WDC In The News!!
Below you will find Press Releases issued by the Racine County Executive or Workforce Development Partners.
Deadline Extended To Apply For Youth CNC Boot Camp - May 15, 2013 - The application deadline for the Youth Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Boot Camp Program, sponsored by the Racine County Workforce Development Center and Gateway Technical College, has been extended until Friday, June 7, 2013. Tuition for this training program is covered by a grant from the SC Johnson Family. ... read more
SE Wisconsin Career Expo To Be Held May 22, 2013 at UW-Parkside - May 7, 2013 - Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC) with their Regional Workforce Partners and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) invite job seekers and employers to register for the Southeast Wisconsin Career Expo, scheduled for May 22. The event will be from 12-4 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Sports & Activity Center. ... read more
Youth CNC Boot Camp To Begin This Summer- April 17, 2013 - County Executive James Ladwig has announced the formation of Youth Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Boot Camp. “Racine County is excited about this program”, said Ladwig. “We need to look at manufacturing in a different way, to fill the skills gap that exists, and train young people to find high quality, good paying jobs.”
Higher Expectations Job Fair April 1 - March 26, 2013 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center will be sponsoring the Higher Expectations Young Adult Job Fair to be held on Monday, April 1, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lakefront Racine Family YMCA in downtown Racine at 725 Lake Avenue. Businesses looking to connect to the young adult workforce between the ages of 16 and 24 are ... read more
Job Fair Planned In Response To Echo Lake Foods Fire - February 5, 2013 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center will be sponsoring a Job Fair for Echo Lake employees to be held on Wednesday, February, 13, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Veterans Terrance – 589 Milwaukee Avenue, in Burlington, WI. Free parking is available. ... read more
County Responds to Echo Lake Foods Fire - February 1, 2013 - Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig announced today that the Racine County Workforce Development Center, in partnership with the State Department of Workforce Development Center, will offer an Informational Briefing to the Echo Lake Foods’ workforce facing job loss due to the massive fire at the Echo Lake Foods ... read more
Racine County Gets State Grant for Innovative Program to Train Unemployed in Tri-County Area - June 15, 2012 - Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig announced today that the Racine County Workforce Development Center has been awarded a $150,280 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to operate a pilot training program in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties. The program, Wisconsin Workers Win (W3), gives persons ... read more
Racine County Job Fair March 20th at Racine Marriott - March 5, 2012 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center will be sponsoring a Job Fair to be held on Tuesday, March 20th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Racine Marriott – 7111 Washington Avenue (Hwy 20) in Racine (Free parking available). ... read more
State Workforce Development Secretary To Keynote Racine County Workforce Development Center Anniversary Event - November 14, 2011 - County Executive Jim Ladwig today announced that Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson will provide the keynote address ... read more
Racine County Workforce Development Center To Host Statewide “Kick Start Career” Workshop - June 6, 2011 - County Executive Jim Ladwig announced today that Governor Scott Walker has designated September Workforce Development Month. The Racine County Workforce Development Center, in partnership with the Wisconsin Workforce Development Association, is highlighting its new innovative statewide videoconferencing system with a "Kick Start Career" workshop ... read more
S C Johnson $25,000 Contribution Supports Racine County Youth Summer Employment Program - July 26, 2011 - Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig announced today that SC Johnson has contributed $25,000 to the county’s Summer Youth Employment and Training Program. The donation helped offset a budget shortfall and ensured that all participants maintained employment in the program. ... read more
Racine County Announces 2011 Summer Youth Employment & Training Program - May 10, 2011 - Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig announced today that the Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC) is accepting applications for its 2011 Summer Youth Employment and Training Program, now called “E3” (“Employ, Enrich, Engage”). “The E3 program was very successful in 2009 and 2010, ... read more
Racine County Workforce Development Board Seeks New And Innovative Businesses To Apply For Apollo Award - February 3, 2011 - The Apollo Award recognizes the accomplishments of a business owner or entrepreneurial team who started a new and innovative business in Racine County in the last three years. The award-winning business will receive a $2,000 prize for marketing, product development or research and development. ...read more
Racine County Joins In Sponsoring Tri-County Virtual Job Fair - September 21, 2010 - Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds invites employers and job seekers to take advantage of the first-ever Virtual Job Fair ... read more
Workforce Development Center Moves Burlington Location - August 3, 2010 - Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds today announced that, effective August 7, 2010, the Racine County Workforce Development Center is moving ... read more
Racine County Youth Employment & Training Program Kicks Off June 21st At UW-Parkside - June 15, 2010 - County Executive William McReynolds announces the kick off for the 2010 Summer Youth Employment Program, E3 ... read more
County Again Offers Summer Youth Employment Program - April 13, 2010 - Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds announced today that the Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC) is accepting applications for the 2010 version of its Summer Youth Employment and Training Program, now called “E3” (“Employ, Enrich, Engage”) ... read more
2010 Apollo Award - January 26, 2010 - When people hear about your new venture, do their thoughts spring to phrases such as: “Wow!” “Very Innovative,” “How Creative.” or the highly over used, but very effective “Cool?” If so, you’re the perfect business for the 5th Annual Apollo Award sponsored by the Racine County Workforce Development Board. ... read more And get the Award Nomination form here!
Racine County Workforce Development Youth Program “E3” RECEIVES National Recognition - December 29, 2009 - Racine County’s Summer Youth Employment and Training Program entitled “E3” (Employ, Enrich, Engage) was recognized on December 8, 2009 at the National ... read more
Racine County “Launching Green Businesses Conference” January 12TH - December 17, 2009 - Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds today announced the “Launching Green Businesses Conference,” to be held ... read more
Youth Celebrate End of Summer Employment Program - August 12, 2009 - More than 400 young people, community leaders and program partners will celebrate the end of the Summer Youth Program, E3 (Employ, Enrich, Engage), on Friday, August 14 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at Festival Hall in downtown Racine. ... read more
Summer Youth 2009 – April 20, 2009 - Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds today announced that the county is using federal stimulus funds to create a work program to develop green jobs for young people ages 14 to 24. The county’s Workforce Development Center will receive close to $475,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act specifically designated for youth development under the Workforce Investment Act. ... read more
Fourth Annual Apollo Award - February 4, 2009 - When people hear about your new venture, do their thoughts spring to phrases such as: “Wow!” “Very Innovative,” “How Creative.” or the highly over used, but very effective “Cool?” If so, you’re the perfect business for the 4th Annual Apollo Award sponsored by the Racine County Workforce Development Board. Check out this press release for more information! ... read more And get the Award Nomination form here!
DOC Awarded $450,000 Federal Grant to Bolster Racine Reentry Efforts - September 19, 2007 - Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Rick Raemisch announced today that the DOC has been awarded a $450,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to enhance supervision strategies for high-risk offenders returning to the Racine community. ... read more
The articles below have appeared in The Journal Times covering the Workforce Development Center and it's activities or initiatives plus topics about and for Job Seekers and Employers.
Job seekers, employers invited to register for Career Expo - May 12, 2013 - Racine County Workforce Development Center with Regional Workforce Partners and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development invite job seekers and employers to register for the Southeast Wisconsin Career Expo held from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Sports and Activity Center, 900 Wood Road. ... read more
Computer boot camp offered - April 23, 2013 - A Youth Computer Numerical Control Boot Camp will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning July 15 to Aug. 30 at the SC Johnson iMET Center. This is the first time this program is being offered in Racine County. The program connecting youth and local employers prepares Racine County youth for a career in manufacturing. Working with local employers and educators, the Racine County Workforce Development Center and Gateway Technical College are implementing the program this summer for the upcoming school year. ... read more
Job training for high school seniors to start this summer - April 11, 2013 - In 2006, Gateway Technical College, together with assistance from the Racine County Workforce Development Center, or WDC, began a revolutionary new training program. Termed “boot camps,” the approximate 16-week training programs provided entry-level training by Gateway staff in high-demand occupations, many of which were in manufacturing. At the same time, students received mentoring from the WDC staff in the soft skills ... read more
County connects youth with employers - April 2, 2013 - For some, it was a search for a first job; others wanted more. In a striped suit jacket and tie, Daniel Santiago was one of the latter. “I’m 21,” he said. “I don’t want a job; I want a career.” Santiago was among more than 500 teens and young adults who flooded the 525 Lake Ave. YMCA on Monday for the County Workforce Development Center’s job fair for young adults. In Racine County, the unemployment rate for those 16-24 years old was 23 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey. ... read more
Finding work after Echo Lake fire - February 14, 2013 - BURLINGTON — Paula Rein was one hour away from finishing her 12-hour shift at Echo Lake Foods last month when co-workers started yelling for everyone to get out.
