WED AM News: Milwaukee leaders say mentorship, inclusivity, location will grow workforce diversity; PPP extended to August 8

— Milwaukee leaders in diversifying employment said mentorship, inclusivity and location will grow the pipeline of diverse, talented employees in the region.

Dr. Vicki Martin, president of the Milwaukee Area Technical College, told a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce webinar that internal training and shepherding individuals to assume greater roles within an organization is key to recruiting and retaining diverse talent in the workforce.

“Support and mentoring… is just absolutely critical as we move forward,” she said. “But I think really looking at hiring and our systems of hiring and retention and what do those look like and making sure that we have anti-racist systems in place.”

She noted that at MATC, when talented students are identified, they are trained, supported and mentored to come back as future teachers. 

Martin said employers can do this with students coming up through the K-12 system or even in their own workforce if they see talented individuals: “bringing them in, hiring them, mentoring them, I think that’s what really needs to happen.”

Sarah Dollhausen-Clark, executive director of i.c.stars admitted it’s hard to point to just one thing that could benefit the city’s workforce diversity. After all, the statistics alone need to change, she said, from Milwaukee being one of the worst places to raise Black children to the high unemployment among African Americans.

Read the full story at 

— The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. submitted a 150-page report to lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers assessing the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wisconsin and identifying priorities for the state’s recovery efforts.

WEDC was directed to submit the plan, “Wisconsin Tomorrow – An Economy for All” yesterday by the state’s COVID-19 relief legislation. The report is meant to provide support to major industries that were adversely affected by the public health emergency.

Stakeholders in tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, forest products, construction, retail and services advised that assessments of the economic consequences of the pandemic continue to evolve — as must any plans for a full economic recovery, according to the report. 

According to WEDC, industry and individuals are still in the midst of the crisis and have not yet fully formed their plans for recovering. The report calls for the state to focus on three priorities: get everyone back to work, fix broadband and support innovation.

“Another equally important, but more longstanding, crisis that will determine our state’s economic future: the crisis of racial disparity and inequity,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said in a statement. “As the state’s leader in economic development, we know by advancing the economic well-being of every Wisconsinite, we can make a difference.”

See the release: 

See the report: 

— The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has new guidance on the high-capacity well application review process available for public comment. 

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce has criticized the DNR’s new guidance for not following the rulemaking processes — not giving the regulated community the opportunity to express concerns before the rules bound them or having legislative oversight. WMC claims that violates the state’s Administrative Procedures Act. 

The public comment period for the High Capacity Well Application Review Process website runs through Monday. According to a DNR spokesperson, the department will consider all comments received before finalizing the website update. The document has been available for public comment since June 15.

Opportunities for public comment on the proposed guidance can be found here:

See the new guidance:

— Wisconsin small businesses accounted for 84,301 of the total Paycheck Protection Program loans and over $9.8 billion as of June 27. 

Yesterday marked the deadline to apply for the PPP, a federal initiative designed to encourage small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. But less than four hours before it was to expire, the Senate unanimously cleared legislation to extend the deadline to August 8.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the Small Business Administration approved over 4.8 million loans adding up to over $520.6 billion. The average loan size was $107,199 and 5,459 lenders participated. 

The money still available for loans to small businesses is near $130 billion.

— COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to remain stable or slightly decrease, but Medical College of Wisconsin President Dr. John Raymond warns the numbers lag about two weeks behind new cases.

Total COVID-19 patients number 242, up from 236 patients yesterday. Also up from yesterday is COVID-19 inpatients with pending tests, which number 169. COVID-19 ICU patients are declining at 79 patients.

About 63 percent of Wisconsin’s total patients — 153 — are in southeastern Wisconsin, also stable.

Of the state’s confirmed cases, 12 percent have been hospitalized — a number that continues to decline. And 3 percent of COVID-19 cases have received intensive care, according to DHS. 

