April 2016 News Break Newsletter
Watch the Portage Mayoral Forum
If you weren't able to make it in person on March 22 to see the Mayoral Forum featuring Alderperson Rick Dodd and Mayor Bill Tierney, you can watch it online through the Chamber YouTube channel. The forum video is divided into three parts, which you can view here.

Remember to vote Tuesday, April 5! 
Wine Walk tickets now on sale!
Tickets for the Portage Wine Walk are now on sale at the Portage Chamber and 205 Vino. 

The walk is scheduled for Friday, April 29 from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $30 each, payable by cash or check only. 
Portage Chamber Golf Outing
Tickets are on sale for the 34th Annual Chamber Golf outing to be held Wednesday, June 8 at Portage Country Club. Sign up a team and create memories, if not memorable shots, while networking on the links away from the office.

Foursomes are available. Call the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242 if you are interested. 
Welcome New Member

Seasons of Splendour Massage & Affordable Elegant Skin Care
242 W. Cook St.   Portage, WI 53901
Monica Bullen & Donna Taylor at 608-745-0100
Massage and skin care.
Business Profile - UW Health
UW Health consists of 6 hospitals and 80 outpatient sites, including University Hospital, UW Health at The American Center, American Family Children's Hospital and UW Carbone Cancer Center. Our expert doctors, nurses and staff serve the health needs of Wisconsin, and beyond.  UW Health has been named one of the nation's top five leaders in health care quality, according to national benchmarking data assessed by UHC, an alliance of the nation's leading academic medical centers and has recently been named to the 2016 list of "150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare," compiled by Becker's Healthcare.

UW Health Portage is one of the clinical practice organizations for the faculty physicians of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, one of the largest academic, multi-specialty physician groups in Wisconsin.  With each visit to UW Health Portage clinic, we strive to exceed your expectations. 

At UW Health Portage we specialize in Family Medicine and coming soon obstetric patients.  UW Health has also developed a network of health care facilities throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to offer our specialty care locally.  UW Health Portage specialty clinics include:  Allergy, Pediatric Allergy, Nephrology, Rheumatology, Vascular and Diabetic Education.
UW Health Portage is currently accepting new patients.  We have four Family Medicine clinicians to provide exceptional care; Dr. Mitzi Regala, Dr. Hema Patel, Leann Greuel, PA and Joe Wangerin, PA. 

At UW Health, our mission includes a strong commitment to improve the health of the communities we serve.  Demonstration of our dedication to our own initiatives and those of our partners include:
* Charity Care at cost:  More than $30 million

* Holiday Drive to Share:

    - Toys for Tots over 2,000 toys donated, 4 American Girl dolls donated within the local 


    -  Adopt-a-Family:  120 families supported

    -  Second Harvest Food Bank:  90,673 meals

* UW Health organization contributed to approximately 200 different organizations

* UW Health employee charitable contributions:  $771,252

* Local Donations:   Portage Service Club and Portage Community Schools. 


To schedule an appointment at UW Health Portage simply call 608-742-3004. 

--Kristin Bisch, Clinical Operations Manager of the UW Health Portage clinic.
  2977 County Hwy CX, 608-742-3004
Business After 5 at New Life Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine on Tuesday, April 12 from 5pm to 7pm
Stop by and see all the good things Matt and
his team are doing for you.
Youth Apprenticeship
CESA 5 held a Youth Apprenticeship (YA) committee meeting on March 8 where representatives from various school districts, employers, Madison College, Columbia County Economic Development and the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce assembled to discuss the CESA 5 YA program.

"The CESA 5 Youth Apprenticeship program is experiencing tremendous growth due to two main factors," explained CESA 5 Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator Shelley Drescher, "employer demand for skilled workers in high needs areas and the state's investment in providing students opportunities to earn industry recognized credentials while in high school."

Juniors and seniors may enroll in the YA program and will receive paid employment and up to two years related instruction. Since 2011, the number of employers and students in the CESA 5 YA program has doubled. According to the Department of Workforce Development, the state investment in the program over the past year was $92,907 with 112 employers and 126 students participating. Estimated wages earned was $521,716.50 giving the state an estimated return of $4.62 for every dollar spent.

While the number of students and employers in the program has steadily increased, hurdles remain, preventing even greater numbers from participating. Depending upon the type of work, employer under age 18 restrictions and related insurance policies disqualify some employers from participating.

Kate Zank, a committee member representative from the Wautoma School District, explained a couple other hurdles facing Youth Apprenticeship. Funding for a school program evaporates, eliminating any potential student candidates for an apprenticeship program. In other cases, Zank noted, the timing of matching an available employer with a student who fits that employer does not work out.