“We could see the black smoke and the panic on everyone’s faces,” said Rein, who lives in Burlington. “We knew it was real.” ... read more
Jobless can get a new start - October 1, 2012 - Last spring Heather Vanderford, a Kenosha biology teacher, learned that starting in June she would be out of a job. She was part of a mass layoff at Kenosha Unified and the 27-year-old didn’t know what she was going to do. “I was freaking out,” said Vanderford, who lives in Racine and had taught at Kenosha Unified for five years. “I didn’t know what to try next.” ... read more
Veterans Stand Down planned for Aug. 25 in memory of Dick Bayer - July 27, 2012 - A Veterans Stand Down in memory of Dick Bayer will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Veterans Center, 820 Main St. ... read more
Serving those who served: Special treatment court coming for area military veterans - July 23, 2012
A special type of intervention and treatment court for military veterans is in the works, which authorities say might have the power to curb the often revolving-door-style of crime and punishment some veterans face. ... read more
County gets grant to train unemployed - June 16, 2012
The Racine County Workforce Development Center has been awarded a $150,280 state grant to run a pilot training program in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties.
Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig announced the grant from the Wisconsin Department ofWorkforce Development on Friday. ... read more
‘You will never be forgotten’: Memorial Day ceremony focuses on the sacrifices those in uniform made for freedom - May 29, 2012
American freedom comes at a high price and we must always remember the military personnel who pay it. That was the theme of speeches Monday during a Memorial Day ceremony at Rochester’s Pioneer Park ... read more
Making a connection - December 27, 2011
Right now, when students look for internships and teachers look for guest speakers to talk about careers, they must rely mostly on their own networks of contacts. That means select businesspeople are overwhelmed by requests while others get overlooked, depriving students of glimpses into some careers. But that will change come this March ... read more
COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER: Workforce Development Center - December 25, 2011 - The mission of the Racine County Workforce Development Center is to ensure our workforce has the skills and education needed to meet the needs of local, regional and global employers. In today's economic climate, we continue to hear from area employers about the shortage of qualified job candidates. To meet our goal of connecting qualified workers to area employers ... read more
Improve your job search by overcoming challenges - September 27, 2011 - Job searching can be challenging if you have not kept up with the changes in technology and qualifications needed by employers. At the Racine County Workforce Development Center ... read more
New veteran service officer ready to serve - September 6, 2011 - When Aloysius Nelson, who goes by Ali, was serving in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s, the ship that relieved his was hit by a missile, killing dozens. "Even if you don't know the sailor, you are part of the organization and you have a commitment and loyalty," said Nelson, 50, ... read more
- Program gives students summer work experience - July 29, 2011 - The horse stall was hot but Nick Baker didn't stop working. The 16-year-old Case High School junior ran a small knife over and over through a 2-inch-thick sheet of rubber floor padding until, finally, he had cut a clean edge and the padding fit neatly into the wooden stall. ... read more
- SCJ contributes $25,000 to county's summer youth training program - July 27, 2011 - SC Johnson has contributed $25,000 to the county's Summer Youth Employment Program, County Executive Jim Ladwig announced Tuesday. ... read more
- Newspapers find a new use through E3 job-training program - July 9, 2011 - Seated at a semi-circle of long wooden tables at the HOPES Center, 506 7th St., Jakitta Hollins, Jordan Barth and Chris Kugel focus intently on their newspapers. Working quickly, they pull ... read more
- E3 Youth Begin Work This Summer - - June 29, 2011 - Youth participating in the Summer Youth Program, known as E3, began work this week. Read a story and watch a video on the Journal Times website about youth repairing bicycles during one of this summers projects.
