— Wisconsin’s tourism hubs are expecting a flood of visitors to enjoy the state’s recreation, food and event offerings. But businesses fear they won’t have the staff to accommodate them.
Door County is gearing up for its busy season, which is usually a bell curve of visitors from May to October. The northeastern destination’s largest economic driver is tourism. The peninsula is popular for its scenery, cherries and wine, among other things.
Based on visitor inquiries to the county’s website alone, Destination Door County Communications Director Jon Jarosh says travel interest is far greater than last year. Jarosh anticipates a busier season than that of 2019, when the state set new records for tourism.
So businesses are looking for workers. Jarosh noted that demand for staff is not unique to Door County or even Wisconsin — it’s a nationwide issue.
Door County businesses have been recruiting employees through jobsindoorcounty.com. Destination Door County just completed a recruitment campaign online and on social media directed at seasonal workers and college students from Chicago to Green Bay to head northeast for work. It also helps those workers find housing in the area.
“One of the things that makes it a little more challenging, and last year as well, has to do with international workers, and that has to do with the J-1 travel program,” Jarosh said. “Seasonal spots have come to rely on international students to help staff our seasonal tourism businesses for the simple fact that there’s not enough United States workers or locals or any college students to really handle the amount of jobs there are now.”
Read the full story at WisBusiness.com: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/tourism-faces-labor-shortage/
— The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and Novir are partnering to give free COVID-19 shots to attendees at this week’s Madison Night in Milwaukee event.
The shots will emphasize the pivotal role COVID-19 vaccines play in the Milwaukee region’s economic rebound, MMAC said in a release.
The event will be held at the Saint Kate hotel on Thursday. It’s MMAC’s first major in-person event since the onset of the pandemic. Milwaukee-based Novir, an MMAC member company and leader in on-site COVID-19 testing and vaccination services, will provide free vaccinations, plus free antibody testing and antigen testing, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the event.
“Milwaukee’s economy is bouncing back already, and we’ll make even more economic progress as more and more of us get the robust, safe and scientifically proven protection that comes with vaccination,” said MMAC Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Steve Baas.
See a recent story on local approaches to getting COVID-19 shots in arms: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/state-begins-local-targeting-of-covid-19-vaccinations
— DATCP’s new emergency rule allows hemp growers to take advantage of some provisions in the new federal rule, including new ways to dispose of the crop if the THC test is too high.
The USDA’s final rule for the establishment of a domestic hemp production program became effective in March. While Wisconsin will continue operating a hemp research program under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, the emergency rule incorporates some flexibility derived from the new federal final rule.
This includes a pathway for hemp growers to remediate their crop if an initial regulatory THC test identifies that the crop exceeds the regulatory limit. Remediation options provide growers an alternative to crop destruction to minimize losses. This includes either disposing of flower materials and salvaging the remainder of the plant or blending the entire plant into biomass plant material.
The emergency rule also caps negligent violations at one per year, per producer, and raises the level of total THC that constitutes a negligent violation.
DATCP will hold a hearing to receive public input on the emergency rule: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/Hemp.aspx
— Nearly 35 percent of Wisconsin residents are fully protected against COVID-19, and more than 43 percent have at least started the vaccine series.
Just over 2 million Wisconsinites completed their vaccine series — a new milestone for the state. More than 2.5 million have gotten at least one dose of either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson or the two-dose series of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Door County is the only Wisconsin county to surpass 50 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
Wisconsin has put more than 4.4 million COVID-19 shots in people’s arms.
The Badger State ranks No. 1 among the 50 states for using its available vaccine supply, according to Bloomberg. And database Global Data Change Lab still places Wisconsin in the top 10 for the total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 people.
More than three-fourths of Wisconsin’s 65 and older population are fully protected against COVID-19; 81 percent have started the series.
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— UW-Stout’s spring commencement will be held on Saturday for 1,075 graduates with 400 attending in-person.
Graduates from 2020 who did not have an in-person commencement option have been invited back to the 2021 in-person ceremonies — 55 will attend.
Graduates not attending the in-person ceremonies can take part in the virtual ceremony, via a livestream broadcast on the university’s YouTube channel and the commencement website.
Diplomas will be mailed to students after final grades are issued.
— The Kiel Performing Arts Center, connected to Kiel High School, has officially opened in Appleton.
Construction on the 600-seat auditorium began in spring 2020, following the passage of the $7 million referendum to fund the building plan. Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc. built the arts center.
The facility will be able to host musicals, plays and vocal performances for the entire school district.
— Waukesha and Washington counties will host “Parks Without Borders” weekends in May and June, offering residents free reciprocal park admissions over county lines.
“These reciprocal days are a great way for annual park entrance sticker holders in both counties a chance to experience even more Wisconsin parks,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow.
Annual parks sticker holders from both counties will have reciprocal park admissions on Mother’s and Father’s Day weekends, giving residents access to 17 different parks and over 3,500 acres of parkland.
“It is exciting to be able to work together within the family of counties to provide our neighbors with access to some wonderful amenities as people across the nation gather together to celebrate our parents and our families,” said Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann.
