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Regional Business Assistance Resource Directory Announced

RELEASED: April 3, 2008

ReBAR logoEAU CLAIRE — Expertise, equipment, facilities and training will now be easier for regional businesses to locate and use through the Regional Business Assistance Resource directory.

Part of an ongoing effort by public higher education to promote regional growth in business and industry, ReBAR provides seamless access to all the outreach capabilities of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley Technical College, UW-Barron County, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

Made possible through an EDvantage Grant from UW-Extension, the ReBAR directory contains more than 1,000 listings from all partner institutions in the categories expertise, equipment, meeting rooms and labs, and programs and services.

The directory is searchable by information category, subject area and institution. It can be accessed online.

"The ReBAR directory provides an excellent portal to information on programs, services and facilities available to the public at area universities and technical colleges," said Linda Clark, Xcel Energy manager for economic development and community services. "What used to be a lengthy and difficult search process involving many phone calls, e-mails and Web site visits will now take just minutes. The directory makes these valuable resources readily accessible, but it also highlights the unique network of quality higher education institutions we have here in west central Wisconsin."

Representatives from the six partner institutions began work on the development of the directory in September 2006. The first step was a customized environmental scan. Information from the scan was used to create an interest/needs assessment of regional business and industry. During the same time, an extensive inventory of outreach programs and services of each partner institution was being conducted. The ReBAR directory is the result of all these efforts and is expected to grow.

"The UW schools and technical colleges in west central and northwestern Wisconsin are exceptional partners," said William Rubin, executive director of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation. "The launch of the ReBAR directory means expertise or problem solving is available in real time. That's important to business and industry throughout the region."

"The ReBAR directory represents a continuously expanding strategic tool for regional business to access and benefit," said grant author and UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education director George Kroeninger. "The resources and supports showcased within the directory will enhance business development in our region and help create a strong foundation for future economic growth."

For more information about the ReBAR directory, call Ann Rupnow at 715-836-4526, or visit their Web site.

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AR/KH

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