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Lack Of Health Care Workers Prompts New Recruitment Effort

Chequamegon Bay Health Care Employers Seek To Draw Young Talent Through Regional Tour

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The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board is hosting an event this fall to attract healthcare workers to the Chequamegon Bay area. The goal of the recruitment effort is to bring more young professionals to the region.

Mari Kay-Nabozny, chief executive officer of the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, said healthcare employers in the Chequamegon Bay have expressed difficulty filling positions for therapists, speech pathologists and registered nurses. Kay-Nabozny said employers are challenged with bringing in young professionals who are attracted to urban centers rather than rural areas.

“Right now, there is at least six to seven openings in each of those indicated occupations waiting to be filled. The registered nurse needs are obviously much higher,” she said. “But we do know that occupations like speech language pathologist, some of our employers have had this open for months if not years.”

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Kay-Nabozny said health care providers decided to sponsor an all-expense paid weekend tour this fall for university students pursuing health care careers to highlight what northwestern Wisconsin has to offer.

“We’re going to do a wine-tasting. We are going to do tours of the health care facilities. We are going to go out on Chequamegon Bay and offer paddle boarding, hiking,” she said. “We are really encouraging students to bring partners or significant others with as well to see the area. Then, we are going to work with everyone who comes, partners included, to show them the wealth of job opportunities in the region.”

Kay-Nabozny said jobs in the health care sector are expected to increase by seven percent in the region over the next few years. She said young adults believe rural areas don’t have the same amenities that are found in larger cities.

“The Chequamegon Bay region has a lot to offer in terms of not only outdoor recreation whether it be silent sports or things like fishing, and, if you like boating, it’s all optional. But, also, we have an enormous arts culture,” she said. “We have the Big Top Chautauqua shows in the summer. We’ve got all types of theater events that run all year round. I think being able to expose people and let them actually see how much is going on and what is really available here may make them really consider a rural area and particularly our area.”

Kay-Nabozny said the event will be held the weekend of Oct. 1. The event is sponsored by NorthLakes Community Clinics, Northern Lights Nursing Home in Washburn and other local hospitals and nursing homes.

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