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.

One idea that could be contentious would require able-bodied food stamp recipients who have no dependent children to enroll in job-training programs. Those who don't would have limits placed on their benefits. The training would cost $17 million a year, and won't directly save money on the federally funded food benefits, the newspaper reported.

"I want to provide a hand up, not a permanent handout ... We're willing to put our money where our mouth is and say we'll train you," Walker told the Journal Sentinel in an interview.

Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee, was skeptical.

"There's this huge bureaucracy to get people to do the work and make sure they've done it. It ends up costing more to mandate the work than the good you get. ... You're trying to take away people's food to get them to get a job," she said.

Other details of the governor's plan include:

— Starting in 2014, 10 percent of general state aid to technical colleges would be awarded based on job placement. By 2020, all state funds would be allocated on a performance basis.

— Technical colleges would also see a $5 million increase in general state aid, bringing it to $88.5 million a year. That's a 5.9 percent boost, but isn't close to replacing cuts made in 2011, when funding dropped by 30 percent.

— $20 million would be awarded to state universities for programs that help the economy, develop a skilled workforce and make higher education more affordable.

— Put $4 million toward rural hospitals to receive national accreditation and take on medical residents.

— $3 million over two years would help the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine expand training for doctors who will serve in rural areas and inner cities.

— Provide $11.5 million over two years to expand testing in schools so teachers can identify students by the 11th grade who are ready for college or a career. By the fall of 2013, teachers would also screen students in 4-year-old kindergarten and first grade for reading readiness.

The legislation being introduced Monday would create an Office of Skills Development to coordinate job training and make sure it meets needs of employers. It also would include about $5 million to develop a system that would link unemployed workers to openings for which they are qualified. The Journal Sentinel reports that if the proposed system gets people back to work even a week sooner, it could save tens of millions of dollars.

Walker has struggled to meet his pledge to create 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term.

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(72) comments

11B-OEFX

Isn't that about the sMe dollar amount given to businesses a year ago in tax credits?

Liberalsmakesense

I sure am glad new readers on this blog are seeing the games Governor Walker has been playing. I just hope they will all go vote for whoever is running against Walker in 2014!

pete
pete

what am I missing, how do you know if a reader is new or not or which party they vote for..

Liberalsmakesense

I see new names on these blogs, and most are not favorable towards Governor Walker, which is understandable. My experience in reading these blogs is that only a minority of them support the Governor and his policies, but they make frequent comments to make believe they are large in numbers. They are not.

I don't know who the new bloggers will vote for but if they are not favorably inclined towards the Governor, my educated guess is that they will vote for his opponent in the 2014 election? That makes perfect sense to me.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Pure conjecture

pete
pete

and the favorable comments on these boards were about 5-1 in favor of barrett, how'd your theory work then? btw, you said new readers.

pete
pete

@liberalsmakesense who said: "Well Pete, where do you think teachers who quit or were laid off as a result of education cuts went? To bongo bongo?

My guess is they went to teach in other states. So Jimatmadison is quite right."

Here's what I found at the Journal Sentinel Online btw:

"After two summers worth of triple-digit teacher layoff announcements in Milwaukee Public Schools, district officials reported Wednesday that there will be no teacher layoffs in advance of the 2012-'13 school year.

The main reasons: better-than-expected financial savings from the current teachers contract signed in late 2010 - which altered the teachers' health-insurance plan, carrier and premium - and also retirements this year and other cost-saving measures.

While 223 of the district's roughly 5,000 teachers retired by July 2, more teachers are expected to retire next year because the teachers contract will expire by the end of June 2013.

At that point, MPS teachers will be subject to Act 10, the state legislation that dramatically limits collective bargaining and gives school boards and administrators more control over setting wages, work rules and benefits without negotiating them with unions.

The savings from the health-care changes made in the existing contract allowed the district to restore 88 teaching positions that were projected to be cut in the 2012-'13 budget, Tony Tagliavia, district spokesman, said in a statement.

In all, that brought the total anticipated 223 position reductions down to 146 position reductions for 2012-'13.

Those reductions were handled by moving teachers whose positions were cut into other position openings that were created by this year's retirements, according to Tagliavia.

