Kenosha, WI – The Select Committee on the Economy held a hearing titled “Pathways to Opportunity: Lessons from Kenosha,” on Monday, April 11th. Ranking Member Bryan Steil (WI-01), led the meeting to discuss the variety of paths to family sustaining jobs in Kenosha and the resources and skills Wisconsin educators and companies offer.

During the hearing, Committee Members met with community leaders and educators to discuss what is and isn’t working in preparing workers for the future. Witnesses included Dr. Debbie Ford, Chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Parkside; Dr. Bryan Albrecht, President of Gateway Technical College; Ms. Sherry Carrion, a Gateway Technical College Graduate; Mr. Diego Ruiz, Vice President, Global Government Relations at SC Johnson; who all attested to the different advantages each of their institutions provide including four-year degrees, technical education, apprenticeships, and employer partnerships.

“Kenosha is a resilient city. Throughout Kenosha’s history, we’ve seen good times and we’ve seen hard times, but we always come back stronger. Because of the hardworking people that call this area home, Kenosha and Southeast Wisconsin have become a hub for family-sustaining jobs and preparing workers for the future. I want to thank Chairman Himes and Congresswoman Gwen Moore for coming to Kenosha for this hearing where we heard about the various pathways to prosperity in our community. I look forward to continuing to work with community leaders in Wisconsin to support families and strengthen our economy.” said Ranking Member Bryan Steil.

“Today I am sharing the Gateway story. One filled with over 111 years of dedicated service to the Racine, Kenosha and Walworth communities. Our Vision states it best ‘We make life-changing educational opportunities a reality.’ Our Mission assures alignment with workforce needs and local economic prosperity.” said Dr. Bryan Albrecht, President of Gateway Technical College. 

“We use our resources to unlock greater economic and educational opportunities for people and communities where access may be limited, but curiosity and potential are limitless. SC Johnson has a long history of working to create opportunities for people in the communities where we live and work, especially right here in Southeast Wisconsin. We recognize that by helping carve new pathways to economic and social mobility, we are able to improve the lives of individuals and their families.” said Mr. Diego Ruiz, Vice President of Global Government Relations at SC Johnson.

We all agree that education is one of the keys to transforming lives and I am proud to lead a University that prioritizes investing in people and communities. Our mission has been and will always be to provide affordable access to higher education “for all.”  There are few things that make me prouder than to see our students succeed against tremendous odds thanks to their tenacity and perseverance, and thanks to our intentional efforts to continuously improve student success.” said Dr. Debbie Ford, Chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

“I graduated in 87 with an associate degree. I just graduated last May with a nursing assistants program. I am now working full time. I still have the same office manager… and she still continues to inspire me and empower me and so does Gateway and so does SC Johnson and I am so grateful. Because if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have done.” said Ms. Sherry Carrion, Gateway Technical College Graduate.

You can learn more about the Select Committee on the Economy by visiting our website or following the committee on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: [email protected]e.gov

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