Press conference held to announce new initiatives and partners

United Way introduces new model of operations and new partners at press conference
Education, income and health initiatives focus on collaboration and outcomes

Following United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley’s board of directors vote to approve grant allocations of programs to be funded July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, United Way held a press conference to announce their transition to a new model of operation and release information on new program partnerships.

Area news representatives from television, radio, newspaper and online media were present as United Way staff and volunteers explained the community impact model and the specific initiatives that will be implemented on July 1, 2015.  “By working together in a comprehensive and collective effort with area programs, we will make the Chippewa Valley stronger and reduce overall need in the community,” stated Jan Porath, United Way executive director in explaining the Community Impact model. “We can do this by ensuring at-risk populations have access to the building blocks to a good quality of life: education, income and health.”

Presenting details of United Way’s new initiatives were Michael Hoadley, United Way director of community investment, and members of the volunteer advisory councils who developed the plans. These council members were: Arlene Wright, Standards Coordinator for the Office of Early Learning, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and chair of the Education Advisory Council; Scott Hodek, Economist, Office of Economic Advisors, Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development and chair of the Income Advisory Council; and Maribeth Woodford, executive director of the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic and Health Advisory Council member.

Presented were details on plans that would focus on at-risk populations in the following areas: early childhood development to ensure school readiness; early financial literacy, financial counseling and skills training  for financial stability; and healthy lifestyles and behaviors focused on mental health, physical health (obesity), domestic safety (intimate partner violence), and reduction of alcohol misuse. Key to each plan is a collaboration of service partners working together to solve primary issues affecting quality of life in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties. “Each of these objectives identifies specific outcome indicators to track effectiveness and overall impact on the community,” explained Michael Hoadley, director of community investment for United Way. In addition, United Way continues to support basic needs for those facing crisis.

Peter Farrow, CEO of Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire and United Way board member, declared this new model a significant point in United Way’s history. “Though we refer to it as a new model of operation, it is really a logical next step in continuing to keep United Way relevant to community needs by taking advantage of its unique position as a community mobilizer.”

Released to media was information which included the July 1, 2015 roster of United Way program partners, which includes 3 new organizations: Junior Achievement of Wisconsin Northwest District, providing personal finance and work readiness education to middle and high school students; Positive Avenues, providing TeenCare Crisis Intervention to 12-17 year olds; and West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency (WestCAP), providing a Homeless Prevention Program. Twenty-two organizations are returning partners.

        Contains more info on initiatives, and gives list of program partners for 2015-2018 funding cycle