TUE AM News: WEDC head says extra unemployment money doesn’t keep people from working; two Wisconsin entities partner up

— Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes acknowledged that some businesses are having a hard time finding help. But she said numbers don’t support the idea that extra unemployment benefits are keeping people out of the workforce.

“There’s a lot of complex factors at work in this worker shortage, all kind of umbrellaed by the demographic challenge that we have in Wisconsin, which is an aging population,” Hughes said in an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Hughes said people still on the sidelines after the pandemic are not able to find child care, transportation or have other obstacles.

She said the lack of J-1 visas, which allow workers to come in from other countries, also is hurting some businesses.

See more on Sunday’s show: https://www.wispolitics.com/2021/wedc-ceo-hughes-says-several-factors-at-play-in-states-worker-shortage/

See the latest “WisBusiness: The Podcast” episode with Hughes: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/wisbusiness-the-podcast-features-wedc-ceo-missy-hughes/ 

— In the latest GOP radio address, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos again argued Wisconsinites don’t need Medicaid expansion because it would discourage them from getting jobs.

He said Medicaid expansion would place over 90,000 more Wisconsities on state taxpayer-subsidized health care. He added most of those would be able-bodied adults who should be able to work and pay for their health care.

The Rochester Republican also said putting those people on BadgerCare could keep them from joining the workforce “much like the enhanced federal unemployment benefits that are keeping people on the sidelines.”

“We will continue to provide those essential BadgerCare services to those who truly need it, and help provide an environment that promotes a thriving economy for all of Wisconsin,” he said.

See the address:

— Eau Claire-based Silver Spring Foods, a subsidiary of the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish, Huntsinger Farms, is partnering with La Crosse-based Kwik Trip. 

Silver Spring Foods’ yellow mustard, brat mustard and horseradish sauce are on the shelves of 613 Kwik Trip locations. The strategic partnership marks the first time Silver Spring Foods branded products will be placed in convenience stores in the Midwest, allowing new growth in a segment that has been virtually untouched.

Both Kwik Trip and Silver Spring Foods experienced remarkable growth during the pandemic when the two entities saw an unprecedented demand for both condiments and convenience. 

In July, Huntsinger Farms will host Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. The July 20-22 outdoor event showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture, including many practical applications of recent research findings and technological developments.

— The Wisconsin Hospital Association’s coronavirus dashboard reported the lowest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since it first started collecting the data.

As of Monday, the state has 186 COVID-19 patients. The previous low was 192 on April 2, 2020, when the dashboard first went live.

Hospitalizations in Wisconsin peaked at 2,277 on Nov. 17, 2020 after a 13-week rise. Census has since fallen steadily, hitting a low of 193 on March 21, before rising again to 350 on April 25. The current low represents a 92 percent drop from November’s high.

See the WHA dashboard: https://www.wha.org/Covid-19Update 

— The Wisconsin National Guard has helped administer nearly 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines since establishing the first mobile vaccination teams in late January.

Guard personnel on mobile vaccination teams have responded to requests for assistance in more than a dozen Wisconsin counties. 

In addition, about 45 Guard members are supporting mass community vaccination sites in Madison, Milwaukee and Kenosha. The community vaccination teams have helped administer more than 78,300 vaccines since beginning operations in early April.

Mobile and community clinics have helped widen the availability of vaccinations in underserved communities and freed up local resources to focus on serving other neighborhoods and areas of need.

Several dozen troops have also assisted the Department of Health Services since late December with managing COVID-19 vaccine inventory at sites across the state.

— Guard testing teams continue to operate a number of regional community-based testing sites.  

The Wisconsin National Guard has supported the state’s COVID-19 response since March 12, 2020.

Teams have collected over 1 million specimens since April 2020 at community-based testing sites and institutional-based testing missions. As of May 28, Wisconsin National Guard teams have collected nearly 1.07 million specimens statewide.