Members of the committee are addressing these issues. Recently, members Landis Brozak of Synergy Metal Works and Aric Hanusa of the Baraboo School District met with Senator Luther Olsen and Assemblymen Keith Ripp and Dave Considine to promote Youth Apprenticeship and discuss the challenges such as the under age 18 barrier. It was noted that other countries including Canada and Germany have successful apprenticeship programs that start at age 15 and continue after secondary school, with a belief that the United States will adopt that trend eventually. 

In addressing Zank's challenges, Brozak suggested committee members reach out and network to get more employers involved with Youth Apprenticeship, increasing the number and range of opportunities for students while providing a better tide toward YA-friendly legislation. 

CESA 5 Youth Apprenticeship will continue to work toward increasing the opportunities for students and employers while solving the challenges facing the program. If you would like to find out more about the CESA 5 Youth Apprenticeship Program, or would like to participate, contact Shelley Drescher at 608-745-5482.

A word about Apprenticeship 
Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction. It is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation.

Working with input from industry leaders, there is standardized training for multiple trades and professions across the industry. Programs like Apprenticeship provides businesses across the state to meet their training needs and support a climate that creates jobs and moves our economy forward.
Debbie Schanke, Apprenticeship Training Representative (ATR) provides technical assistance for the Apprenticeship program in Columbia, Sauk, Marquette, Green Lake and Jefferson counties.  Debbie can assist your business in becoming a qualified trainer and expand your workforce by training current employees who want to advance into skilled trades within your company. 

For more information, contact Debbie Schanke, ATR Madison North #5, 2125 Commercial Ave.,
Madison, WI  53704    [email protected]
(608) 246-3886 - Office         (608) 246-5521 - Fax

Portage High School Career Fair
The Portage Chamber of Commerce, Portage High School (PHS) and the Columbia County Area Manufacturer's Council would like to invite you to participate in the 3rd PHS Career Fair highlighting local manufacturing, businesses and other industries on October 26, 2016 from 8:30am to 2:30pm inside the PHS gymnasium.

The career fair highlights the variety of career opportunities in your business and informs the students (high schoolers from Portage, Poynette, Pardeeville, Montello and Westfield) of the skills and education needed for positions with in your company. 

Booth size will be 8' wide with a few larger booths available upon request. Set up will be from 7:30am to 8:20am with PHS SKILLS USA and FFA members available to help load and unload.
There is NO COST to have a booth and appear at the event. This is a win-win for your company and for the students.

Please contact Marianne Hanson at 608-742-6242 with any questions or to sign up your business. Thank you for your support of the future leaders in business and manufacturing. Please sign up by September 1, 2016. 

luncheon April Business Luncheon
The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is offering another way to network with your fellow Chamber members and make those important connections that can help you in your business or career. Bring your business cards, brochures, or anything you wish to share with other members.

April Luncheon Information
Speakers: Dan Kremer, Portage Park and Recreation Manager and Tim Haak, Athletic Director at Portage Community Schools
Dan and Tim will be talking with us about upcoming changes to Veteran's Memorial Field and the joint Water and Light project between the City of Portage and the Portage School District.  These are exciting changes happening in Portage and some highlights include adding lights to the varsity soccer, softball and baseball field and a sprinkler system for other fields at the High School.   
They will also give us some insight into other projects and ideas for the 2016 year. 

Date: Tuesday, April 5  
Location: Dino's Restaurant
Time:  Lunch at 11:30AM, Presentation at Noon
Cost: pay for your lunch at the restaurant

Please RSVP by calling the Portage Chamber at 608-742-6242.  
ds healthcare DSH - Couch to 5k; cancer screening; summer camp info

Couch to 5K
Not a runner? Have you wanted to run a race, but don't know how to start?  Do you need a little motivation? You are in luck!  Just in time for the Divine Savior Healthcare Run/Walk on June 11, Divine Savior Healthcare has put together a team of running authorities to give you the tools you need to help achieve your goal.  Our plan is designed for individuals who are not experienced, but have the aspiration to run a 5k race. If you follow this free 2 month program you will achieve that goal! 
A panel of experts consisting of Divine Savior Healthcare Board Certified Podiatrist, Dr. Stephen Murphy, DPM, Athletic Trainer, Steve Allison, and former Couch to 5K participant, Jeynell Boeck, will kick-off the two month program on Tuesday, April 5 at 6pm at Divine Savior Healthcare (Classroom A/B). Here you will get the training guidance and injury recognition information needed to get you to the finish line!
Participants who attend will receive a running plan and logs, trail maps and tips along with the opportunity to run with the experts on group runs.  For more information, contact the Community Wellness Coordinator by phone at 745-6289 or email at [email protected].
Free Cancer Screening Program
Join Divine Savior Healthcare in our commitment to a healthy community. Take advantage of our free screenings! Services include: Free colon cancer screening kit and free processing by Divine Savior; Free skin cancer screening on April 12, 6pm-8pm (by appointment only).
Call our phone line to receive more information and to take advantage of these services. 
Phone line dates:  April 4-7 from 9am to 5pm.  The cost is free. Call 608-745-6406.

