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United Way presents workshop on building successful workforce

Rob Grunewald

United Way St. Croix Valley will present "A Strong Workforce Today and Tomorrow: Healthy Children, Thriving Communities" from 7:30-10 a.m. Thursday, April 19, at WITC-New Richmond. Discover how building a successful workforce in the St. Croix Valley begins with investment in early childhood and family-friendly workplaces.

Keynote speaker Rob Grunewald, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will discuss the economic benefits to our community of investing in quality early childhood programs and how businesses especially benefit from this investment.

Grunewald conducts research on community development and regional economic issues. He co-authored "Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return" in 2003 and has written several subsequent articles on the economic and social impact of early learning. He frequently speaks to community and business leaders, policymakers and media throughout the United States.

Grunewald's talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the leaders of several family-friendly workplaces, including: Ryan Cari, partner at Heywood, Cari & Anderson, S.C.; Alison Page, CEO of Western Wisconsin Health; Mark Stoering, president, Xcel Energy-Wisconsin and Michigan; and Mark Tyler, president of OEM Fabricators, chair of the Governor's Council on Workforce Investment, and member of the Governor's Early Childhood Advisory Council.

The panel will be moderated by Blake Frye, president of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. The panel will discuss the advantages to family-friendly workplaces in recruiting and retaining quality employees in the midst of a workforce shortage and how these policies can improve overall productivity.

The program is free and a continental breakfast will be served. To register, visit or call Lara Otsuka at 715-377-0203, ext. 108 for more details.