Nearly 500 troops are currently serving in direct support of the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19 in a variety of statuses.

<i>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 WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/o8FtqTLviGJPja8C9 </i>

— Uber and Lyft are offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments, the Department of Health Services announced. 

From now until July 4, the two rideshares will pay the fare to vaccination appointments. 

Uber is offering up to $25 for each ride — up to four rides — and the offer can be found on the Uber phone app: https://www.uber.com/us/en/coronavirus/

Lyft is offering up to $15 for each ride — up to two rides — and the offer can be redeemed here: https://www.lyft.com/invite/LYFTVACCINE 

— Johnson Controls is putting a new coolant in its air conditioners to help the environment. 

The coolant, R-454B, has a lower global warming potential than Johnson Controls’ previous coolant. Global warming potential or GWP is what the EPA and other regulatory bodies use to evaluate the relationship between gases and climate change.  

Johnson Controls’ coolant transition is the first step in achieving the company’s goal of a 16 percent reduction in customer emissions by 2030. The switch will start taking effect in new products by January 2024.

— For more developments in green energy, environmental issues and related policy proposals, visit WisBiz Green in the right-hand column at WisBusiness.com.

To get a weekly feed of WisBiz Green highlights, sign up here: https://forms.gle/D9UncD3ee3j6nWZ2A

— The Madison International Trade Association is hosting two webinars this month — one focused on Brexit and another on foreign trade regulations.

“Brexit Bonus” on Thursday focuses on Brexit from a local perspective highlighting the impacts on Wisconsin companies. This event is from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. from the Commonwealth & Development Office at the British Consulate in Chicago, Senior Trade Policy Advisory Melissa Wooten and First Secretary Freya Macknight will discuss the U.K.-U.S. free trade agreement and trading relationship.

Register: https://mitaweb.123signup.com/event/registration/kzjhf?mid=5322413

The “Ins and Outs of Exporter Responsibilities and Liabilities under the Foreign Trade Regulations” is June 8 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Hydro-Thermal Corp. International Sales Representative Henrietta Bogyay, ME Dey Corp. Export Manager Brian Shea and Milwaukee U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service Director Koreen Grube will navigate the key requirements of the foreign trade regulations.

Register: https://mitaweb.123signup.com/event/registration/kzjfz

See a recent WisBusiness.com story on Brexit: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/waterloo-based-trek-overcoming-brexit-hurdles/

— Join WisBusiness.com and the Wisconsin Technology Council June 15 for the webinar “From dairy to tech: How smarter immigration policy can help the Midwest workforce.”

The noon event will feature four speakers talking about the prospects for immigration reform under the Biden administration and within Congress, and how bipartisan changes might help solve workforce problems in some of Wisconsin’s largest economic sectors.

Participants are: Reid Ribble, a former Republican member of Congress from northeast Wisconsin and CEO for the National Roofing Contractors Association; Ankit Agarwal, president and CEO of Imbed Biosciences Inc. in Madison; Jay Heeg, of Heeg Brothers Dairy in Colby and a former president of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin; and Kelly Fortier, an attorney with the Michael Best law firm. 

Tom Still, president of the Tech Council, will moderate.

Register: https://www.wispolitics.com/2021/wisbusiness-wisconsin-technology-council-how-immigration-policy-affects-wisconsin-topic-for-june-15-webinar/ 

— Visit the WisBusiness.com trade policy page to help you track events, news and developments that affect trade and the economy in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

See it here: https://www.wisbusiness.com/trade-policy/


# Northwoods Tourist Spots See Potential For Big Summer Season


# Milwaukee restaurants rethink approach with labor in short supply 


# Here come the brides: Eau Claire venues field post-pandemic wedding rush 




– Online stores boost sales for Superior artisans during pandemic https://www.superiortelegram.com/business/small-business/7027560-Online-stores-boost-sales-for-Superior-artisans-during-pandemic 