Caring for Sports Injuries
Caring for Sports Injuries - Lower Body Injuries      July 25-28
Divine Savior Healthcare, Caf´┐Ż Classrooms A&B    9:30am-4pm       Cost $125
To Register: Visit www.dshealthcare.com, complete the registration form and return by mail to Matt Bekkedal or in person at: The Wellness Center - Suite 1; Divine Savior Healthcare; 2815 New Pinery Road; Portage, WI 53901
For more information, contact:
Matt Bekkedal, LAT at 608-745-6290 or [email protected]
Summer Program at Divine Savior Healthcare Child Care Center
Registration is now open for full day summer program for children ages 5 to 9 years old!
Children, ages 5 to 9, will engage in a variety of summer activities. From recreational, educational, and creative projects, our summer program is dedicated to providing a safe and fun-filled learning environment for your child.
DSH Employee Weekly Rate $160.00     
Community Member Weekly Rate   $165.00        
Daily Rate     $40.00
Learn more about the Divine Savior Healthcare Child Care Center at www.dshealthcare.com or contact Child Care Center Coordinator, Jenn Bilderback, at 608-745-5935 or email at

Market Space is here!
Members are now able to post items they have for sale through our Chamber website on our Market Space page. Consider it a 'Craigslist' for Chamber members. There is no cost to list items that may fall outside of, but could also include, the realm of the usual type of products and services offered by a member. For example: A printing business may post an office desk it no longer has a need for. 
If you are interested in posting items you are looking to giveaway or sell, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242. View our Market Space page here.
Grande Cheese Company now hiring
Seasonal employment opportunities are available for students at the Grande Cheese Company facility in Wyocena. The starting wage is $12.50, with night and weekend premiums, for 10-hour shifts, including weekends. Must be 18.

If interested, call Loretta at 608-429-2141, ex.4222.
Ribbon Cuttings & Groundbreakings
A ribbon cutting was held at Freedom Carpeting to celebrate their new location at 602 E. Albert St. 

A premier provider of flooring for residential, new home and commercial applications featuring elite brands, see a broad selection of carpet, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, ceramic tile and natural stone, plus floor care products and granite countertops.

For more information, call Freedom Carpeting at 608-742-0471. 

A ribbon cutting was held at the Columbia County Humane Society, N7768 Industrial Road, to celebrate this organization as a new member of the Portage Chamber. 

Join them for an Open House and Tupperware Party on Saturday, April 9 from 11am to 3pm. Many animals will have reduced or waived adoption fees. 

For more information, please call 608-742-3666.

City Alderperson Mike Charles, foreground, joined other community and county leaders in picking up spades during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Columbia County Gateway Building project on a blustery Wednesday afternoon along the south bank of the canal.

Columbia County Humane Society Open House
The Columbia County Humane Society, N7768 Industrial Rd., will be holding an Open House and Tupperware Party on Saturday, April 9 from 11am to 3pm. Many animals will have reduced or waived adoption fees! 

Stop by and meet the staff and board members of CCHS. This could be a great time to add a new four-legged member to your family. 
TAXES - Did you know?
According to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance: Wisconsin became the first state to tax income in 1911. The state income tax currently generates 7.3 billion annually which is about half the general fund revenue. Wisconsin is a relatively high income-tax state, 11th highest, and 28% above the national average.

SAVE THE DATE! Find out more about taxes on June 7th, when Todd Berry of the Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance will be our guest speaker at the Chamber Business Luncheon.

Portage Area Safety Training (Members discount!)
The following courses are held at the Wisconsin Safety Council Headquarters at 501 E. Washington Avenue in Madison. Our Chamber members can register online for upcoming safety courses; be sure to use "CHAMBER" promo code to receive the member discount!

