Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker joined Industries for the Blind (IB) Inc. today at the ribbon cutting for their new facility in Menomonee Falls. IB is relocating a portion of their production operations from Hartland to Menomonee Falls to access a larger labor pool of skilled workers, many of whom are blind or visually impaired, creating an estimated 25 additional jobs.
“For nearly 70 years, Industries for the Blind has helped keep businesses running smoothly with their high-quality products while providing accessible employment to a diverse workforce,” said Governor Walker. “I’m proud to join them today in celebrating this next step in their growth, and I look forward to their future success as they help move Wisconsin’s economy forward.”
Industries for the Blind (IB) is a national industrial supplier and distributor of office supplies, office space design, furniture, tools, customized kitting and promotional products based in West Allis, Wisconsin. IB is recognized globally as an industry leader in workplace accessibility, utilizing innovative technologies to help empower its dedicated local workforce comprised of a majority of legally blind or visually impaired professionals.
Additionally, Governor Walker announced his new Wisconsin Workforce Agenda: Men and Women at Work today at the Future Wisconsin Summit in Madison. The agenda focuses on enhancing Wisconsin’s workforce, removing barriers to work, and meeting the state’s current and future workforce needs.
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
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 reoffend.
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.