August 2018 Unemployment at 2.9%

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St. Croix County’s August Unemployment Rate at 2.9%

On September 26th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary August 2018 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 32 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s rate was estimated at 2.9%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate for July was 3.0% and June’ final rate was 3.2%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.9%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates for August declined or stayed the same in 67 of the 72 counties when compared to August 2017. The rates ranged from 2.1% in Iowa County to 8.1% in Menominee.

The August 2018 preliminary unemployment rates decreased or stayed the same in 31 of Wisconsin’s 32 municipalities with population bases of least 25,000 residents when compared to August 2017. Fifteen of the 32 largest municipalities experienced their lowest July unemployment rate on record. Rates ranged from 2.2% in Fitchburg to 5.0% in Racine.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rate in August include Iowa (2.1%), followed by Dane (2.3%), Sauk (also at 2.3%), Lafayette (2.4%), and Taylor (also at 2.4%). Menominee County had the highest rate in August at 8.1%, followed by Iron (5.4%), Forest (4.5%), Bayfield (4.4%), and Adams (4.3%).

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix referenced above, August’s preliminary rate in Dunn and Pierce was estimated at 2.9%, followed by Polk at 3.0%. The current rates are the same or lower in all four counties compared to the rates for August 2017.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The August 2018 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.5%, which is lower than July’s final rate of 2.6% and June’s final rate of 2.8%. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 3.4% in August 2017.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in August was estimated at 3.0%, which is higher than the final rate of 2.9% for both July and June. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.3%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in August was estimated at 2.9%, which is lower than July’s final rate of 3.0% and June’s final rate of 3.1%. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted rate one year ago was 3.4%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for August was estimated at 3.9%, which is the same as July’s final rate, but lower than June’s final rate of 4.0%. One year ago the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 4.4%.

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for August 2018 was estimated at 68.8%, which is lower than the final rate of 68.9% for both July and June. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 68.8%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in August was estimated at 62.7%, which is lower than the final rate of 62.9% for both July and June. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.9%.

August’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.

Lombardi Time


Lombardi Time


Coaching has changed dramatically since the Vincent Thomas “Vince” Lombardi football era in Green Bay. He was a tough-as-nails, no nonsense guy. As the late Packer Henry Jordan reportedly said, “Lombardi treats us all the same – like dogs.” Lombardi’s mantra was, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” It seems scoreboards are erected at playing fields for a reason.

One thing is certain. Lombardi demanded greatness which Green Bay converted to championships. On New Year’s Eve 1967, he coached the Packers to the famous Ice Bowl victory against Dallas featuring a game time temperature of minus 13 degrees. The term ‘wind chill’ may not have yet been invented. Lombardi also coached the Packers to the first two Super Bowl wins in 1967 and 1968. Green Bay would win two more Super Bowls, in 1997 and 2011, but Coach Lombardi’s life was cut short by cancer in 1970. Starting in 1971, the winning Super Bowl team is awarded the Lombardi Trophy. A fitting tribute.

Being punctual was part of Lombardi’s coaching foundation. He insisted players and coaches arrive 15 minutes before a meeting or practice. Being on time was not good enough. Anything less was considered late. Lombardi once told a rookie, “You are eight minutes late.” The rookie arrived at practice seven minutes before its start.

According to Packer lore, being 15 minutes early became known as Lombardi Time. A clock tower overlooking Lombardi Avenue was erected at Lambeau Field several years ago. It stands above one of the gates to the stadium. As a nod to Vince Lombardi, it runs 15 minutes ahead of the actual time. Diehard fans appreciate the subtle reminder of the importance a great coach placed on personal discipline.

A retired banker here in the St. Croix Valley had a practice of closing his door at the precise moment his meetings started. Not quite Lombardi Time, but those arriving late suffered the indignation akin to a walk of shame. The banker’s meetings started on time. His staff got the message.

Packer fans from the far western side of the state have likely witnessed Lambeau’s clock tower or heard the story of Lombardi Time. The next time a traveler or sports enthusiast is in Green Bay, see it for yourself. But don’t be late for that meeting or engagement. Give Lombardi Time a try. It worked for Saint Vincent.

Nolato Contour Expands Operations

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Plastics manufacturer Nolato Contour expands operations in St. Croix County; plans to create 62 jobs

Company says business climate, workforce are key reasons why it’s growing in Wisconsin

MADISON, WI. SEPT. 7, 2018 – Nolato Contour, a plastics manufacturer, is expanding its facility in St. Croix County – a $17.9 million project expected to create 62 jobs over the next three years.

“Nolato Contour is a global leader in manufacturing plastics, and we applaud the company for its continued investment and commitment to the State of Wisconsin,” said Governor Scott Walker. “This growth is great news for the entire region, and the expansion will position the company for future success right here in Wisconsin. This is another example of a Wisconsin business that has chosen to grow in our state because of our outstanding business climate and dedicated workforce.”

Read the complete article HERE

Change The World


Change the World Starting with a Simple Task


In May 2014, Naval Admiral William H. (Bill) McRaven gave the commencement address at the University of Texas. Admiral McRaven came to the speech with an enviable pedigree – himself a grad of the University of Texas, a 35+ year Navy SEAL, and later, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. He also designed the SEAL raid that took out Osama bin Laden. Wow.

McRaven’s commencement address played off UT’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world.” He challenged each of the system-wide graduates to change the lives of just 10 people. If each of those 10 changed the lives of another 10, and each of them another 10, in just five generations 800 million lives would have been changed. Another W-O-W.

McRaven then reflected back on his military career and what he learned in SEAL basic training, calling it “a lifetime of challenges crammed into six months.” He set the stage for 10 lessons he learned during SEAL training and offered them to the UT grads.

McRaven’s first lesson involved the daily inspection of beds in the barracks. He called making a bed a simple task, perhaps mundane, but SEALs were taught perfection. He said if a bed is made every morning, the bed maker will have completed the first task of the day, setting the stage for the completion of several more tasks. According to McRaven, a bed made to perfection reinforces the notion that the little things in life matter. He told the grads if the simple things in life could not be done right, then big things will never be done right.

In wrapping up the first lesson, McRaven said, “And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made – that you made – and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.” McRaven’s summary: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

All 10 of McRaven’s lessons can easily be found on the Internet or YouTube (you can see it here). They include, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers; get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward; don’t be afraid of the circuses (life is full of them); don’t back down from the sharks; and don’t ever ring the bell.

Many may suggest Admiral McRaven’s lessons should be taught earlier, starting with toddlers, or pre-teens at the latest. Regardless, the 2014 UT grads got them firsthand. They are now four years into changing the world for the better. It starts with a simple task.