This week the Wisconsin State Assembly voted to override the governor’s veto of the Workforce Recovery Act._A successful override would have ended Wisconsin’s participation in the extended …
This week the Wisconsin State Assembly voted to override the governor’s veto of the Workforce Recovery Act._A successful override would have ended Wisconsin’s participation in the extended federal unemployment insurance programs which has contributed to people choosing to stay on the labor market sidelines. Although businesses in every sector are hiring, right now, they have to compete with unemployment benefits to hire someone— making it harder to recruit much-needed workers. _Unfortunately, because the Assembly was unable to override his veto, we missed an opportunity to help people achieve their financial and personal goals and actively contribute to their community through pursuing various employment opportunities in the workforce.
Despite the governor’s veto, the Legislature continues to work to invest in our workforce. In my Spring Budget Survey, an overwhelming percentage of respondents felt that we needed to provide additional job training to individuals and that we should strengthen work requirements in government programs. In this last budget, I worked successfully with the Joint Finance Committee and was able to eliminate proposals that would have kept people away from work and instead invested in helping people find their next career.
The bipartisan proposals that were signed into law to increase workforce development in this last budget include: •Providing an additional $1 million per year to expand Wisconsin’s nationleading Youth Apprenticeship Program. This program provides students with on-the-job training with employers who are offering permanent job offers to more than 75 percent of graduates.
•Increasing the amount of funding for vocational rehabilitation and the Project SEARCH program._ This program immerses students with disabilities into a work environment to help them gain meaningful employment upon graduation.
•Expanding the Hire Heroes program which helps veterans find employment in Wisconsin._ This change makes more veterans eligible for the program and will help attract new workers to our state.
•Allocating $3 million for a public relations campaign to attract talent from other states and to keep talent here in the state.
•Fully funding the highly successful Wisconsin Fast Forward program that provides matching funds for businesses to upskill their existing workforce and to provide needed training for new employees with an emphasis on hiring those who may have greater difficulty entering the workforce.
•Providing more funds for the Wisconsin Technical College system to help close the skills gap while also investing $5 million to help increase the pool of nursing instructors to expand the much-needed nursing pipeline.
Throughout the rest of the Legislative session, I look forward to continuing the great successes of our past efforts to strongly support our workforce pipeline. Our goal should be to ensure people have access to the training they need for their next career while also removing any incentives that might be keeping them away from looking for their next work opportunity._ When people have incentives to work they are much more likely to reach their full potential and lead a happier, more productive, and more successful life.