- The Racine County Workforce Development Center - At Your Service - - June 25, 2011 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center is the one-stop for training and employment needs for job seekers and employers. Services include, among others, ... read more
- Workforce Development Center announces 2011 summer youth employment program - -May 13, 2011 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center is accepting applications for its 2011 Summer Youth Employ-ment and Training Program. The center and its partners will provide summer employment opportunities for 100 to 150 Racine County youth aged 16 to 24. ... read more
- Community Career Fair Scheduled for April 12 - April 4, 2011 - The Racine County Workforce De-velopment Center, along with Gateway Technical College, will sponsor a Community Career Fair from 1-5 p.m. April 12 in the Lake Building at Gateway Technical Col-lege, 1001 Main St. Free parking is available ... read more
- Workforce Development Center Provides Solutions - March 18, 2011 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center continues its mission to provide a broad variety of services related to employment and training which meet the challenges of both job seekers and employers. ... read more
- New Year brings new opportunities at Workforce Development Center - December 16, 2010 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center offers a wide range of free workshops that help job seekers learn and practice skills necessary o obtain employment ... read more
- E3 summer youth program a big success, - October 6, 2010 - The closing ceremony for the Racine County Workforce Deveopment Center's Summer Youth Employment and Training Program (renamed E3) was held Aug. 13 ... read more
- Burlington Workforce Development Center on the move - August 4, 2010- The Workforce Development Center at Gateway Technical College in Burlington will move ... read more
- August 3, 2010 - Burlington tri-county health care career fair set; bus to be provided from Racine
- July 23, 2010 - $560,000 in federal funds for new county job program.
- July 6, 2010 - Community Newsletter: Racine County Business Services Team offers no-cost solutions.
- June 18, 2010 - Youth employment and training program kicks off on Monday.
- June 5, 2010 - The Racine County Workforce Development Center is working with Society's Assets to spread the word about opportunities to become a personal care worker.
- May 25, 2010 - Case High students participate in WorkKeys Assessment Program.
- May 20, 2010 - Green entrepreneurial ideas highlight annual celebration.
- May 19, 2010 - Job fair for Uptown restaurant draws hundreds of applicants.
- May 13, 2010 - Local entrepreneurs to compete at RCEDC anniversary event
- May 4, 2010 - County's E3 employment training program featured in a presentation in Washington, D. C.
- April 20, 2010 - E3 program is looking for students seeking a summer job.
- April 14, 2010 - The Workforce Development Center is accepting applications for it 2010 summer youth employment program, called E3 (Employ, Enrich, Engage).
- April 9, 2010 - Work Certification - Something good for jobseekers and employers.
- March 2, 2010 - Developing tomorrow's talent is the mission of the Racine County Workforce Development Center and its many partner organizations.
- August 9, 2009 - Training program stresses 'soft' skills. “Soft skills” and job experience were paramount for those who constructed the E3 job training program. The first two weeks consisted of training the youths, with a hard focus on “soft” skills such as workplace etiquette and teamwork.
- August 9, 2009 - E3: Stimulus money used to ‘employ, enrich, engage’ local youths. Not all federal stimulus money is building highways, bridges and the like. Here, a good chunk of it is building job skills in young people.
- July 23, 2009 - First Lady to visit the Shakespeare Urban Garden Planting summer youth employment program worksite sponsored by the Racine County Workforce Development Center on Thursday, July 30th. The worksite is the Racine Literacy Council.
- June 22, 2009 - More than 200 area youths started their first day of work Monday. The Racine County Workforce Development Center’s eight-week Youth Employment and Training program, which on Monday was renamed Employing Youth, Engaging Racine, Enriching Earth, or E3, kicked off at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road.
- March 10, 2009 - The seminar title alone, “Downsizing With Dignity,” said so much. In a grim reflection of this recession, Tuesday’s two-hour seminar was a how-to and how-not-to lop off chunks of a work force. The Racine County Workforce Development Center sponsored the event at the Center for Advanced technology and Innovation, 2320 Renaissance Blvd. Ironically, three of the five panelists, all veteran human resources professionals, have lost their corporate jobs and are consulting.
