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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

May 9, 2017
CONTACT: Tom Evenson, (608) 267-7303

Governor Walker Discusses Importance of Strong Wisconsin Workforce at 2017 WIOA State Roundtable

Appleton – Governor Scott Walker joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen as well as workforce development and Wisconsin Technical College System leaders today in Appleton for the 2017 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) roundtable discussion. WIOA, which was signed into law in July of 2014, consolidated all federally-funded job training programs into a single funding stream.

"Wisconsin is working – at 3.4 percent, our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since April of 2000 and on top of that, our most recent Labor Force Participation Rate is 68.4 percent, 5.4 percent higher than the national rate,” Governor Walker said. “While Wisconsin is on the right track there’s still much work to be done, and we won’t stop until everyone who wants a job is able to find a job and a good-paying career. Roundtable discussions like the one here in Appleton today are crucial as we form a plan to make our workforce development programs more effective for our taxpayers."

Under Governor Walker's leadership, DWD is Wisconsin's premier talent development agency, advancing proven employment solutions to equip workers with the practical skills they need to fill employer job openings and succeed in high-demand jobs," said DWD Secretary Allen. "Roundtable discussions provide us with an invaluable opportunity to strengthen workforce development partnerships across the state and further develop a robust talent pipeline."

A top priority for Governor Walker as he continues to move Wisconsin forward is workforce development. His 2017-2019 biennial budget increases funding for Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF), Wisconsin’s flagship workforce development program, by $12.6 million over the budget – a 47 percent increase. In addition, the governor’s budget proposal includes several other initiatives to support workforce development in Wisconsin, including:

"As we continue to look towards Wisconsin’s future, one of the most important areas for us is workforce development,” Governor Walker added. “Our budget makes significant investments in workforce development programs like Wisconsin Fast Forward to ensure future generations of workers are equipped with the practical skills and training they need to succeed in high-demand jobs."