Early in the pandemic, individuals testing positive would be 30 percent likely to be hospitalized. That’s now at a 10 percent likelihood due to expanded testing measures and being able to identify the disease earlier in people. 

The department also reports that 32 or fewer patients are in each of the six other public health regions of the state.

WHA and DHS data show that statewide, Wisconsin seems to have a stable and adequate supply of beds and ventilators. Hospitals have a total of 1,253 ventilators and 288 ventilated patients.

— Hospitals, however, continue to lack personal protective equipment for health care workers, a trend that remains stable.

The WHA data show that 27 hospitals have a seven-day or less supply of face shields, 39 have a limited supply of goggles, 31 have limited N95 masks, 36 have a limited supply of gowns and 32 hospitals have limited paper medical masks.

Health care workers account for about 9 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 2,673, 48 more than yesterday.

Health care workers accounted for three of Wisconsin’s 784 COVID-19 deaths, according to the state’s Department of Health Services.

Meanwhile, 278 deaths listed unknown occupations.

See the WHA hospital dashboard here:

— Wisconsin had seven new COVID-19 deaths yesterday with Barron County reporting a death for the first time.

Racine County reported two new deaths. Milwaukee, Outagamie, Rock and Waupaca counties reported one new death each.

The number of recovered patients number 22,587 or 79 percent, while 3 percent of patients have died. Active cases–those still in a 30-day waiting period of symptom onset or diagnosis–number 18 percent.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (390), Racine (63), Kenosha (43), Brown (42), Waukesha (38), Dane (32), Rock (24), Walworth (18), Ozaukee (15), Washington (15), Grant (13), Winnebago (11), Outagamie (9), Clark (6), Fond du Lac (6), Waupaca (7), Dodge (5), Jefferson (4), Richland (4) and Sheboygan (4).

Door, Forest, Marinette and Sauk counties report three deaths each. Adams, Buffalo and Calumet counties report two deaths each.

Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Columbia, Eau Claire, Green, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Polk, St. Croix and Wood counties report one death each.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

— The state is recording 601 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, the most in one day since May 29. 

Despite the large spike, the percentage of positive COVID tests fell to 4.7 percent from 5.3 percent yesterday.

But the daily COVID-19 reproductive number for Wisconsin is also rising, now at an all-time high of 1.28 — meaning one person is infecting about 1.28 people — and it’s been rising for 11 consecutive days.

Wisconsin is still faring better than most states, particularly those in the south and southwest parts of the U.S. However, Raymond warned that rising cases, percentages of positive tests and infection rates are a source of concern for Wisconsin. 

“What we know in the United States over last month, there’s been a 9 to 10 percent increase in testing, but 40 to 50 percent increase in the number of cases,” he said. “I think this is a factor not only of increased testing but probably more so of more burden of disease.”

Raymond noted that trends worth watching include the percentage of deaths that are trending towards white, Hispanic and Latinx individuals and the percentage of cases that are trending towards younger and Hispanic and Latinx individuals. 

The new cases bring the cumulative count to 28,659. The state reported 12,781 tests yesterday, the most in the past two weeks, but still below the state’s daily testing capacity of 18,425 tests. As of yesterday, the state collected over 568,000 tests. 

The CDC added three more symptoms of COVID-19: congestion, nausea and diarrhea.

See a map of community-based testing sites here: 

— As the city of Milwaukee prepares to move into phase four of its reopening plan tomorrow, Raymond says the move is worthwhile if people adhere to physical distancing.

Raymond noted in a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce webinar that hospitalizations aren’t currently spiking despite the increase in positive tests and percentage of positive tests.

“As long as people adhere to the physical distancing guidelines, wear face coverings and are careful about washing their hands, (reopening) may be worth doing,” he said. “If you want to have an excess of caution, you might say, ‘Let’s wait,’ but right now I believe we’re on schedule to move to phase four tomorrow.”

