mothers.

Three different levels of certification - bronze, silver and gold - make certification accessible to businesses and organizations of all sizes.  Businesses pay an initial, one-time $250 application fee and an annual $10 per FTE certification fee.  Certification fees are then invested back into local early childhood and parent education programs.  Qualifying businesses receive an electronic logo, plaque and media toolkit to acknowledge and promote their certification, which can help businesses attract and retain workers while raising community awareness about the importance of early childhood programs and the need to support families.  In addition, studies have shown that family-friendly policies increase employees’ job satisfaction and productivity.

Formore  information about the Family Friendly Workplace™ certification program, visit our website at http://familyfriendlyworkplace.org or contact Tom Holland, Community Impact Director at tom@unitedwayst.croix.org.               

Category: Regional Report