WED AM News: Evers calls for COVID precautions, issues no new restrictions; Social networking guru says focusing on one platform can jumpstart online success

— Gov. Tony Evers has signed an executive order urging people to stay home as much as possible while pressing businesses to take steps to protect employees and customers to combat COVID-19.

But the order included no new directives limiting business activity or travel as Wisconsin faces a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases.

The guv, who has faced legal challenges to various measures his administration has taken to combat the disease, said in a speech last night he will announce a package of COVID-19 legislation in the coming days that he hoped would pass quickly to “make sure we have the resources ready for those who need it.”

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— Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce spokesman Nick Novak said Evers’ remarks reinforce what many employers have already been doing.

“Wisconsin businesses have been taking countless steps to protect their employees, customers and the public since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “In addition, WMC has strongly encouraged our members to speak with their workers about steps they can take outside the workplace to slow the spread of this virus in order to protect the health and safety of their communities.”

WMC is part of a statewide COVID-19 mitigation coalition that has released its fourth public education announcement, a stern and serious message that warns “Wisconsin is losing” its battle with the coronavirus.

The new message, set to run on broadcast TV and digital platforms, doubles down on the urgency for Wisconsin residents to do their part to help reverse the public health crisis that threatens to overwhelm the state. It features headlines from major publications around the state that document the ever-growing presence of the virus.

“Positive cases are skyrocketing. Hospitals are filling up. Businesses are closing. Death counts are rising. Wisconsin — is losing,” says the narrator. “Our frontline workers are doing all they can, but they can’t do it alone. More people are getting sick and dying. Unless we make changes, there will be more deaths we could have prevented. You can change this.”

The “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition’s ad comes as Wisconsin again hit new daily COVID-19 records, surpassing 7,000 new daily cases for the second time. It also follows a White House task force report again warning that Wisconsin’s ongoing health emergency will continue to lead to increasing hospitalizations and deaths unless more serious action is taken.

“COVID has a vice grip on Wisconsin that’s getting tighter every day and the consequences for our citizens, our businesses, and our health care systems are becoming worse,” said Eric Borgerding, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

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— The guv’s speech came on the heels of a grim report of daily COVID-19 stats in Wisconsin: record deaths, record cases and record hospitalizations.

The death toll now stands at nearly 2,400.

Wisconsin reported a record 7,073 COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the seven-day average for daily confirmed cases to a record 5,825.

Yesterday was the second time that the state has reported more than 7,000 new cases in one day. The previous record was Saturday with 7,065 cases. The state’s cumulative case count now numbers 278,843.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalization census sits at a record 2,070 as of yesterday afternoon. Intensive care patients number a record 418, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s hospital dashboard. Wisconsin broke 2,000 hospitalizations for the first time Monday and 400 ICU patients yesterday.

And Wisconsin reported a record 66 new deaths among confirmed cases of COVID-19. Milwaukee and Marathon counties led the count, adding seven new deaths each. This brings the state’s death toll to 2,395. The state has experienced over 44 percent of its coronavirus deaths in the past 41 days.

For more of the most relevant news on the coronavirus outbreak, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin and links to top stories, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and

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— COVID-19 has given entrepreneurs a chance to grow their social media presence by focusing their efforts rather than trying to address all areas of their businesses, said media influencer group Applause! CEO Jon Jacques.

He called the pandemic “a wake-up call” during his keynote address at the 2020 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. Jacques added that COVID-19 has created a huge demand for his business since people are seeing less value from traditional physical advertising and marketing campaigns.

Jacques said businesses that were prepared for the shift have done extremely well, but the businesses that didn’t have a significant online following beforehand are struggling.

People are spending more time on their phones browsing social media than before the pandemic, which Jacques said entrepreneurs can use by creating their own strong social media presence to engage with that increased audience size.

He also suggested entrepreneurs start taking advantage of a favorable online advertising market as a way to build their brands and market their products. He noted advertising costs on social media platforms were the lowest they’d been in years.

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— The Department of Workforce Development’s unemployment backlog fell to 7.05 percent from 7.25 percent last week.

That’s equal to about 74,222 unique claimants held up in adjudication by one or more weeks due to multiple issues, or 1,678 Wisconsinites who have gotten their UI checks in the last seven days.

DWD has paid about 547,912 claimants over $4.29 billion since March 15.

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— The Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition is partnering with member employers, the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and Apprenti to expand state registered technology apprenticeships.

Apprenti is the nation’s first technology apprenticeship program registered by the U.S. Department of Labor. It has been approved and registered with Wisconsin Apprenticeship to help build capacity for technology apprenticeships within the Milwaukee market.

“Building capacity for Registered Technology Apprenticeships is a critical strategy for increasing the diversity of our tech workforce and demonstrates a collective commitment to develop local tech talent,” said Laura Schmidt, chief talent development officer for the Tech Hub.

She added that the Tech Hub is grateful to its member employers, many of whom have already signed the MMAC “Region of Choice” pledge, for being a part of building the program. The Tech Hub is unable to advance key talent development strategies without employer support, she said.

Apprenti will identify individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds with the aptitude and potential to succeed at a career in technology. It will provide intense technical training for the apprentices before transitioning to local employers for on-the-job training.

Apprenti Executive Director Jennifer Carlson said since launching four years ago, the organization has placed over 1,000 apprentices across 16 markets. Of those, 62 percent are people of color, 48 percent are veterans, almost 25 percent are women and 14 percent are people with disabilities.

“Our entire team is committed to providing opportunities that might not otherwise exist for those we serve and are excited to launch Apprenti of Greater Milwaukee in partnership with the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition,” she said.

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— The announcement comes as Gov. Tony Evers has proclaimed the week of Nov. 8 as Apprenticeship Week in Wisconsin in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week.