Four layoffs were announced July 1, but those were all non-teaching positions, he added.

Last summer, the district announced 354 teacher layoffs. The summer before, 482 teachers were laid off in advance of 2010-'11 school year."


hmmm......fewer layoffs due to health care package savings - I'll be darned.

ButSiriuslyFolks

Sure, and yet there are 700 openings for next year. MPS is having "job fairs" and going to continue to bring in temproary, untrained employees from Teach for America to fill whatever spots they can.

Hey, pete...great starting salary and benefits. Why don't you make a lateral move and become an MPS teacher?

Wait...you don't want any part of that job? Especially now with the onslaught of negativity towards the teaching profession? Beneath you, is it?

And there's 700 openings. I'll be darned.

pete
pete

no thanks - I like the choices I've made to date

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fact

Certainlyright

For those that trying to argue that Gov. Walker's cuts are forcing high school students to attend college out of state because they feel the state doesn't support education (lol)? Is this how you are poisoning your students to cut off their nose to spite their face? My two recent college graduates followed a very specific process recommended by high school advisers (both teachers and counselors) - try to find the school(s) that best fits your needs and future plans, feels the most comfortable based on visits, and include private and public schools. Then apply (to 3 or more - your “reach” school, your “expected admittance” school, and a fall-back, “for sure” admittance school); get admitted; look at the financial aid offer(s); make your decision on those factors. If that means an out of state school, so be it - but just to run out of state because your parents or other folks of influence in your life are angry - well, I suppose in your minds that is doing the student lots of good...just go out of state to another school to "show them Republicans", regardless of the school or the fit for the student. One of my grads chose to go private, out of state; the other public, in-state, based on those factors. And, when it came down to financial considerations, the cost of their schooling roughly equalized, despite many people believing that private schools are out of reach. And neither one came out with huge loans because they worked, were careful about spending, received aid awards based on need, and took enough credits targeting to progress to graduation in 4 years (absent changes in major choice or poor performance, it is still possible in today’s world to do it in 4 years…).

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Straw Man argument

DriveThru
DriveThru

Training workers for non-existent jobs is just more folly. There are at least 5 unemployed people for every job in the country. First Walker attacks working families undermining wages and killing product demand. Now he takes the loot he took from working families and uses it to train workers for businesses so they don't have to invest in employees and get the tax payers to pay the bill. This is just another GOP boondoggle (more corporate welfare) because the jobs don't exist to fill. Businesses that can't find workers with mass unemployment and the most educated work force in US history, are just bottom fishing opportunists feeding at the GOP trough.

pete
pete

this is from an AP story on Saturday:

"Officials working on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium said it might be difficult to meet certain employee-diversity goals.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority adopted the plan Friday.

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said a shortage of skilled workers in Minnesota will make it difficult to comply. But she said stadium officials will do their best to meet the goals without importing workers or companies, since the ultimate goal is to increase Minnesota jobs.

Stadium officials are encouraging training programs to prepare more workers for construction jobs."

This is just one example, and yes I know it's in MN, but last I checked a number of people in WI, if trained, could benefit.

The employee shortage for skilled trades people, welder, manufacturers, etc is very real.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: The MN situation is due to quotas not worker shortages

pete
pete

quotas or not, the jobs could/will easily spill into WI. This is a problem all over the country and it's been well documented from manufacturing to the skilled trades. get over yourself btw

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fact

muskie999

Pete, $ 5000 over 4 years of pay cuts and no raises in 8 , equate to NO DISPOABLE income. I know small business is feeling it. Retirement? 29 years I would get 1200 a month BEFORE taxers. We have openings Pete, come on fill one , we need smart people

pete
pete

When I've worked for employers who were having financial /checkbook concerns I found a different job. I wouldn't stand around on a leaky ship and expect someone else to bail me out. but thanks for the offer.

20K teachers in CA got pink slip notices this year, which state would you rather teach in?

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: This isn't CA. Stay on topic.

madcitydude

pretty sure you don't need to test 11th graders to see if they are ready for college, they know it; their parents know it and certainly the teachers know it; and what would be the point to start college early? most like to finish out the high school experience, graduate with the class - that's a waste of money no matter who's proposing it. put the money toward school readiness, not 11th graders.