- March 1, 2009 - The key to a successful job hunt or career decision is developing and utilizing available information to your advantage. The Internet is a gold mine for all types of information, including career-related issues. Here are some of the best sites out there for job seekers. Read this article for more!
- January 26, 2009 - One of the last things Daryl Hawkins expected to be learning in his welding boot camp was art. But the Gateway Technical College welding boot camp culminated with the students creating a group art project. The metal sculpture, “Higher Expectations,” was the capstone project for the 11 students who started the boot camp last September. Read this article for more about welding as art!
- November 26, 2008 - An excerpt from Scene & Heard regarding a fall, after-school program funded, in part, by the WDC.
- October 16, 2008 - The Workforce Development Center (WDC) offers a many different services. Those services include, among others, job search assistance, interviewing skill improvement and resume development. All of these services are free. Check out this article to find out more!
- August 22, 2008 - So, have you been a good listener?
- August 7, 2008 - Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC): Services for ALL
- June 8, 2008 - Getting invited back just might mean you are self confident!
The Racine Insider publishes an article each month covering topics written about by Workforce Devemopment Center staff and covering a wide range of topics.
Racine County Announces 2011 Summer Youth Employment & Training Program - May 2011 - Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig announced today that the Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC) is accepting applications for its 2011 Summer Youth Employment and Training Program, now called “E3” (“Employ, Enrich, Engage”). “The E3 program was very successful in 2009 and 2010, ... read more
Apollo Award - February 2011 - Do people react to your new venture with phrases such as: “Wow!,” “Very Innovative!,” “How Creative!,” or the ever-popular “Cool?” If so, your business may be the perfect candidate for the 8th annual Apollo Award sponsored by the Racine County Workforce Development Board. The Apollo Award recognizes the accomplishments of a business owner or entrepreneurial team who started a new and innovative business in Racine County in the last three years. ... read more
Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project
- January 2011
- Racine County was awarded one of 17 Transitional Jobs Demonstration Grants from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families in September, 2010. The grant is part of federal stimulus dollars funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The goals of the program are two-fold: ... read more
- Throughout history, societies have called upon their citizens to put their lives on the line in times of
conflict. The United States is no different.
- Now, the whole country knows about the success of Racine County’s “E3” (Employ, Enrich,
- County Executive Bill McReynolds announced the availability of grants for local businesses. Each program is targeted at small- to medium-sized businesses based in Racine County: one to manufacturing businesses, regardless of ownership, and one to minority-owned businesses, regardless of type. Each program provides matching grants. Read this months article to find out more.
- Job Search with Industry and Occupation Data. Nowadays, everyone looking for a job knows to check for job listings and leads on-line. But did you know that there are many other ways that the internet can help you advance your career? Here is some helpful advice from the professionals at the Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC). Read this months article to find out more!
- Free Energy audits! Together We Save. Needed--100 Homes. Free Energy Audits for City of Racine Homeowners. One hundred City of Racine homeowners can get free energy inspections performed by young workers through the “Together We Save” project led by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Check out this months article to find out more.
- At the end of a recent career counseling session here at the Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC) a customer expressed her surprise at all the help available to job seekers. After she left, I thought about her comment and recalled that several other customers had made similar remarks. Read this months article to learn more!
- Your Future Starts Here! Need a job? A place to go? Something to do? If you are under the age of 21, the Career Discovery Center (CDC) offers all that and more. The Career Discovery Center (CDC) is a valuable resource for young people at any stage of career planning. Whether you’re starting to think about your future career or job, the CDC is a smart place to start. Check out this months article to find out the whole story.
- It seems like every day we hear about more and more companies that are letting employees go. You probably know at least one person who’s lost a job, if you aren’t in that position yourself. Make no mistake – losing a job is no small thing, even beyond the obvious loss of income. Read this months article to find out more about how to cope with job loss and how to get help finding a new one.
- As the end of 2008 rapidly approaches, now is the time to get prepared for your 2009 job search. The conventional wisdom is that companies do not hire staff during December because everyone is busy with the holidays. In some cases, this is true, but it is not always the case. Read this months article to find out more!
