About Northwest Wisconsin CEP

Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (Northwest Wisconsin CEP or CEP), a federally designated 501(C)(3) private non-profit corporation, has administered federal, state, and private foundation funded workforce development programs for over 50 years with a history of excellence, innovation, and accountability.


To strengthen the economy of Northwest Wisconsin, by providing effective and efficient workforce development services to businesses and workers.


CEP was developed out of the 1960s “Great Society” legislation called the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). In 1982, experience with CETA led to the enactment of the federal Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), which replaced CETA. In 1998, JTPA was replaced by the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). In 2015, WIA was replaced by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which CEP currently maintains in our region. There are only three CEPs remaining in the nation. Although there have been many changes in federal workforce legislation, the primary focus of CEP has remained to provide employment and training services to unemployed and underemployed adults and youth.

CEP serves an area with a population of 175,000 individuals in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn counties of Northwest Wisconsin, encompassing a 10,000 square mile area. CEP has built positive partner relationships in northern Wisconsin through services provided at four main locations and an additional four outreach locations.

The CEP Board of Directors is comprised of the Local Elected Officials (LEO) and other interest groups from the ten counties in which CEP has operations. Therefore, the Board of Directors is actively involved in insuring the mission and goals of CEP are achieved to the benefit of the citizens of northern Wisconsin.

CEP is well versed in formula-funded and competitive grant programs with a background of excellence in administering multiple programs.

CEP staff consists of highly trained, dedicated, competent individuals with 100s of years of combined experience with CEP.

Along with providing employment and training activities to citizens in our region, CEP also works with other programs such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Pathways to Independence, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Using a client-based case management system, CEP staff track worker training, expenses and outcomes, providing real time evaluation data useful to all programs. The agency’s partners include service providers for people with disabilities, veterans, at risk youth, students, older workers, and the general public. This strategic placement provides a significant advantage in connecting potential users of workforce development services and other work related services in the region of Northwest Wisconsin.


Bill Kacvinsky, Chairman, Private Business Representative
David Willingham, Vice Chairman, Community Service Agency Representative
Thomas Mackie, Secretary, Washburn County Representative
Emmett Byrne, Burnett County Representative
Larry Fickbohm, Bayfield County Representative
Elizabeth Franek, Ashland County Representative
Charlie Glazman, Douglas County Representative
Dee Gokee-Rindal, Education Representative
Thomas J. Gordon, Native American Representative
Bob Kopisch, At Large Position
Michael Maestri, Sawyer County Representative
Joe Pinardi, Iron County Representative
Patricia Stephan, Price County Representative
Rollie Thums, Taylor County Representative
Terry Wedwick, Rusk County Representative

The CEP Board of Directors generally meets on the third Wednesday every other month or at the call of the Chairperson.

Past Meeting Minutes:
(Minutes are approved at the following meeting)

Additional meeting minutes can be found on our Archives page.


Northwest Wisconsin CEP is led by Executive Director, Jeff Muse.  For a detailed list of all CEP staff, visit our Contact page.