Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MILWAUKEE – With a theme of “Veterans in Manufacturing,” Governor Scott Walker today kicked off the WMC Foundation’s 2018 State of Wisconsin Manufacturing Tour in Milwaukee at Rockwell Automation. The tour will highlight Wisconsin’s strong manufacturing industry with several events across the state throughout October.

“Wisconsin is a top 10 state for manufacturing jobs since we took office,” said Governor Walker. “It’s outstanding to see all of the great work being done by Rockwell Automation and the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing. As our economy continues to grow, we will need more and more qualified people to fill these high-demand manufacturing jobs, and our veterans are key to solving our workforce challenges.”

Rockwell Automation is the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information. The company is headquartered in Milwaukee and employs 22,000 people serving more than 80 countries. Rockwell Automation started the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing in partnership with ManpowerGroup to train military veterans in high-demand technical roles. The 12-week paid program provides hands-on training for veterans. Following graduation, individuals are certified as instrumentation, automation, and controls technicians who then receive career placement with advanced manufacturing employers. By the end of 2018, more than 100 veterans are expected to have graduated from the Academy. Rockwell Automation plans to expand their program to have more than 1,000 veterans graduate each year by 2020.

“Rockwell Automation is honored to have Governor Walker here, meeting with manufacturing leaders from across the State of Wisconsin to kick off Manufacturing Day and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Tour,” said Mike Laszkiewicz, senior vice president of operations, Rockwell Automation. “Manufacturing is an important segment of Wisconsin’s economy. In the last 12 months, Wisconsin added 22,500 manufacturing jobs, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

“Today’s event showcases Rockwell Automation’s Academy of Advanced Manufacturing with a panel discussion of students and program leadership,” continued Laszkiewicz. “The Academy trains and prepares military veterans who are transitioning from active duty to civilian life, leveraging their existing technical skills and equipping them to succeed in high demand, advanced manufacturing positions. We’re proud to be part of this important initiative.”

WMC’s Foundation 2018 State of Wisconsin Manufacturing Tour will continue across Wisconsin featuring manufacturing in Wisconsin and its continued growth in the state. Each week has a different theme including:

  • October 1-7: Veterans in Manufacturing
  • Oct. 8-14: Wisconsin’s Supply Chain
  • Oct. 15-21: Manufacturing Apprenticeships
  • Oct. 22-28 Economic Impact of Manufacturing in Wisconsin
  • Oct. 29 – Nov. 4: Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin

“Manufacturing is critical to our state’s economy, and we are thrilled to be celebrating this industry all month long. Today’s kickoff of the State of Wisconsin Manufacturing Tour should bring attention to the countless family-supporting careers available throughout this state,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “While today’s event focused on getting more veterans into manufacturing careers after their service to our country, we hope that our tour around Wisconsin will encourage everyone to consider a job in our state’s number one industry.” To help fill high-demand jobs in manufacturing and other sectors across Wisconsin, the Governor has worked on several workforce development initiatives to help Wisconsinites gain the skills necessary to fill these positions. Several of Governor Walker’s workforce development initiatives are below:

  • Fabrication Labs (Fab Labs): Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is helping outfit public schools with equipment that helps students gain skills to work in high-demand careers. Fab Labs are high-technology workshops equipped with computer-controlled manufacturing components, such as 3D printers, laser engravers, computer numerical control routers, and/or plasma cutters.
  • Education: Governor Walker invested a historic amount into K-12 education. This historic investment resulted in an extra $200 per student to every school last year, and an additional $204 per student for this coming school year.
  • Youth Apprenticeships: Governor Walker has more than doubled Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program since taking office from $1.6 million in 2010 to $3.2 million in 2016. The program is designed for junior and seniors in high schools to gain hands-on experience at a worksite with classroom instruction. In June 2017, the Department of Workforce Development announced a record $3.9 million in Youth Apprenticeship state grants which will serve 4,300 students.
  • Wisconsin Fast Forward: Wisconsin Department of Workforce and Development (DWD) provides grants to Wisconsin businesses who provide customized skills training for high-demand jobs. The program was created by Governor Walker in 2013 with bipartisan support. The goal is to train and retain highly skilled Wisconsin workers.
  • Wisconsin Career Creator: DWD created the Wisconsin Career Creator Program to improve educational and training opportunities. It is a $20 million initiative that has the support of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), University of Wisconsin System (UW-System), and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU).

In addition, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) launched a talent attraction campaign aimed at bringing millennials, alumni of Wisconsin’s colleges and universities, and veterans transitioning to civilian life to work and live in Wisconsin. The veteran’s component of the campaign is the first ever of its kind in the United States and is a $1.9 million initiative.

Governor Walker proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month. The proclamation is available here.

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