Today, the President signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law. The bill passed the U.S. Senate last month with strong bipartisan support (95-3). By providing critical support and training programs to strengthen workforce readiness, the law will help put Wisconsinites back to work and grow our middle class.
"This bill is an important investment in Wisconsin's economic security; strengthening workforce readiness and our economy," said Tammy. "By modernizing workforce development programs, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provides critical support and training programs that work for businesses, educators and workers."
Dick Best, the Executive Director of Workforce Resource in Menomonie, shared the way the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is working for the people of West Central Wisconsin:
"Whether through our highly successful Career Venture that provided nearly 3000 area youth with exposure to the occupational opportunities that exist in this region; or the hundreds served by our summer Work Experience and Career Academies; our Career Pathway and Industry Sector initiatives in Manufacturing, Healthcare and other critical demand areas in the regional economy; our dislocated worker interventions; Workforce Resource and the West Central Workforce Development Board stand ready to take those creative next steps envisioned in by The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The value we place on this renewed support for our Business-Led Workforce Development Boards and our area Job Centers cannot be overstated. And now, as the economy continues to improve, the workforce system that this legislation supports can be counted on to meet the future challenges of aligning the skills needs of workers with the talent needs of business."
Throughout Wisconsin, federally funded workforce development programs have been a cornerstone of maintaining a strong talent development system. We have 11 Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) that provide services at 22 One Stop Job Centers around the state. Strong examples of workforce training success stories are happening around Wisconsin:
Milwaukee -- Earn & Learn Summer Employment Program
Employing more than 1000 youth, with a 90 % employer retention rate, this program gives young people the opportunity to get a variety of experience through program partners including Milwaukee County Parks, Culinary Arts Program/ Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee Conversation Leadership Corps, and the Private Sector Jobs Connection.
Waukesha - The WOW Factor
The WOW Factor was launched to provide employers with a weekly publication that highlights 10 job seekers throughout Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties. If an employer is interested in a featured job seeker, they can obtain their contact information. The publication has been met with great success. In addition to helping job seekers land more interviews, the publication has been the conduit for hiring.
Southwest Wisconsin -- Dream It, Do It
Dream It, Do It is an initiative that brings together local manufacturing employers, schools, students and parents to inspire next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers. Over 50 local manufacturers have enthusiastically participated in the program and many have found success in meeting local workforce needs.
Wisconsin's Tech Colleges
Tammy has traveled to many of Wisconsin's technical colleges to see the ways WIOA is impacting students. She has seen first-hand the programs that are training students for high-skilled positions in our workforce and collaborating with local businesses and organizations to address local employment and skill-training needs.