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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Friday, November 11, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Officials Highlight Talent Development Strategies at Two Business Visits in Northern Wisconsin

Visits to Weinbrenner Shoe and Aspirus Wausau Hospital part of Gov. Walker's Cabinet on the Road Tour

MADISON – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson visited two Northern Wisconsin businesses to highlight DWD's Youth Apprenticeship (YA) and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) programs. Both visits were part of Governor Walker's Cabinet on the Road Tour.

This morning, Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson visited Weinbrenner Shoe Company's facility in Merrill to highlight their efforts to employ individuals with disabilities and also highlight DVR's recent success. Weinbrenner currently employs 12 DVR consumers as well as many veterans with disabilities.

During the last two fiscal years, DVR has assisted over 9,500 individuals across the state with disabilities reach their employment goals who now have estimated annual earnings of over $167 million.

"Employers like Weinbrenner Shoe Company know the value of employing job seekers with disabilities," Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said. "When given the opportunity to demonstrate their many abilities, workers with disabilities are among the most reliable and trustworthy employees an employer has."

Later, Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson visited Aspirus Wausau Hospital to highlight Wisconsin's YA program. Established in 1991, Wisconsin's YA program provides high school students with hands-on work experience at a local business along with related classroom instruction. Aspirus currently employs four youth apprentices from the Wausau East, Mosinee, D.C Everest and Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Districts.

"Throughout his administration, Governor Walker has recognized that providing high school youth with opportunities to gain work experience in key fields such as health care, manufacturing and hospitality prior to graduation is essential to support our state's talent pipeline," Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said. "Through the Youth Apprenticeship program, some 3,600 youth are receiving hands-on work experience that will position them for future career success."

Earlier this year, Governor Walker announced statewide YA grants totaling $3.2 million that were awarded to 32 consortiums across Wisconsin for the 2016-2017 school year. This grant is in addition to an earlier $1 million investment in the program.

For more information on DWD's talent development programs, please visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov