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Industrial council tackling broadband, Ellsworth chamber told

Jeff Olson of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services in Ellsworth told local chamber of commerce members Thursdays he’s been active in the industrial council for eight months. Olson agreed with fellow member Sharon Seibel broadband service in this area has been one of the council’s most important topics.1 / 2
Sharon Seibel of J and S Machine in Ellsworth discussed the industrial council with local chamber of commerce members Thursday. The council meets monthly. (Herald photos by Bill Kirk)2 / 2

By Bill Kirk

Industrial council activities were reported to the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

In introducing two speakers from the council, Chamber Executive Sarah Ries said this chamber group doesn’t typically get as much recognition as other committees, such as the Cheese Curd Festival organizers.

“They’re working hard in the background,” Ries said.

Economic development, peer counseling and area infrastructure are some of the topics with which members deal at their monthly meetings, according to Sharon Seibel of J and S Machine in Ellsworth and the council. Regarding the last of those subjects, broadband service in this area has lately been in the forefront, Seibel said.

The council has been through SWOT analysis, with SWOT an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, she said. They’ve established goals and want to get word out about their activities, plus intend to continue to refine their peer advisory group.

As for the broadband need, she said six meetings have been held with AT&T, a provider. Representatives from that company in Milwaukee and Eau Claire, even a lobbyist from Madison, have been tapped about improving the service to this area, but council members aren’t optimistic.

“AT&T says ‘there’s no money for us in this area’,” she said.

For more please read the April 2 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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