– Wisconsin Ag Economists Say Pandemic Could Increase Farmers’ Share Of Average Food Dollar https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-ag-economists-say-pandemic-could-increase-farmers-share-average-food-dollar 

– Dairy consultant points to income over feed cost as key margin https://brownfieldagnews.com/news/dairy-consultant-points-to-income-over-feed-cost-as-key-margin/ 

– Holiday freeze could force some farmers to replant soybeans https://brownfieldagnews.com/news/holiday-freeze-could-force-some-farmers-to-replant-soybeans/ 

– Wisconsin’s All Milk Price Climbs to $18.80 in April http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-state.php?Id=554&yr=2021 


– Free-market advocacy group says state government “lacks expertise” to manage proposed $100 million VC fund https://biztimes.com/free-market-advocacy-group-says-state-government-lacks-expertise-to-manage-proposed-100-million-vc-fund/ 


– New Snapshot Of Restraints, Isolation In Schools https://www.wpr.org/new-snapshot-restraints-isolation-schools 

– UW System Bringing Back Summer Youth Programs https://www.wpr.org/uw-system-bringing-back-summer-youth-programs 


– Protect Turtles On The Move https://www.midwestfarmreport.com/2021/05/30/protect-turtles-on-the-move/ 


– Foxconn Says It Will Manufacture Digital Infrastructure Hardware https://www.wpr.org/foxconn-says-it-will-manufacture-digital-infrastructure-hardware 

– Foxconn Project Manager Paid Nearly $1M By Village Of Mount Pleasant https://www.wpr.org/foxconn-project-manager-paid-nearly-1m-village-mount-pleasant 


– Local Governments Nationwide Want To Address Health Impacts Of Racism In Housing, Policing, Economic Opportunity https://www.wpr.org/local-governments-nationwide-want-address-health-impacts-racism-housing-policing-economic 

– Growing Wisconsin-based dermatology group continues expansion https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2021/05/31/village-dermatology-acquired-by-national-group.html 

– Advocate Aurora posts $136M positive financial swing in first quarter, but remains wary https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2021/05/31/advocate-aurora-posts-positive-financial-swing.html 


– Greater Milwaukee Committee president Julia Taylor to retire https://biztimes.com/greater-milwaukee-committee-president-julia-taylor-to-retire/ 


– NY papermaker sues Wisconsin pulp supplier alleging fraud, breach of contract https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2021/05/31/finch-paper-sues-supplier-for-contract-breach.html 


– Milwaukee will keep mask requirement for city buildings as overall mandate ends https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2021/05/27/milwaukee-keeping-mask-rules-for-city-buildings.html 


– Company launches self-guided tours of Eau Claire https://www.leadertelegram.com/news/front-page/company-launches-self-guided-tours-of-eau-claire/article_356ddc91-6c69-58f0-9822-41aa3b3d7793.html 


– Peninsula State Park Prepares For Summer With Upgrades, Opening Of Eagle Tower https://www.wpr.org/peninsula-state-park-prepares-summer-upgrades-opening-eagle-tower 


– Bill Proposes Direct Sales Of Electric Vehicles In Wisconsin https://www.wpr.org/bill-proposes-direct-sales-electric-vehicles-wisconsin 


– Alliant Reaches Deal To Recover Costs Tied To Its Clean Energy Transition As It Plans To Raise Rates https://www.wpr.org/alliant-reaches-deal-recover-costs-tied-its-clean-energy-transition-it-plans-raise-rates 


<i>See these and other press releases: 

https://www.wisbusiness.com/press-releases/ </i>

– Wisconsin Technical College System: President Foy statement on Joint Finance action on 2021-23 biennial budget

– Wisconsin Bankers Foundation: Four students awarded $2,000 scholarships

– Laughlin Constable: Offering pro bono assistance for nominated local minority business

– Madison Reading Project: Mayors and supporters celebrate new book center