Recognizing WisDOT’s efforts to resolve a crucial workforce issue for state agribusiness, the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) has granted its “Friend of WABA” award to Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Assistant Deputy Secretary Joel Nilsestuen.

Nilsestuen was honored for his efforts to help temporary ag workers obtain commercial driver licenses, easing the shortage of drivers and helping Wisconsin agribusiness get products to market. As part of his responsibilities, Nilsestuen oversees and manages legislative activities for WisDOT.

“Upon taking office in early 2019, one of the first issues Joel addressed came from us, the agribusiness industry,” said Tom Bressner, WABA Executive Director.  “Joel, along with DOT Secretary Craig Thompson, understood our issues, and immediately took action to get legal interpretation in our favor, supporting these workers, and allowing them to do the work they were hired to do.”

“In just one year at the DOT, Joel has truly been a friend to WABA,” Bressner said.

“Transportation affects nearly every other issue, including the workforce shortages so many industries are struggling with,” Nilsestuen said. “I think our partnership with WABA is a good example of how WisDOT works with stakeholders statewide to explore solutions to our transportation challenges.”

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