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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, August 25, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Foxconn Investment Creates Transformational Workforce Opportunities for All Wisconsinites

Guest Column by DWD Secretary Ray Allen

With 13,000 new jobs and a capital investment of $10 billion, Foxconn is a tremendous win for Wisconsin's economy and workforce. As Wisconsin's incentive package advances through the Legislature and we all prepare for this once-in-a-generation opportunity, I hear the same question time and again: Where will we find the workers?

Thankfully, Governor Walker has made workforce development a top priority and, as his Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), I am proud of the efforts I and my Cabinet colleagues have made in workforce readiness to provide anyone who is able to work with the opportunities to develop skills for good-paying jobs.

For populations across Wisconsin that are unemployed, underemployed, or have not previously been part of the workforce, Foxconn provides transformational opportunity. That includes opportunity for those in the minority community who are facing barriers, particularly in the Milwaukee area where unemployment among working-age black men has been a significant challenge for more than a generation.

To this end, DWD is building inroads through multiple strategies:

These developments complement the Walker Administration's ongoing workforce development efforts, which are further supported through the Governor's Minority Task Force on Unemployment co-chaired by Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and state Representative Jason Fields. The task force has worked diligently to examine and pursue potential solutions to challenges such as transportation and other barriers so all working families can benefit from Foxconn's transformational investment in our state.

In Wisconsin, we are connecting job seekers in Milwaukee and other communities to family-supporting jobs through government innovation and collaboration with the private sector, community-based organizations and other groups. We've built a strong foundation, and Foxconn provides tremendous opportunities to do even more so that all workers, including those in the minority community, can prepare for and access good-paying jobs.

At DWD, we will reach out to and assist any worker, every step of the way, just as we've always done.