Richard123

Another brilliant move by our Governor, for which the far left nut cases will scream and moan in righteous indignation! What's not to like about a governor who balances the budget and creating a budget surplus without laying off employees? Only morons and mentally defective people like those behind the failed, expensive and divisive recall effort will complain, but we in Madison are used to this nonsense. You go Scotty!

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: with propaganda bonus points

jrclen

If Diamond Jim Doyle proposed this, the left would be jumping for joy and smoking big cigars. You liberals are amusing.

Liberalsmakesense

Jim Doyle would not have proposed this after cutting billions of dollars from education. Walker has. so he is game!

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Imaginative conjecture is not the same as proven facts

ButSiriuslyFolks

Just my opinion, but I think the tidal wave of Tea Party Republicans like Walker in 2010 were kept on kind of a short leash. If they actually showed any level of economic growth between '10 and '12, the success would be reflected nationally on Obama.

So, yes, there was a level of sandbagging done by Walker and the rest of the Republicans, all in the effort to make Obama a "one-term President". Thus, you see so much of the non-fiscal agenda items on Walker and other GOPs resume over their first two years: breaking unions, abortion, voter ID, etc.

Now that Obama has been re-elected and the "Party of No" has been outed, you're seeing this kind of token money thrown towards job, just like the token amount of money thrown at mental health care to make it look like they've done something about gun control.

Had Walker and the rest of the Tea Partiers been doing more job creation and less sandbagging for the last two years, he might have a little more to work with today. It's a pity, really, that our state is positioning itself as a pawn in a national battle instead of actually being concerned about more than the alleged 600 jobs that would be created by a mine (while subsequently sending the same number of jobs out of state by not awarding Skyward the state school SIS contract).

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fact

jimatmadison

Cut education, put a little back in and call it workforce development, then find a way to funnel the funds to private campaign donors.

All so people can head out of state for jobs that don't exist in Wisconsin because we were too busy chasing them out by cutting education in the first place.

pete
pete

if you could explain how cutting the education budget ran jobs out of the state, it would be helpful.

Liberalsmakesense

Well Pete, where do you think teachers who quit or were laid off as a result of education cuts went? To bongo bongo?

My guess is they went to teach in other states. So Jimatmadison is quite right.

pete
pete

well liberalsmakesense, the ones who quit needed to be replaced, right? how many were laid off because of Act 10?

btw, do you know how many teachers got lay off notices in CA the last couple of years? 20K+. I hope our teachers were smart enough to not move their....

ggth

Pete, that's easy: the cut in funding reduces money supply. It's not just the school system employees who lose but also the reduction in jobs their spending patterns support. The loss in stimulus holds down wages across many sectors and cause mobile people (mostly younger and educated) to migrate to other States, never to return. Walker was practicing austerity when he should have supported his economy. The sad part is taxpayers fund a child's education who then leaves for greener pastures. The other State gets an employee we paid to educate.

pete
pete

you're going to have to come up with some empirical data to go along with your nice sounding theory. I've had this discussion before and we're talking about 1-2% of revenue taken out of the stream so to speak. Do you really think that businesses in our state are that fickle?

besides, if stimulus is what you want, why hasn't it worked at the federal level?

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Self-evident and no need to ask that question

Gayle

Um, would you choose to live in a state where your children can't get a decent education because the state's governor has cut so far back on the education budget, an obvious indication that educating our kids is so far down on the list of priorities that it's downright scary!?! I wouldn't! Both of my kids needed special attention in school and my son in particular would never have graduated without it. He's now 2 years out of the Marines and going to nursing school. My daughter is in college at UWOshkosh studying psychology and is hoping to get a Scholorship from the Navy to serve and to treat veterans who are suffering. However, they don't have the staff they need at UWO to offer enough of the required courses, so she may have to go an extra semester or two (paid for by yours truly since her father has had nothing to do with her in 5 years). That also means that all her applications, to the navy program and grad schools, will have to be redone at an application cost of several hundred dollars a pop. Our educational system has been significantly downgraded and the effects will become evident as time goes on.

pete
pete

Gayle, until we see results to which you speak I'm not going to complain about the quality of my kid's education. Plus, we are constantly hearing from teachers that today's parents just aren't doing enough to help with their kids and school, therefore I choose to be involved and will continue to be involved with my kids. Their success will have more to do with my wife, siblings, myself, etc than any teacher they have. Isn't that what teachers want?

