Walker wants to invest nearly $100M in workforce
MADISON Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday he wants to invest nearly $100 million in programs to develop the state's workforce, including grants to train residents for high-demand professions and a requirement for nearly 76,000 on food stamps to enroll in job-training programs.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday that Walker's plan would also fund a faster system to track jobs data and tie funding for technical schools and universities to filling high-demand jobs.
The proposals are part of the Republican's 2013-2015 budget, to be announced Feb. 20. Some proposals will also be introduced as separate legislation Monday.
"Our goal is to help our state and our workers become among the most prosperous and innovative in the country," Walker said in a statement Sunday. "The plan is designed to help workers get the skills necessary for jobs available across the state today."
There will likely be bipartisan support for many proposals, but some won't placate Democrats, who have been critical of Walker's higher-education cuts — including roughly $300 million over two years to the University of Wisconsin system.
Budget committee member Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, said Walker's education and working-training cuts "widened our skills gap and resulted in waiting lists (at technical colleges) of up to three years in some high-demand professions."
The governor's sweeping proposal would take in millions in federal dollars to train people in high-demand fields such as welding, nursing and rural medicine, and it includes $7.4 million to expand the Medical College of Wisconsin to Green Bay and Wausau.