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NEWS STORIES

Sen. Baldwin Visits NTC, Talks Open Jobs and Skills GapSubmitted: 01/17/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - Thousands of Wisconsinites need jobs, and employers need workers. But there's a skills gap leaving some of those jobs empty.

That's why technical colleges around the state are developing programs to help train workers, and Senator Tammy Baldwin visited one in Wausau Thursday.

The newly elected senator learned about the programs at NTC created to fill those skilled job openings. She got a look at the energy efficiency lab, and the newly constructed manufacturing lab. Baldwin last visited the school when the manufacturing lab was being built.

"I truly believe we need to keep on making things in America, and making things in Wisconsin. And so an emphasis on manufacturing is needed. Technical colleges are really playing an extraordinary role in helping address that," says Sen. Baldwin.

Senator Baldwin says helping to get more things made in Wisconsin will be a major focus during her time in the Senate.

She also reflected on what it's been like to go from representing a district to an entire state.

"Sometimes I think of the congressional districts with very arbitrary lines. You feel as strongly about an issue whether it affects somebody on one side of a county line or on the other side of a county line. The biggest difference is the opportunity to fight for all the people of this great state," says Sen. Baldwin.

Senator Baldwin will serve on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. She hopes what they develop there, will help Wisconsin close its skills gap.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - The school bells rang Tuesday morning for students across Wisconsin.

Another school year has begun with kids looking forward to a new year.

It also means that drivers should be on the lookout around schools.

In Merrill, police keep a close watch around school zones the first few weeks of class.

Speed limits drop dramatically as drivers enter school zones.

Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff says it's important to be especially observant this time of year.

"Especially the first week or two of school because kids are excited, and maybe not so excited, about getting back to school," Neff said. "They're thinking about their friends and maybe not paying attention to traffic."

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EAGLE RIVER - The Horant family lost their home and business when it burned down two weeks ago. It was a tragedy that shook the Eagle River community.

The Horant's have always been around to help the community. Now, that community is giving back to the family that has been so good to it.

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NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.

Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.

"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."

Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.

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MERRILL - It can be a frustrating sight when your gas light comes on in the car.

One North Central Wisconsin fuel company may make it a little more pleasant going to the pump.

Riiser Engery and R-Stores will donate two cents for every gallon pumped on "Pride Pumps" to area schools districts.

The Wausau based company has pride pumps in five different locations across north central Wisconsin.

You can find them in Gillett, Schofield, Wausau, Edgar, and Merrill.

Riiser says each pride pump should raise between $4000 to $7000

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