Governor Scott Walker proclaimed September Workforce Development Month and highlighted his agenda of investing more than $100 million over two years to ensure a skilled workforce can meet the needs of employers and keep Wisconsin's economy moving forward.
"Among Wisconsin's many strengths are its workers who produce goods and services in demand around the world," Governor Walker said. "For the past two years, we have worked hard to improve Wisconsin's business climate and spur growth to create family-supporting jobs. The more than $100 million we are investing in workforce development this year and next year will help ensure continued growth to the benefit of communities throughout Wisconsin."
Figuring prominently in Governor Walker's workforce agenda is Wisconsin Fast Forward, an initiative the Legislature approved with overwhelming bipartisan support. Wisconsin Fast Forward includes a new state-funded $15 million grant program to address the skills gap by helping employers train new and incumbent workers. Also part of the initiative is a new, cutting-edge Labor Market Information System to provide real time data and better connect job seekers to jobs by keying on skills.
"We have been moving quickly to implement the provisions of Wisconsin Fast Forward, and we remain on track to launch the grant program in the months ahead," Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson said. "At the same time, we are developing a state-of-the-art Labor Market Information System that will dramatically improve our ability to determine the skilled positions in demand, match job seekers to jobs, and better serve both workers and employers in the years ahead."
In the proclamation, Governor Walker cites the importance of collaboration with regional and local workforce and economic development partners. Throughout the month, DWD and its leading partners, the 11 regional Workforce Development Boards, will hold events to highlight programs and services.
On Monday, September 9th, for example, Secretary Newson is scheduled to join the Fox Valley and Bay Area Workforce Development Boards for a ribbon cutting ceremony to open a new computer lab at the Fox Cities Workforce Development Center in Menasha.
The Wisconsin Workforce Development Association represents the 11 regional WDB boards, and they have a calendar with information about more Workforce Development Month events on its website: http://www.wwdaanytime.com/index.cfm/CalendarManager/displayCalendar/2013/9/0.