Wisconsin established the nation’s first apprenticeship law in 1911 and served as a model for developing federal apprenticeship legislation. Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship stewards have served as workforce development policy drivers and technical experts for more than 100 years.

“Wisconsin Apprenticeship is a time-tested workforce solution that benefits both employers and apprentices,” Department of Workforce Development Deputy Secretary Rob Cherry said. “Wisconsin offers Youth, Pre-Apprenticeship, and Registered Apprenticeship programs that work together to offer pathways into family-sustaining careers.”

Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship program provides a value-added training model for as many as 14,000 apprentices and 3,000 employers in over 200 occupations across the state annually. In addition, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program saw a record number of youth apprentices, topping 6,000 and more than 4,000 employers.

For information on Wisconsin Apprenticeship Week events and stakeholders, visit:

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— Lomira-based Patriot Taxiway Industries was one of 38 U.S. companies and organizations to receive the 2020 Presidential “E” Award after it demonstrated a sustained increase in export sales over a four-year period.

Patriot Taxiway is a small business that offers state-of-the-art LED lighting products and services in the aerospace, airfield and defense industries. The “E” award is the highest recognition a U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“Patriot Taxiway Industries appreciates the expertise and support of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the State of Wisconsin providing the ExporTech™ Program for Wisconsin companies to take our products to the world,” said Patriot Taxiway Industries President Kevin McDermott. “We are moving Forward with Wisconsin aerospace products for the world market.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has worked closely with the company in previous years, most recently at the Paris Air Show last summer.

“We are proud to be part of Patriot Taxiway’s export journey,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of global trade and investment. “With the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program grant, Patriot Taxiway joined WEDC at the last Paris Airshow, where their aviation lights were of great interest to many.”

— Applications are being taken for PSC’s $7 million Energy Innovation Grant Program.

PSC will be awarding the grantees by spring 2021 for energy-related projects that reduce energy consumption, increase clean energy and transportation technologies, bolster preparedness and resiliency in the energy system and incorporate comprehensive energy planning.

Wisconsin manufacturers, municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals and like entities can apply in this grant cycle by Jan. 22.

“Too many of our local businesses, governments, and organizations lack the financial resources to turn their innovative energy solutions into reality. These grants help bridge that funding gap and make sure that a good idea can get the funding that it needs,” said Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq.

She added that innovative energy efficiency ideas are critical components toward achieving the state’s goal of carbon-free electricity by 2050.

In 2018, 100 applications were submitted, with the sum of grant requests totaling more than $31 million. A total of 31 applicants were eventually selected for funding with over $4.9 million granted, making this a highly competitive state grant program.

Register for a Nov. 19 informational webinar on the program here:

See application instructions here:

— Milwaukee’s Department of City Development is improving racial equity through the city’s anti-displacement plan, according to Commissioner Lafayette Crump.

Two 2019 accomplishments, an anti-displacement policy and an anti-displacement tax fund, aid populations most at-risk of gentrification in Milwaukee, Crump told a Milwaukee Rotary Club briefing.

“That policy and that program really leverages Mayor Barrett’s commitment to expand the use of tax-incremental financing for affordable housing with a priority on anti-displacement,” he said.

The Common Council adopted the Midwest’s first anti-displacement neighborhood preference policy in July 2019, a move Crump said provides opportunities for residents whose property values are rising to keep their homes or acquire other properties. MKE United launched the MKE Anti-Displacement Tax Fund to assist homeowners in maintaining their current residences. These residents may be impacted by higher taxes as their home values go up, Crump explained.

“We don’t want them to be negatively impacted by what is extensively a positive thing overall,” Crump said of the higher taxes that follow increased property values.

More than 100 homeowners qualified for the fund in its first year. Candidates are largely elderly residents who have lived in their homes for an average of 18 years, Crump said. The fund’s 2020-2021 application period is currently open.

Three multi-family developments will house the first group of residents subject to the new anti-displacement policy, he continued. While the developments are still under construction, the goal is to create three communities where residents feel safe.

“They’re going to provide real, high quality, affordable housing units for existing residents of these neighborhoods most at-risk of displacement,” Crump said of the new developments.

One of the projects is converting the former 37th Street School into housing units. Though incomplete, Crump showed optimism about what the new developments could mean for the future of housing in Milwaukee.

“We hope that will be a model for other developments around the city,” Crump said.


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– Pandemic Causes Milk Pricing And Demand Concerns

– USDA lowers corn, soybean crops, tightens ending stocks

– Scuppernong AEA Layers Preservation Protections to Protect Farming Communities

– US banks in line for windfall after Covid-19 vaccine progress

– Madison Plan Commission approves big redevelopment on Capitol Square

– DPI biennial budget request includes increase in aid for schools, full-day 4K funding

– Biden Plans To Re-Enter The Paris Climate Accord

– SBA ordered to release PPP loan details — and that could help deter fraud in a second PPP round

– Foxconn taking over more Mount Pleasant land, will top 1,000 total acres

– Remote work will continue for non-clinical Advocate Aurora employees

– African American Chamber’s Ossie Kendrix will continue leading organization after moving to Dallas

– Rockwell ‘optimistic’ on Biden views of manufacturing

– Wisconsin Republicans seek issues they can raise in a recount, but no major problems have surfaced

– Wisconsin Clerks Reported 238 Possible Voter Fraud Cases Since 2016

– 25-story luxury apartment tower meets opposition in Wauwatosa

– Pick ‘n Save parent Kroger revamps distribution plan to add micro-fulfillment centers

– Miller Park district saw six-figure reduction in rent revenue with fewer Brewers games

– Fetch Rewards secures roughly $80M from investors in latest capital raise

– Madison startup Mobile22 delivers ‘Uber-like’ experience for traditional taxicab companies

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