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Closing the Skills Gap


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As I've traveled the state and talked to job creators from all areas, I often hear a similar story: they tell me jobs are available, but they can't find skilled workers to fill the positions.

This week I was proud to roll out, with the support of the leadership of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, a new degree model that will help close this skills gap and get more Wisconsinites back to work.

The new UW Flexible Degree Program will be a knowledge-based model that allows students to start classes anytime and earn credit for what they already know. Students will be able to demonstrate college-level competencies based on material they already learned in school, on the job, or on their own. By taking advantage of a high quality, flexible degree, students will be able to accelerate their careers, effectively lowering the cost of higher education.

As states across the country work to improve access and affordability to college, this new initiative will place Wisconsin at the forefront of a new frontier in higher education.

Because of the support of the UW System we expect to make this program available online to students as soon as fall of this year. I am encouraged that lawmakers of both political parties, from different regions of the state, reacted positively to the announcement of this new degree model.

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