I have a child with special needs and I value the importance of the folks that work with him and all the kids each and every day. I think the quality of our education would be much better served by a merit pay system or throwing tenure out the window. Unless of course you can show me some sort of evidence that there is a correlation between higher paid teachers and test results.

Regarding your daughter, did all of this result from ACT 10 being passed? Has Oshkosh cut staff because of ACT 10? When's the last time tuition didn't go up at Oshkosh? If you feel that more money leads to a better education then why have starting wages coming out of college not kept up to the rate of tuition hikes?

koala

Let's put things in some QUANTITATIVE perspective, please. Walker and his Republican allies cut K-12 education, technical colleges, and the UW System by nearly $2.6B – that's 26 times what they are proposing to add back into the mix. If there is ANYONE who thinks that putting back 4 pennies of each dollar cut is going to have much of an effect, that person should have his/her head read. Furthermore, there is the pernicious condition that Walker is attaching to the "additional" funds, that the technical colleges and UW campuses use them only for what the government identifies as suitable preparation for "high demand" jobs. Yeah, guys, this will really solidify the GOP as the party of less government regulation. More importantly, the current GOP strategy ITSELF is becoming a major impediment to growth in jobs and (just as important) wages. Who wants to start a company in a state where the governor and legislators (and the schleps who voted them in) have decided to cut huge amounts from education? The GOP can spew lies about "investment in education" or "continued commitment to the environment" as much as they hope the gullible public will swallow, but simply observing what the GOP is actually doing should clearly identify the lies in the eyes of anyone who is not blinded by partisanship.

ggth

Translation: the "jobs training" costs will be offset by a huge reduction in social programs. Then the crummy jobs will serve to goose employment figures with below living-wage jobs. And of course the big winners will be companies supplied with a cheap labor force and drive down existing salaries.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: No supporting documentation.

Liberalsmakesense

Are you a self designated appraiser of truth? What credentials have you? YOUR saying fact or fiction does not make it so!

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Truth is self-evident. No credentials needed. There are thousands of ways to lie, but only one way to tell the truth.

Honestly

Thank you state workers. Without your modest pay cuts this could not have happened

pikerover

Modest pay cuts??? A friend lost almost 200.00 a week. Not modest by my count>

pete
pete

$10K/yr, wow! How much of it will he get back when he retires? plus interest of course

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction

AdiosScott
AdiosScott

pete

If you slow your pot stirring down just a bit and think, even you could answer your own senseless question. But since I'm embarrassed for you, the answer is ZERO.

For newcomers here, pete spins and omits the fact that the public workers have already paid for that same portion of their pension through wage concessions during earlier contract negotiations. The $200.00 / week that pikerover speaks of is nothing more than a second wage cut for the same thing. I see it as theft committed by Walker and his bunch.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@AdiosScot
Fact

Nav

Does anyone REALLY believe that based on his record of cutting education in the first two years, that Governor Walker WANTS to do even this? I don't think so.

The Governor is very good at creating illusions. This is how he got elected as the Governor. This is how he won the recall.

Will the voters of Wisconsin be fooled by the Governor yet again in 2014?

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@Nav - fiction. Same could be said of nearly any draconian governor.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

@Honestly
Fiction: State workers are reporting anything but "modest" cuts in compensation. Co-pays on insurance for example didn't go up "modestly".

skullrider666
skullrider666

Between direct reductions to school districts, reduced state aid to localities, cuts to the UW-System and Tech colleges, Scott Walker's budget slashed nearly $2.6 billion from public education. Noe he wants to invest nearly $100 million to develop the state's work force and give workers skills to find jobs. My question is, dosent this start with Education first. If you educate the people for the future then wont they have the tools they need to find a Job.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Not if you're the one looking for a job. The job is the primary concern, then after that education.

madisoncabbie

I wonder the legality of a worker training program mandated for food stamps. It is a federal program, not a state.

witness2012

madisoncabbie, I wondered about that, too. I also wondered if those worker training programs will be subsidized and matched to each person on food stamps.