- Are you a young person looking for a job or trying to figure our what sort of career to pursue? Are you a parent who wants your teenager to develop work skills or get help creating a resume? Are you a youth program leader or teacher who would like to offer a creer exploration workshop? Check out this months article to find out more about how the Workforce Development Center can help you do these things!
- It’s a new world out there for people looking for work, and the way to get there is via the internet. Today, most employers put their job applications on websites, to be filled out and submitted electronically. Read this months article and then visit the Resource Room at the Racine County Workforce Center (WDC) for a list of good websites to check out and staff to help you navigate through them.
- What's a parent to do? You are looking for a job, and you know the place to come to is the Racine County Workforce Development Center, located at 1717 Taylor Avenue, Racine. But you don't have anyone to watch your child while you're taking advantage of all the services offered at the Center and you know you can't take care of your business there if your child is by your side. Check out this months article about Child Care at the Workforce Development Center.
- "Why should I hire you?" This months news article is all about how to prepare to answer this question. It might be asked as "Tell us about yourself" but that opportunity is the time to tell the interviewer why they should hire you. Check it out!
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Everyone knows the answer to that question – we all want to be millionaires. If we don’t inherit a million from some long-lost relative, or win it in the lottery, we’re going to have to earn that money by working for it. Check out this months news article to find out what you can do to realize everyones dream.
- The Racine County Workforce Development Strategic Plan was unveiled to the community on Thursday, May 29 at the Racine County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Dinner. The Plan provides the community with a blueprint to develop a vital, dynamic economy characterized by a workforce that is “fully employed.” Find out more about the plan by reading this news article or by going here
- Looking for Work? Visit the Racine County Workforce Development Center (WDC) Resource Room. The WDC Resource Room offers a wide array of job search tools and references. This months news article provides valuable information about the resources that are available and how to use them. Check it out!
- People in Racine and Kenosha Counties who are looking for jobs will get lots of help in 2008. Find out what's planned for Job Fairs in 2008 in this months news article.
- "Stay in School, if you want to have a good life!"--that's the message parents, agencies, judges, law enforcement officers, teachers, and counselors want to impress on Racine County high school students through a coordinated effort called the School Engagement Program. The December news article emphasizes the importance of an education in fulfilling your life's dreams.
- A good resume and cover letter are at the very heart of a successful job search. The first step of an employer's hiring process is to collect resumes from applicants. Employers are looking for the education, experience, skills and abilities that will predict successful job performance. If you're in the market for a new job this is the news article for you!
- Customers with child care concerns can take advantage of the on-site child care facility while they are brushing up on their computer or math skills, attending a professional development workshop or meeting with one of the many helpful professional staff members. All of these services, including child care, are offered at no fee. Find out more about the on-site child care services in this months news article.
In a message dated 1/17/2010 7:03:59 A.M. Central Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Posted: 16 Jan 2010 03:50 PM PST
Keynote speaker Tom Szaky at the Launching Green Business conference on Jan. 12 at UW-Parkside.
About 30 people sat around three tables at a "Launching Green Business" conference this week with ideas and questions. The ideas, all of them, were seeds for successful businesses in Racine and Kenosha that would create jobs. The questions, nearly all of them, were how to get from idea to reality.
I was there to write about the three-hour conference, but also to learn more about how RacinePost can grow into a successful business. So I was both journalist and participant, which creates the opportunity of writing about the conference as an "insider." (And, in case you're wondering, we consider RacinePost a "green" business in that we're entirely paperless.)
Fortunately, there were many better business ideas than an online newspaper. The man sitting next to me was an electrical engineer who used equipment to evaluate manufacturing plants and pinpoint where energy was being wasted. He can actually calculate how much money a company can save by making changes to their processes.
Two other people at our table saw homeowners searching for ways to cut their energy bills, but not sure where best to spend money on improvements. Their business would guide homeowners through the "greening" process and help them make smart decisions.
A woman at our table had a contact with the bamboo industry in the U.S. and was exploring ways to produce items made from bamboo, which grows from seed to a usable size in five years. Another woman wanted to convert an industrial building in Racine into environmentally friendly artistic space.
