MADISON – The Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy will hold a public hearing today on Assembly Bill 811, legislation largely intended to fund out-of-state marketing campaigns to attract additional workers to Wisconsin.

In response, Representative Peter Barca (Kenosha/Racine) issued the following statement:

“Today the Jobs and the Economy Committee will consider a proposal to provide nearly $7 million in state funds primarily directed at marketing and other activities to attract additional workers to our state. While I do not necessarily oppose this type of initiative, I am concerned the legislature is putting its priority in the wrong place and will pass this bill, but fail to address the state’s more pressing obligations. Our first priority should be to ensure Wisconsin citizens, who have been underemployed and unemployed, are provided targeted training and transportation to obtain a family supporting job.

This $7 million investment should first go towards providing training to Wisconsinites so they themselves can fill open positions. It should first go towards investment in transportation systems so that the people of our state can get to the jobs available. It should first go towards programs for Wisconsin veterans to so they can successfully transition from service to employment.

If the state had made the needed investments in these areas most critical to the success of our economy, then a marketing campaign to recruit additional workers from outside of Wisconsin could have merit. However, that is not the case. We must always prioritize outcomes for the people of Wisconsin and make investments in the issues that matter most.”

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