# A pandemic reality: State tourism spending drops 28.3%; Dane County down 42.5% in 2020
# Wisconsin’s home sales market is red hot. Buyers scramble to outbid each other, offer $20,000 over asking price, scrap inspections
# Restaurant owners can get help figuring out COVID-19 relief from UW-La Crosse
– Nominees announced for Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board https://www.weau.com/2021/05/03/nominees-announced-for-wisconsin-milk-marketing-board/
– Drought worries in Wisconsin https://spectrumnews1.com/wi/milwaukee/weather/2021/05/02/wisconsin-weather-blog-drought-concerns
– Small-Scale Farmer In Southeast Wisconsin Hopes His Self-Made Documentary Inspires Others To Homestead https://www.wuwm.com/2021-05-03/small-scale-farmer-in-southeast-wisconsin-hopes-his-self-made-documentary-inspires-others-to-homestead
– One Community Bank donates to food pantries https://www.hngnews.com/sun_prairie_star/news/article_6cef2921-4a47-5e29-ba97-686f0776cbc6.html
– Wisconsin Pharmacal acquires nasal irrigation device https://biztimes.com/wisconsin-pharmacal-acquires-nasal-irrigation-device/
– Couture apartment tower construction starts Wednesday. That work begins nearly nine years after the project was first proposed. https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/real-estate/commercial/2021/05/03/couture-construction-start-nearly-9-years-after-plans-were-unveiled/7409991002/
– Wisconsin saw less severe job loss during the pandemic than neighboring states, a report shows https://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/2021/05/03/report-wisconsin-job-loss-less-severe-than-neighboring-states/4875393001/
– Northwestern Mutual CEO rebukes MPS, pledges support to charter, private schools https://biztimes.com/northwestern-mutual-ceo-rebukes-mps-pledges-support-to-charter-private-schools/
– Protecting Wisconsin’s bat species during summer https://www.weau.com/2021/05/03/protecting-wisconsins-bat-species-during-summer/
– Wisconsin’s Green Fire Releases Assessment of ‘Mishandled’ Wolf Hunt https://www.wxpr.org/post/wisconsin-s-green-fire-releases-assessment-mishandled-wolf-hunt#stream/0
# HEALTH CARE
– Mayo CNO Jason Fratzke to start new role at Rochester hospital https://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/mayo-cno-jason-fratzke-to-start-new-role-at-rochester-hospital/article_776e1213-2a05-5402-a59a-63b9af37858e.html
– Wisconsin ranks in the top 10 states for working moms https://www.wearegreenbay.com/news/local-news/wisconsin-ranks-in-the-top-10-states-for-working-moms/
– League of Women Voters commends judge’s decision in redistricting case https://wislawjournal.com/2021/05/03/league-of-women-voters-commends-judges-decision-in-redistricting-case/
– Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin to move HQ to Milwaukee https://biztimes.com/goodwill-industries-of-southeastern-wisconsin-to-move-hq-to-milwaukee/
– Generac to increase capacity at one of its Wisconsin plants after posting highest quarterly revenue to date https://biztimes.com/generac-to-increase-capacity-at-wisconsin-plant-after-posting-highest-quarterly-revenue-to-date/
– Internet Oldies AOL And Yahoo Are Sold … Again https://www.wpr.org/internet-oldies-aol-and-yahoo-are-sold-again
– Byron Allen buys TV stations in Madison, LaCrosse, Wausau https://madison365.com/byron-allen-buys-tv-stations-in-madison-lacrosse-wausau/
# REAL ESTATE
– Final phase of River Place Lofts development in Walker’s Point would add nearly 70 apartments https://biztimes.com/final-phase-of-river-place-lofts-development-in-walkers-point-would-add-nearly-70-apartments/
– EPA Moves To Cut A Group Of Powerful Greenhouse Gases https://www.wpr.org/epa-moves-cut-group-powerful-greenhouse-gases
– DNR celebrates National Clean Air Month https://www.wjfw.com/storydetails/20210503120532/dnr_celebrates_national_clean_air_month
– The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago has been a regional destination for 75 years. Here’s the secret to its success. https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/waukesha/news/mukwonago/2021/05/03/elegant-farmer-mukwonago-has-become-wisconsin-destination/7190193002/
# SMALL BUSINESS
– Milwaukee frozen treat maker Pete’s Pops has opened its new location in West Allis https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/southwest/news/west-allis/2021/04/30/petes-pops-opening-its-third-milwaukee-area-location-west-allis/7401272002/
– After 68 years in Tosa, Wisconsin Garden & Pet is closing https://onmilwaukee.com/articles/wisconsin-garden
– A pandemic reality: State tourism spending drops 28.3%; Dane County down 42.5% in 2020 https://madison.com/wsj/business/a-pandemic-reality-state-tourism-spending-drops-28-3-dane-county-down-42-5-in/article_57672e96-c6cf-588d-8625-e58759892289.html
– State, Local Tourism Industry Hit Hard by Pandemic; Rebound Expected https://racinecountyeye.com/state-local-tourism-industry-hit-hard-by-pandemic-rebound-expected/
– Construction Starts on US 2 & US 51 Interchange Near Hurley https://www.wxpr.org/post/construction-starts-us-2-us-51-interchange-near-hurley#stream/0
– They’re better for the environment and becoming more affordable. Here’s what you need to know about electric cars in Wisconsin. https://www.jsonline.com/story/communities/2021/05/03/electric-cars-wisconsin-cost-driving-range-charging-stations/7221676002/
– Long-unreported pipeline leak should be a wakeup call for Wisconsin https://wisconsinwatch.org/2021/05/long-unreported-pipeline-leak-should-be-a-wakeup-call-for-wisconsin/
– Sen. Melissa Agard: Wisconsin can be the gold standard for PFAS legislation https://madison.com/ct/opinion/column/sen-melissa-agard-wisconsin-can-be-the-gold-standard-for-pfas-legislation/article_0bfb3b9a-5930-50c6-aa0d-50c439ca97c6.html
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases:
– TIDI Products: Selects Weidert Group as inbound marketing agency
– Marquette University: To offer master of science in data science program
– UW-Madison: Flexible, easy-to-scale nanoribbons move graphene toward use in tech applications
– Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council members announced