Artisan Forge is finalist for economic award

MADISON — A growing Eau Claire art business is among the finalists for statewide awards that recognize contributions to economic development in Wisconsin.

Artisan Forge Studios is vying with two other finalists for the Wisconsin Economic Development Association’s Economic Development Initiative Award.

The award honors innovative economic development efforts that promote growth and prosperity in their communities, according to a WEDA news release.

Artisan Forge’s $1.7 million capital investment last year in its building at 1106 Mondovi Road, which included a 13,000 square foot addition, factored into its nomination for the award. The studios are home to 43 small businesses with 76 employees, according to the WEDA release.

Others competing for the award are St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center at UW-River Falls and the New North Supply Chain Marketplace, which covers northeastern Wisconsin.

The award is part of WEDA’s fourth annual Community and Economic Development Awards. After members winnow the finalists, the trade association will present six awards at a Sept. 12 ceremony in Madison.

In addition to economic development initiatives, the awards recognize growing businesses, companies investing in their operations, public-private partnerships, real estate redevelopments and talent development efforts.

Foxconn innovation center to be discussed

The independent group that advises the state government on technology will host an event on Sept. 18 in Eau Claire that will give details on Foxconn Technology Group’s plans for an innovation center in the city’s downtown.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is sponsoring a luncheon where Alan Yeung, director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives for Foxconn, will talk about Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley, which is expected to create 150 jobs.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. with registration and networking at the Pablo Center at the Confluence, 128 Graham Ave. Lunch will start at noon and the presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Registration costs $10 for students and veterans, $25 for technology council members and $35 for the general public.

Foxconn’s downtown Eau Claire innovation center is planned for The Grand — an office building formerly owned by Wells Fargo at 204 E. Grand Ave. — and in 15,000 square feet in the ground floor of Haymarket Landing.

SCORE creates pact with innovation center

RIVER FALLS — An organization that provides business mentorship is forming a one-year pilot partnership with the St. Croix Valley Business Innovation Center at UW-River Falls.

Through the partnership, the St. Croix Valley Branch of the St. Paul Chapter of SCORE will have access the center’s conference and training rooms for meeting with clients. Both SCORE and the center also have agreed to promote each others’ services, according to a Thursday news release that announced the partnership.

After one year of the partnership, the parties will evaluate its success and determine if there should be an ongoing arrangement between the two.

Marketing, social media conference is Sept. 20

Using marketing and social media to reach customers and grow a business’ bottom line will be the focus of a daylong conference later this month in Eau Claire.

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Marketing & Social Media Conference will be 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 20 at The Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave.

Laura Benjamin, president and founder of local marketing agency Satellite Six, will give the opening keynote address on how to understand your audience, build a profile of your customers and use that information to develop campaigns, a website, taglines and other materials.

Attendees will have their choice between 15 different presentations during the five breakout sessions that follow.

Tickets cost $85 for chamber members or $115 for nonmembers, which includes lunch. To register by Sept. 14 or learn more about the conference, go online to​yawofa79.

Senior job, volunteer fair is Sept. 18 at mall

A job and volunteer opportunity fair for area senior citizens will be 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 18 at Oakwood Mall.

Employers and organizations looking for workers who are 55 or over will be at the fair to meet with those interested in full, part-time or temporary jobs or ways to volunteer in the community.

More than 190 seniors attended last year’s fair, according to the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce.

The event is sponsored by chambers of commerce in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie, and the Aging & Disability Resource Center.

Short Takes

• The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce hired Danielle Kummer as its finance director, taking over for Chrystal Mills. Mills will become the chamber’s communications and operations director, succeeding Cheri Weinke, who is retiring.

• RIVER FALLS — Personal injury law firm Bye, Goff & Rohde recently hired Cristina M. Wirth to serve clients in River Falls. Attorney Wirth is a River Falls native and previously served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Judge Edward J. Cleary at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

• Uncle Benny’s Garage & Repair, 5072 190th St., Chippewa Falls, recently began offering U-Haul products and services.

From staff reports