Safety Metrics: Learn From Success (AM)   April 5
This seminar is designed to identify a vast array of leading indicators that should be applied to your safety program: indicators that help predict safety performance and identify negative trends so corrective action can be taken. This seminar will also highlight what we should be learning from successful metrics and how to replicate success throughout an organization. If you want to know how your safety program is performing, this seminar will tell you.
Cost: Each Half-Day Course: $150 Mbrs; $200 Non-Mbrs; Register for Both Courses: $200 Mbrs; $250 Non-Mbrs
Focus on Competency (PM)   April 5
Competency is having the knowledge, skill, and understanding to perform assigned tasks successfully and safely. It isn't the employee's responsibility to be compliant; they need to be competent in their job responsibilities. This seminar is designed to introduce the Five Fundamentals of Safety and how to develop employee competency. Course designed for safety managers, coordinators and team members, industrial & manufacturing engineers.
Cost: Each Half-Day Course: $150 Mbrs; $200 Non-Mbrs; Register for Both Courses: $200 Mbrs; $250 Non-Mbrs
Safety Inspections    April 11
Is your safety program working? Learn proven evaluation methods for measuring safety program effectiveness. The program emphasizes evaluation techniques at the planning, implementation and outcome stages of an intervention program. We will provide the building blocks to help you conduct a comprehensive facility safety audit. You will also add tools to your toolbox, which will enable you to evaluate your organization's safety culture.
Cost: $285 Mbrs; $385 Non-Mbrs
Safety Training Methods (STM)   April 18-21
(Part of NSC's Advanced Safety Certificate Series)
Our course is designed for safety professionals or others who are responsible for training employees. You'll learn approaches to conduct needs analysis, performance objectives, instructional strategy and methods, content, media delivery, evaluation and costs. During the course, a variety of strategies will be used to improve the transfer of training from the class to the job. Each participant will have the opportunity to practice new learning skills during the class, examine ways to apply new skills on the job, become familiar with excellent resources, and discuss barriers to implementation and how to overcome them.
Cost: $1,245 Mbrs; $1,600 Non-Mbrs

Please register at least 5 business days prior to course date. To view the full calendar of scheduled courses, visit click here.   Online Registration: click here.

Annual Safety & Health Conference/Expo in Wisconsin Dells
May 16-18, 2016    Register Here
welcome home sew logo
Welcome Home Sew-N-Vac April classes
There are a number of classes to enjoy during the month of April at the Welcome Home Sew N Vac, 118 E. Cook St. 
For more information, call 608-566-1663
April 2nd: Saturday Embroidered Monthly Mini w/Diane.
April 5th: Sewcial 27 - FREE!
April 5th: TWH Sewing Club w/Diane. Living Room                        Pillowcase.
Click here for more April classes!

Commercial Space for Lease
C&D Seamless Gutters offering office
 space, everything clean and brand new. Owner will make changes to interior if needed. Approximately 1400 square feet ft. with natural gas and central air. $1200 per month, water & sewer included. Call 608-697-7052 for more information. 
hhu logo Grief Camp for Kids Scheduled for May
Registration is now open for Home Health United's Camp GLOW, scheduled for 10am-3pm on May 21 at Ochsner Park. Limited space is available, and kids across northern Wisconsin are invited. 
Camp GLOW - Giving Loved Ones Wings - is a grief support day camp for kids ages 10-17  that have been affected by a loss.

Whether it is the loss of a friend, classmate, parent, grandparent, sibling, or other loved one, kids and teens often experience and express grief in different ways than adults. The Camp is designed to give children a safe place to share their feelings and concerns, with a wide range of activities and enough counselors on-site to give individual attention if needed.

Activities include scrapbooking, writing letters to their loved one, and memory boxes that can be stained or painted, and are meant to hold items of sentimental value to the kids, remembrances of their loved one.

The Camp is being offered at no cost to the participants, with separate adult sessions for their parents or guardians who are also dealing with grief. Snacks and lunch are included. To learn more about Camp GLOW or to register, please call 877-356-4514 or visit HomeHealthUnited.org/Hospice/CampGLOW.

Portage School Staff Appreciation Week
Thank you to all Portage teachers and staff for your dedication this past school year.

If you would like to offer Portage school staff discounts the week of May 2 through May 6, please call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 and we will pass it along.

Looking for a Hot Deal? See our list!   

Check out our Hot Deals webpage for deals our Chamber members are offering. Have a Hot Deal of your own you want others to know about? Post your deals on our webpage and join the Hot Deal brigade! There is no charge for posting a Hot Deal, so post away!  If you have questions, call the Chamber office at 608-742-6242 to get started.

Click here to see the specials that are currently running!
ADRC of Columbia County offering driving classes
The ADRC of Columbia County is offering driving classes at thier location at 2652 Murphy Rd., Door #1. To register, contact Sarah Millard, ADRC of Columbia County Transportation Coordinator, at 608-742-9213.    
AAA  Keeping the Keys    Thursday, April 28   11am-Noon; 2pm-3pm
This FREE program is about extending your driving career. It helps to start a discussion about a mature drivers' post-driving life and provides brief information regarding the upcoming AAA RoadWise Driver course. Space is limited. 

