From the Wisconsin Technology Council: “Building tech-based jobs is theme of Aug. 5 Lake Superior conference” – ASHLAND – Laying the foundation for creation and attraction of technology-based jobs is the focus of the 2011 Lake Superior Business and Technology Conference, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, 2100 Beaser Avenue, Ashland.

Major speakers include Ray Cross, chancellor of the UW Colleges and Extension System, and leaders of business and technology parks from Wisconsin Rapids, Menomonie and Weston. Civic leaders in northwest Wisconsin are proposing to build a Lake Superior Technology Park in the Ashland area, and discussion will revolve around best practices.

Conference registration is $30, which includes lunch. Students with attend free. Visithttp://www.nwwib.com/ and register through the “What’s Happening” section.

In addition to Cross, who helped stimulate economic growth in New York during his tenure with the State University of New York, conference attendees will hear from Mayor Mary Jo Carson of Wisconsin Rapids; Village Administrator Dean Zuleger of Weston; Brad Gingras, chief operating officer of NWCEP Inc.; and Christopher Smith of the Stout Technology and Business Park in Menomonie.

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From WSAU TV: “Sales boost at manufacturing plants” — Managers at Jarp Industries, Inc. Wausau and G3 Industries in Mosinee said in the past years their sales have increased and because of boosting sales they are able to hire more employees.

Many companies said they are skeptical of the economy because of debt complications in Washington.

However, with a rocky economy some manufacturing plants in Northcentral Wisconsin are still hiring.

Managers at Jarp Industries, Inc. Wausau and G3 Industries in Mosinee said in the past years their sales have increased and because of boosting sales they are able to hire more employees.

At G3 Industries, about five people a day come in to fill out an application. While Jarp Industries, Inc. sees 10-15 walk-in’s a week.

Even though G3 Industries has hired many employees in the past, they said they still have open positions.

“Since November of 2010 we have increased our workforce of more than 30 percent. In addition to that we are looking for technology based jobs to add to our shop floor and engineering department,” said Randy Stroik, the Plant Manager at G3 Industries.

Both companies have training courses, but having prior knowledge on the skilled techniques is beneficial. Some of those skills include, robotic machine operators and welders.

The Chief Operating Officer at Jarp Industries, Inc. said they hire many employees and interns from Northcentral Technical College. That’s because the school specifically trains their students for the skilled techniques they are looking for.

View video at WSAU

From the Fond du Lac Reporter: “Sweet Roles:  Bakers Bob and Bonnie Badura expand business” — Bonnie Badura talks about the Great Recession with a smile on her face.

It’s not the type of reaction one would expect from a small business owner in Fond du Lac, but Badura is used to adversity. She and her husband opened their baking enterprise in a rough economy three decades ago, and they’ve weathered plenty more, including the most recent downturn.

The Baduras said changes — like the ones they made this month — are the main reason they’ve stayed in business for 33 years.

Bob and Bonnie’s Donuts, 54A Halbach Court, hired pastry chef and cake decorator Sue Horvath as part of its plan to offer tortes, dessert tables and fondant cakes. Customers can still buy their favorite doughnuts and cakes, but now they’ll have more options for parties and special occasions, Bonnie said.

Menu changes stem from customer demand. Bonnie said brides in Fond du Lac are following national wedding trends, such as choosing a variety of small desserts instead of a large wedding cake. Cupcakes are also in big demand.

 

From the Wausau Daily Herald: “Food manufacturing science certificate helps train workers for food processing jobs” — GRAND RAPIDS — For Rodney Cassel-Gebhardt, Monday marked an end and a new beginning.

The Wisconsin Rapids resident lost his job at Schreiber Foods in 2008, when the company closed its plant in the Wisconsin Rapids West Side Industrial Park. While his manufacturing experience allowed him to get a temporary job in Plover, a lack of training prevented him from finding a full-time position — until recently.

“I’m fortunate that I got a job,” the 31-year-old said Monday after a recognition ceremony at Mid-State Technical College’s Wisconsin Rapids campus.

Cassel-Gebhardt was one of 18 students who recently earned Mid-State’s food manufacturing science certificate — the first tangible result of the community-led Workforce Central initiative, the project’s director said.

“It’s a joint philanthropic and public investment strategy, and this is the first training that’s come out of that,” said Jennifer Riggenbach, who leads the grass-roots workforce development project at the Community Foundation of Greater South Wood County.

 

From jsonline.com: “Small-town mayor uses big-time diplomacy in war zone” — Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan – Little did Manawa Mayor Dave Sarna know when he deployed to Afghanistan last fall that his skills as a small-town politician would come in handy.

Though he’s assigned to a combat engineer unit, Sarna spent a few months as “mayor” of a forward operating base, running the U.S. military installation like any other community, albeit one smack dab in a war zone.

And he’s spent part of his deployment working with an Afghan Army engineer unit helping train them to take over road clearance duties and search for IEDs. Working with Afghan officers and interpreters required the diplomatic skills of a politician who served eight years on the Manawa city council before he was elected mayor.

“If you want to sum up the role of a mayor, you’re basically a problem-solver,” Sarna said in his office at this U.S. military base in Kandahar province. “But there’s a lot of pressure on you to make the right decision. Back home if you make a mistake, the worst that can happen is it’ll cost taxpayer dollars. Here a mistake can mean loss of life.”

About 15 months after he was elected mayor, a part-time job, he received his orders to deploy with the Wausau-based Army Reserve 428th Engineer Co. He previously served in Desert Storm and Iraq in 2006-’07 and didn’t have to go back to war.

But Sarna felt it was something he needed to do.

Read more from jsonline.com

From the Green Bay Press Gazette: “Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. told how to create jobs” — ASHWUABENON — The new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. can promote job growth in the state by helping develop a qualified manufacturing work force, board members were told Monday.

The 13-member board of directors of the new public-private corporation, which on July 1 replaced the disbanded Department of Commerce, met at the Department of Motor Vehicles complex in Ashwaubenon.

All board members, including Gov. Scott Walker, who is chairman, attended the quarterly meeting. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who met with women business owners later at Advance Business Center in Green Bay, also attended.

Six Northeastern Wisconsin business owners who participated in a roundtable discussion were posed three questions by Paul Jadin, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.: Why are their businesses in Wisconsin, what are their growth opportunities and what are their challenges?

High tax rates and insurance costs were mentioned early as barriers to growth, and most agreed, but work force availability generated the most discussion.

 

From the Journal Times: “Gateway dealing with new concealed carry, voter ID laws” — RACINE – The state’s concealed carry law has passed and been signed. So has the voter ID law.

Now the next step happens. They soon go into effect and officials at Gateway Technical College, for one, must figure out how to deal with the implications of the laws.

“We have to go through and revise our existing policies,” said Dennis Sherwood, Gateway’s director of safety and security.

The concealed carry law, making it legal to carry concealed in public places, goes into effect Nov. 1. Sherwood does not yet have any official policy that he will be putting in place, but likely, he will be putting up signs at all doors prohibiting concealed weapons in buildings.

“It’s an educational institution so obviously we are concerned about the learning environment. We want to make sure everyone is comfortable in the learning environment,” Sherwood said. That means no weapons in the classrooms and college buildings, he said.

But outside the classroom, in the parking lot and lawn areas, they don’t have the ability to prohibit weapons, he said.

Read more from the Journal Times

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