Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced his new Workforce Agenda entitled “Men and Women at Work” today at the 4th annual Future Wisconsin Summit in Madison and called on the Legislature to approve $6.8 million for a targeted campaign to attract veterans, young professionals, and University of Wisconsin alumni to live and work in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s overall Workforce Agenda focuses on enhancing Wisconsin’s workforce, removing barriers to work, and meeting the state’s current and future workforce needs.

“We’re dedicated to maintaining and developing the highly-skilled workforce Wisconsin is known for,” said Governor Walker. “Through bolstering our education system and worker training programs, actively removing barriers to work, and attracting new talent to Wisconsin, we’re strengthening a workforce poised for future economic success.”


Wisconsin’s Workforce Agenda Overview:

Step 1: Increase Worker Training

Invest in K-12 Education

Our budget invests a historic $11.5 billion into K-12 education to drive student success and help build a strong workforce.


Expand Opportunities in Our Technical Colleges

Our budget makes a significant investment in Wisconsin’s tech colleges to create a highly skilled, dependable workforce.


Strengthen Ties Between the UW System and The Workforce

Our budget includes an increase in financial support for the UW System to produce more graduates for high demand areas.


Support Students at Private Colleges & Universities

Our budget increases needs-based support for students at private, non-profit colleges to its highest level ever: $56.3 million over the 2017-19 biennium.


Encourage Adult Apprenticeships

We support registered apprenticeship programs, which help supply the highly skilled workforce businesses seek.


Increase Wisconsin Fast Forward Worker Training

Wisconsin Fast Forward, the state’s customized worker training program, supports customized hands-on training for in demand careers.


Step 2: Remove Barriers to Work

Reform Welfare

We eliminated the so-called “benefits cliff” for child care to encourage more people to work, take more hours, and advance into higher wage jobs.


We are expanding public assistance requirements for able-bodied adults to include at least 80 hours/month of work or employability training to help individuals move from government dependence to true independence.


We are expanding the use of drug screenings for those applying for public assistance. Those who fail a drug screening and drug test are offered rehabilitation so we can get them healthy and into the workforce.


Support Veterans’ Post-Military Career Goals

We continue to support and invest in the state’s veterans, offering one of the most generous GI Bills in the country and providing 23 of 26 state veteran programs, more than any other state.


Help People with Disabilities Enter the Workforce

We are investing in training to help people with disabilities enter the workforce and enjoy the dignity that comes from work.


Provide Training in Correctional Facilities

We are investing in training for inmates at correctional institutions in order to meet our workforce needs and improve outcomes. Inmates who have a job after leaving an institution are less likely to re-offend.


Step 3: Attract and Retain Talent

Launch National Marketing Campaign to Grow Wisconsin’s Workforce

We will work with the Legislature to pass a bill providing $6.8 million for a targeted campaign to attract talent to Wisconsin, leveraging the resources and mission of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and Travel Wisconsin.


The Wisconsin Manufacturers of Commerce Future Wisconsin Project is a collaborative effort between the business community, public policy makers, educational institutions, and local chambers of commerce. The Future Wisconsin Summit helps to forge consensus on policy choices and strategies for our state through engaging speakers and panel discussions made up of industry leaders, educational administrators, and government officials.

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