AARP Smart Driver classroom course   May 5, 8am-Noon; May 12, 12:30pm-4:30pm
Refresh your driving skills and knowledge of the rules of the road. Learn techniques for handling left turns, right-of-way and roundabouts. Discover proven driving methods to help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. Space is limited.
AAA  RoadWise Driver    Thursday, June 2   8:30 AM-3 PM               
The AAA RoadWise Driver course includes topics about: car/driver fit, new driving techniques/technology, alcohol & medication effects on driving, distracted & drowsy driving, aggressive drivers, managing visibility & space and how to extend your driving career.  Space is limited. $30 registration fee.
portage center for the arts
Visual Arts Scholarship available
The Portage Center for the Arts wants to let you know there is a scholarship made possible by a generous gift from Eleanor Drury. The VA Scholarship is dedicated to a visual arts student pursuing an art degree or equivalent after high school. 

Currently enrolled college students and high school seniors from the greater Portage area are eligible and encouraged to apply for this scholarship. An application is required. The deadline is April 15, 2016.

Portage Center for the Arts is located at 301 E. Cook St. Call 608-742-5655 for more info. 

Portage Chamber April Meeting and Events
1     Ribbon Cutting at Seasons of Splendor Massage   1pm
5     Business Luncheon at Dino's   Lunch at 11:30am; Presentation at Noon
6     Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank    8am
6     Ribbon Cutting at Jack's Tap     4:45pm
12   Business After 5 at New Life Physical Therapy    5pm-7pm
29   Portage Wine Walk    6pm-9pm
Give Portage Green Gift Certificates
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5, $10 and $25 increments. Recipients of the Portage Green may redeem them at these participating Chamber member businesses. By buying Portage Green Gift Certificates, you are helping to boost local business by keeping thousands of dollars right here in Portage. For more information, call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.

Got News?

What is your business up to? Pass along information and corresponding photos to [email protected] and let us help spread the word about the great things your business or organization is doing. The deadline is the 20th of each month. 

April Community Events
Spread the word about your events by posting them on our website!
1-30   Portage & Lodi High School Student Art Exhibit at Portage Center for the Arts
2        Fly By Night Sketch Comedy at Northwoods
2        Red Cross Blood Drive at Blau Chiropractic
2        Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration at VFW
3        Chili Cookoff to benefit Portage Family Skate Park at Blarney Stone
3        Bingo at VFW
4-7     Free Cancer Screening at Divine Savior Healthcare
5        Chamber Business Luncheon at Dino's Restaurant
5        Couch to 5k at Divine Savior Healthcare
6        Career Planning Workshop at Madison College
7-10    Portage High School presents "Grease"
7        Painting Trees of the Seasons Class at the Mercantile  
8        St. Mary's School Trivia Night
9        Columbia County Humane Society Open House
9        Portage Music Boosters Spring Auction
9        Bowtime Quintet - Performing Arts Concert Series at Portage Center for the Arts
11      Wellness Orientation Workshop at Blau Family Chiropractic
12      Business After 5 at New Life Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine
15      Bingo at Our House Senior Living
15-30   Carnival on the Bank of the River Styx Art Exhibit at Tivoli
17      Bingo at the VFW
18      Portage Historical Society Annual Dinner Meeting
21      Career Planing Workshop at Madison College
21      Our House Senior Living Open House
21-24   Portage Area Community Theatre presents 'Almost, Maine' at Portage Center for the Arts
23      Sister Robert Anne's Cabaret Class at Northwoods
25      Portage Sharing Supper at Wayne Bartels Middle School
28      Wellness Orientation Workshop at Blau Family Chiropractic
29-30   Laura's School of Dance Recital at Al Ringling Theater
29     Wine Walk 2016
30     Story Theatre Workshop at Portage Center for the Arts
30     Schools for Haiti Dinner & Silent Auction Fundraiser

For more information about these and other events, go to www.portagewi.com. 

Organizing an event or having a sale?

Submit your event or sale to us and have it appear on the Chamber website calendar of events.You may enter your event by clicking here. Please note: Your submission will take a while to appear as the Chamber office first reviews the submissions before approving them to appear on the web calendar. For more information, please call our office 608-742-6242.

The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is providing leadership for
 building a healthy economy and a high quality of life in the Portage Area.
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NEWS BREAK is a monthly publication of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce.  Please contact the Chamber if you have news about your business that you would like to include in the next issue. 
 Our deadline is the 20th of the month.  Email your news to [email protected].