Workforce Resources, Inc. today was presented with their 2020 Community and Economic Development Award (CEDA) for the Chippewa County YouthBuild program. Workforce Resources won the CEDA award in the Talent Development category, which recognizes initiatives or programs that drive workforce development efforts to strengthen Wisconsin’s labor force.

The CEDA Awards program was established by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) to celebrate businesses, projects, and organizations that are making significant contributions to Wisconsin’s economy. Winners were recognized in the following six categories: Business Retention and Expansion; Economic Development Initiative; Economic Driver; Public-Private Partnership; Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse; and Talent Attraction.

"Workforce Resources is honored to receive a CEDA award, and we would want to thank our partners and supporters, including the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, who share our vision and have contributed to the success of the YouthBuild program,” said Deb Leslie, CEO of Workforce Resources, Inc. “The program is making a true difference in the community, not only building affordable homes for area families, but more importantly building self-esteem and valuable career skills for young adults that are learning to become more self-sufficient.”

YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program centered in Chippewa County that integrates economic and workforce development to provide disadvantaged youth with career development and in-demand construction trade skills. It offers hands-on construction education for participants who build affordable housing in Chippewa, Eau Claire and Ashland counties. Workforce Resource, Inc. is partnering with the Chippewa County Housing Authority and Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation to administer the program, which is funded through a Department of Labor grant and a combination of public and private sector investment.  Other partners include Western Dairyland, the NorthWest Concentrated Employment Program and the Bad River Tribal Community.

“WEDA is excited to partner with the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, the Wisconsin Counties Association, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to present the CEDA Awards and celebrate the efforts of exciting projects, such as the Chippewa County YouthBuild program, that are boosting the state’s workforce,” said WEDA Communications Director Michael Welsh. “The efforts of Workforce Resources and theYouthBuild program to provide employment skills and career direction for at-risk young adultstruly exemplifies the spirit of the CEDA Awards.”

CEDA Award sponsors include Alliant Energy; Dairyland Power Cooperative; Green Bay Packers; Insight Publications; Madison Gas & Electric; U.S. Bank; and Xcel Energy.