If being enrolled in a training program is now a prerequisite to receive food stamps and if the recipient needs to come up with money to pay for that, does this end up just being a way to discourage people from applying for this benefit?

Is that the intent?

Mr LaMarr

If a liberal suggested the no dependent training thing the right would castrate them for yet another useless program! Hypocrites!

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: Hypocrite is not a political party affiliation. Hypocrites exist in all political parties.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Pity the state journal article was so devoid of details.

Training programs are a good thing. How will people qualify for the assistance? How much assistance will there be? Will companies help pay for the training? Oh that's right, income taxes on manufacturing and production are set to drop to zero.

concerned_citizen

didn't he cut $1,000 million out of the state education system in his last budget?

Nav

He certainly did! He is back at his games again.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fiction: The fact is that over a two year budget Walker cut 1.6 Billion dollars from public schools.

ButSiriuslyFolks

It about time this starts happening. In fact, I don't think it goes far enough. I see a ton of jobs everyday in the paper for skilled labor: welders, etc. Biggest thing, of course, is to make sure that the pay involved for these jobs are livable wages, and benefits would be nice, too. Take a guy living on employment and tell him to pay (even in part) for training for a job that pays $7.25 with no benefits and you're still going to have problems.

You have to look at the whole picture. What people need are livable, family-sustaining salaries and the security of knowing that income will be there down the line. Then you have people investing in homes, cars, and other things that they are too frightened to take out loans for now.

This could be an economy generator if it is done right. If its just being done to force people off the welfare rolls and into low-paying, insecure jobs, you're not going to get a statewide return on the investment.

PosterX
PosterX

Laser focus.

pete
pete

this from the AP today regarding the building of the new Vikings stadium:

"The stadium legislation signed by Gov. Mark Dayton this spring included goals from the state Legislature to have minority workers make up nearly a third of the labor force and for women to be 6 percent of the workforce.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority adopted the plan Friday.

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said a shortage of skilled workers in Minnesota will make it difficult to comply. But she said stadium officials will do their best to meet the goals without importing workers or companies, since the ultimate goal is to increase Minnesota jobs.

Stadium officials are encouraging training programs to prepare more workers for construction jobs."

So apparently there are still good jobs out there....Maybe they'll have to poach trained workers from WI to build it

Liberalsmakesense

This is what we expected Governor Walker to do when he took office. But instead of focusing on jobs, he focused on something total different, and something that actually cut jobs. He rammed through the legislature a law ending collective bargaining which is still in courts.

Now, with 2014 election on his mind, all of a sudden the Governor has shown an interest in work force development? Very very interesting.

The voters of Wisconsin keep looking for the 250,000 jobs candidate Scott Walker PROMISED, but they don't see any. Maybe in 2014, the curtains will fall for Governor Walker.

pete
pete

there was that pesky recall thing he had to worry about for the first couple of years, maybe you forgot

Nav

Pete, if the Governor had spent the first two years on the top priority of creating the promised jobs, there would not have been a recall in 2012. But he CHOSE to instead end collective bargaining and go after the unions, which really has done NOTHING to help the common man in Wisconsin. In effect, he has divided the state which will remain polarized until he is removed from office, and a unifier can come into the office.

Governor Walker is full of many excuses as to why he has been unable to create the promised jobs but the people have not forgotten.

AdiosScott
AdiosScott

And the John Doe thing. And the sorting out and returning of the illegal contributions. And the speaking tours. And the time spent planning with Dianne. And the list just goes on and on. Yep, the poor boy was a little preoccupied.

JakeWeery

And if the recall hadn't happened, Walker apologists such as yourself would have found another equally irrelevant excuse to rationalize his failures.

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

Fact. There are many Walker Failures to rationalize.

witness2012

Pete, let's see. The recall petition collection began in November 2011. The recall election was held in early June 2012.

That is seven months max, by anyone's count. How have you expanded that into "a couple of years"?

Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction

That's not a nice thing to say about Tonette Walker.

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