Other tables had an equally wide range of ideas spanning the industrial, commercial and residential sectors. But like anyone new to entrepreneurship, many were unsure how to get money to start a business, how to run a business once they get startup capital, and then how to market their products to customers.
Three participants at the Jan. 12 "Launching Green Businesses" conference at UW-Parkside
The conference offered resources to participants. First, along with the entrepreneurs, the room was filled with local small business experts who help new businesses get off the ground. Second, participants received an extensive list of grants, training opportunities and tax breaks for new businesses. Third, entrepreneurs were eligible to receive one of 20 free scholarships to a 13-week business planning class that typically costs $1,000 to participate.
The entire program was organized by UW-Parkside and its Small Business Development Center, the Racine County Workforce Development Center, RAMAC, RCEDC, green Racine, Gateway Technical College and the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation.
Along with networking, conference organizers brought in two keynote speakers. Tera Johnson, CEO of Wisconsin Specialty Protein, discussed how she raised $14 million to build an organic whey protein plant in Reedsburg, Wis. The key for her company, Johnson said, was finding a niche in the dairy industry that was untapped by anyone else in the world. Johnson's company is the only company to produce organic cow and goat whey powders that can be used in baby formulas and nutritional products.
Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle Inc., impressed the audience with his story of building one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. - all while being just 27 years old. Szaky's company helps consumers collect waste and then "upcycle" into thousands of products that are sold in Walmart, Whole Foods and other companies in five countries.
I left the conference impressed with the entrepreneurs and their ideas, and with the number of support organizations and experts interested in helping small businesses grow in Racine and Kenosha. With high unemployment rates and more businesses leaving than coming, entrepreneurship seems like a critically important way to build (rebuild?) the local economy.
One conference organizer said most entrepreneur's conferences are happy to get a handful of people with ideas for businesses. This conference had about 30 people with ideas, and those were just the ones who could attend.
But there's a big difference between an idea and a business. The challenge for all new businesses is to convert thoughts into reality. The "Launching Green Business" conference was an effort to do just that. For the sake of our local economy, let's hope it works.
Tera Johnson, CEO of Wisconsin Specialty Products
Looking for a career change? - April 2011 - If you’d like to consider changing occupations and start planning for a new career you should attend one of the Racine County Workforce Development Center’s “occupational themed” workshops. Between April and June, the Racine County Workforce Development Center will offer three new workshops covering the following occupational clusters: ... read more
Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project - January 2010 - Racine County was awarded one of 17 Transitional Jobs Demonstration Grants from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families in September, 2010. The grant is part of federal stimulus dollars funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The goals of the program are two-fold: ... read more
Career Development Center - August 2010 - In a difficult job market many people consider getting retrained in a field that will offer better future prospects. Given our technology-driven world, it should come as no surprise that jobs in the sciences and technology will be even more important in the future. These fields are expected to offer above average job prospects and pay. ... read more
Below are news stories that have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- UW-Parkside Mentoring Program, November 3, 2008 - Some people in LeRoy Petersen’s social circle don’t understand his relationship with Christian, a teenager he’s mentored for more than three years. One friend jumped to conclusions after hearing that Christian’s parents are Spanish-speaking immigrants. "The person said, ‘Oh, you’re teaching him English,’ " Petersen recalled. "I said, ‘He and I are learning French together. He speaks English very well.’ " Read this article to find out more...
- CNC Boot Camp, July 27, 2008 - Ahmad Hattix looks preoccupied as he is about to be relaunched. It could be because he has spectators — his father, his fiancée, young children bouncing around in a hallway at Gateway Technical College in Racine, where he’s about to graduate. Maybe he’s just eager to get moving. Read this article to find out more...
- Racine County to study work force, October 10, 2007
- A Smart Jobs Equation, October 21, 2007
Bridging the skills gap - January 2012 - It was five years ago when Bruno Independent Living Aids Inc. first started seeing a need for new ways to find and attract skilled labor. Rapid growth combined with increased competition for technical expertise had left the company struggling to fill vacancies with qualified workers. ... read more