Contact: State Representative Mike Rohrkaste

(608) 266-5719

Madison, WI – Today, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance voted to act responsibly and fund the state of Wisconsin’s workforce development system. With $25 million in new funding into the Technical College System and $12.5 million into the Department of Workforce Development for proven, successful programs, Republicans are acting to address Wisconsin’s most pressing need: to get more of our neighbors off the sidelines and into good-paying careers.

“The Governor’s budget proposal did not adequately address this issue, yet still raised taxes by $1 billion, put us into a $2 billion hole in the next budget. He actually cut funding to the Department of Workforce Development,” said Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah). “Republicans have gone into this budget focusing on the issues that matter, and we’ve never wavered from that position. I am proud to support our Technical Colleges, proud to invest in proven Workforce Development programs, and proud to say that my colleagues and I truly put our money where it’s needed.”

Examples of items that Rohrkaste supported include:

  • Doubling Wisconsin’s commitment to the Youth Apprenticeship Program, and nearly doubling Wisconsin’s commitment to the Career and Technical Education Incentive grant program. Both assist students and schools in getting ready for workforce challenges ahead, and are so popular demand significantly outpaces budgeted amounts.
  • Adding onto the Governor’s recommendations to expand mobile labs at prisons and add job centers into correctional institutions. With the Committee’s vote, every minimum and medium security facility will have an on-site job center, helping those inside get jobs before they ever even step out the door. While the Governor indicated support for these programs, Rohrkaste and the Finance Committee voted for more funding.
  • Investing in Project SEARCH, which provides young adults with disabilities an immersion in a local business as a way to gain employment through training and career exploration.
  • Modifying state grant language so that personal care workers are eligible to receive those grants. Wage issues will be addressed in subsequent committee meetings.
  • Doubling the Technical Education Equipment Grants to help schools modernize their technical education equipment
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