RHINELANDER - 210 kids in Third World countries will have gifts to open on Christmas morning thanks to a church in Rhinelander.
The Pine Grove Community Church fills shoe boxes with supplies for children in need.
Filling those boxes is part of a worldwide program called Operation Christmas Child.
Boys got socks and tools. Girls will get notebooks and sewing kits.
Diane Mogg is the Operation Christmas Child Coordinator.
"This year we've collected 210 boxes, which is the most we've ever collected. Which is really wonderful for the children," says Mogg.
Operation Christmas Child began in 1993. Pine Grove Community Church started filling boxes 13 years ago.
People at the church get to see what happens with those boxes Christmas morning.
"They take videos of those children opening those boxes. When you see the video, it just touches your heart because you know that they have something that they never seen before, and probably have never had before," says Mogg. "It's really a good feeling for us."
Operation Christmas Child has helped get 100 million boxes to children in Third World countries.
The boxes from Pine Grove Community Church will go to Kenya, Madagascar and India.
Technology committee wants to improve Northwoods broadband connectivity
ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County board wants to attract more people to the area. That's why the Oneida County Technology committee is trying to improve Internet connectivity.
The committee is trying to get funding from federal and state sources. As of now the board has put aside $24,000 for broadband development. But they hope to get more.
“We recognize that Oneida County had deficiencies in speed and connectivity and number of people who were able to access broadband in the speeds and capacities that were necessary to do their work,” says Bob Martini, County Board Supervisor. “So we put together a technology a committee that would investigate ways that we could improve this service in Oneida County.”
The committee hopes to fix spots that don't get good broadband service in Oneida County. They think improving the internet could help the Northwoods economy.
“The idea is to give the citizens of Oneida County access, but also to make us the best rural county in Wisconsin in terms of broadband access so that we can attract retirees, businesses, and improve the people's lives that are already living here,” says Bob Martini, County Board Supervisor.
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
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