There are 11,232 cumulative confirmed cases in Milwaukee with a 10 percent positive rate. While numbers had been backing off, there’s been an upward trend in the percentage of positive tests in the last week, with a 9.3 percent 7-day positive average.

See “Moving Milwaukee Forward” here: 

— Businesses are asking Milwaukee leaders for a city-wide mask mandate, to which Raymond says “as long as people comply — whether mandatory or not — there’s an upside.”

Over 70 Milwaukee restaurants and businesses signed on to a letter to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Cavalier Johnson calling on them to require that masks be worn by patrons and workers in public spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

However, Raymond noted that mask-wearing has become a political issue where people are “weighing their civil liberties versus public health.” 

The businesses argue that without a city mandate, customers may not be compliant with their own mask requirements, resulting in a loss of business and a higher risk for outbreaks and new stay-at-home orders that could close business’ doors for good. 

“We’re relying on individual behavior to do the things that we know can help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Raymond said. “They’re very simple.”

Raymond said that the “three Ws” are the most effective way to stop the spread: washing your hands, watching your distance and wearing face coverings. 

— In a recent “Badger Talks,” UW-Madison Prof. Ajay Sethi said people should continue to wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Masks can be one-time-use paper medical masks or a washable cloth face covering, Sethi said. 

Sethi explained that wearing a mask helps prevent the distribution of tiny droplets from the mouth and nose that can carry the virus. Since many people who are infected with COVID-19 don’t know they’re sick, wearing a mask can help them avoid infecting other people, he said. A mask protects the wearer as well by reducing the likelihood of inhaling droplets.

Sethi said it’s especially important to wear a mask when you can’t physically distance such as inside a store or in a crowded outdoor space. 

Watch the video here: 


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– Flash flooding Monday impacts northwest Wisconsin farmers 

– Video Should Help With Animal Disease Traceability 

– Dane County Ultimately Cancels 2020 Dairy Event 


– Providing skills training to those unemployed by pandemic can lift Wisconsin economy  


– Despite Gains, State’s Share Of Teachers Of Color Lags Far Behind The Share Of Nonwhite Students

– University of Wisconsin cancels research field days 


– Milwaukee-area hospitals admit more patients in May, but still trail year-ago levels 

– New Perspective opening senior living community in Waukesha 

– 6 new cases of COVID-19 in Northwestern Wisconsin on June 30 

– La Crosse confirms 47 new COVID-19 cases from weekend, officials urge against gathering for Fourth


– Wisconsin plans drive-thru job fairs to reach those seeking work or higher pay 


– WAXX Radio Holding Virtual ‘Best of Show’ Fair Animal Contest 


– Pandemic Worsens College Voting Complications In Wisconsin

# Evers’ office: No record of secret recording authorization 

Supreme Court signals it won’t rule on voter purge case before election 


– Journal Sentinel office conversion to housing for $124 million could start in August 

– Milwaukee advances $4.15 million to help Community Within the Corridor development 


– Business owners ask for mask mandate in city of Milwaukee 

– Body Cameras May Be In Store For All Wauwatosa Police Officers

– Don’t expect a face mask requirement or statewide bar closures in Wisconsin 


– Target to open two-level store in former Boston Store space at Bayshore 

– Restaurant’s sign opposing COVID-19 safety measures sparks social media firestorm 


– Small businesses got — and spent — their PPP loans. So what happens next? 


– Packers Host Hiring Event As Team Prepares For Full NFL Season With Fans At Games 

– With no games at arena, Fiserv Forum furloughs employees 

– WIAA, University of Wisconsin study shows depression is up among Wisconsin high school athletes 

– Minor league baseball season officially canceled  

– DNR Hunter Safety Classes Resume on July 13  


– 71-room Fairfield by Marriott Hotel opens in Whitewater 

– Economic Impact of Canceled Oktoberfest 


– Op-Ed: Wisconsin Will Benefit from USMCA 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

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– Ale Asylum: Brew pipeline brings FVCK COVID beer nationwide