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Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784

Jan. 26, 2024
CONTACT: DWD Communications

DWD, Regional Partners Taking Action to Support Healthcare Industry Workforce in Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley Regions

EAU CLAIRE – Workers and other community members affected by recent healthcare industry announcements in the Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley, and surrounding regions can look to the support of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the rapid response services of the West Central Works Workforce Development Board to help them prepare for and connect with employers that are eager to hire.

DWD and the West Central workforce development board will host community job fairs to connect affected workers with regional employers on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Florian Gardens Conference Center, 2340 Lorch Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54701, and Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Casper Conference Center and Student Commons of the Chippewa Valley Technical College – Business Education Center, 620 W. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54703. The job fairs will be open to the public. Additional services will be made available via DWD's mobile career labs in locations that are convenient for affected employees, with a schedule to be announced in the coming days.

"Wisconsin's highly skilled healthcare workforce is at the heart of a thriving economy, and DWD and its partners are fully committed to connecting the affected workers in health care and other industries with new career opportunities and family-supporting wages," said DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek. "While Wisconsin's overall labor market remains robust, mobilizing rapid response efforts will help minimize the local effects of the upcoming employer transitions. The rapid response support includes assistance with job search and placement, unemployment insurance application assistance, interview preparation, career counselling, and navigation of childcare and health insurance information, among other resources."

The West Central workforce development board is leading rapid response efforts, which follow notifications filed Jan. 22 of closures affecting HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital Chippewa Falls, and Prevea Clinic Inc. locations in Eau Claire, Chippewa, Barron, Buffalo, Dunn, Price and Rusk counties, affecting approximately 1,391 workers.

"The West Central Works Workforce Development Board rapid response teams are working efficiently and effectively to gather critical information, set up meetings with the affected employees and employers and prepare for upcoming job fairs focused on health care and other in-demand occupations and skills associated with these layoffs," said Jon Menz, CEO and Senior EO Officer at the West Central Works Workforce Development Board. "Our team appreciates the partnership of all those who are working on behalf of the affected employees, as we work to maintain a strong local labor force and resilient economy in the region."

Employers and workers interested in participating in the job fair events can contact:

About the Dislocated Worker Program

The Dislocated Worker Program provides transition assistance to workers and companies affected by permanent worker layoffs. The rapid response teams help companies and worker representatives develop and implement a practical transition plan based on the size of the layoff event. Types of services include:

Workers affected by permanent layoff may also access basic re-employment services at no charge through the state's Job Centers. Some services, including training assistance, may be an option for some workers after enrolling in one or more of DWD's workforce development programs.

Additional information on the Rapid Response Team process is available at:


Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.