• A Fabulous New Take On Manufacturing

    Here in Wisconsin, we are passionate about training our future workers and creating a healthy economy where everyone who wants a job can get a job. But while we still have a big gap between the number of open jobs (regularly about 75,000 on our free job search website, ) and the number of workers with the skills to take them. (There are usually about 43,000 resumes posted on the same website.) In the Walker-Kleefisch Administration, we’re infusing our technical colleges with the resources they need to get people trained and into the workforce. But those are the workers of today. What about tomorrow? The answer to that question is why I was so excited to visit Three Lakes High School to see students and teachers open Wisconsin’s first-ever K-12 “Fab Lab”.   

    Fri, 11/07/2014

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  • Tourism and Tech Colleges: The Fun Essentials

    When I take my two girls to the Wisconsin Dells for a rare Kleefisch family getaway, I'm usually not talking to them about the newest laser-guided welding equipment at a nearby technical college.  And when I’m touring a tech college to see the fabrication lab and talk manufacturing, Dells hotels seem pretty distant.
    But in reality tourism and tech colleges are closely aligned.  Wisconsin’s tourism industry needs strong technical colleges (as does the rest of our economy), and our tech college grads would do well to pursue careers in our globally renowned and growing tourism industry.  These two themes—tourism and tech colleges—are connecting tonight for an event at Madison College, and I’m excited to see leaders from these two great Wisconsin institutions working together for the good of our state.

    Fri, 10/03/2014

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  • Small Business Owners Must Be Heard

    Last week marked the start of the new school year for my girls and students across Wisconsin. Already the homework has begun, and by this time, perhaps a few grades have even been issued.
    Grades are good — they hold us to a standard, inspire us to excellence and make sure we follow through on our responsibilities.
    And there’s no reason to limit grades to the classroom. At the annual Governor’s Small Business Summit, our team in state government reports to the taxpayers how we’re doing on the issues that are important to small businesses.

    Wed, 09/10/2014

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  • A Promising Future For Youth With Disabilities

    Nothing signals summer like graduation season. We get about a half dozen graduation announcements and I send cards because we can almost never go to the ceremonies. This year was different. Not only did I get to go to graduation ceremonies, but they were some of the neatest events I've ever attended.
    They were for Project SEARCH, a program that connects young people with disabilities to a series of internships. The internships give them the job skills they need to get real and rewarding employment.
    At one graduation, a young woman named Olivia spoke. Olivia was already a graduate and had a good job at a hospital. She cracked up the room when she admitted to using four alarm clocks to make sure she was never late.

    Fri, 07/18/2014

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  • Broadband To The Future

    If your family is anything like my family, you’ve likely heard a child ask the 21st century equivalent of “Are we there yet?” Kids these days instead demand, “Why won’t this page load faster?” In our modern, globally-connected, screen-driven world, nothing frustrates a student, employee, or customer more than a slow-moving webpage.

    Mon, 07/14/2014

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  • Celebrating Main Street La Crosse

    The American Main Street is the economic engine, the big stage, and the core of our communities. Our Main Streets tell us who we are; they share our past and shape our future. We visit our historic downtown districts to explore our culture and to discover our identity. 

    In that spirit, we celebrate today as La Crosse becomes the only city in 2014 to receive the “Wisconsin Main Street” designation, making it eligible for training and support to maintain and improve its historic commercial district. Downtown La Crosse is home to the Mississippi River, fantastic restaurants, bars, hotels, and a variety of specialty shops. With more than 400 businesses, it is the perfect place to experience all that the City of La Crosse and the beautiful Coulee Region have to offer.

    Tue, 06/17/2014

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  • Brewing Start-Up Success Stories

    Wisconsin’s craft brewing industry often leads the nation for the best beers on the market. Never mind. It just plain leads the nation for great beer. One Wisconsin company, MobCraft, is leading in a new way: letting crowdsourcing essentially do their market research, determining the products they actually brew. Mobcraft is also the first company in the state to take advantage of our new crowdfunding option, which allows Wisconsinites to invest and buy equity in Wisconsin companies entirely online.

    Tue, 06/17/2014

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  • Farming for a Better Future

    June is National Dairy Month, a holiday second only to Christmas and Easter here in Wisconsin.  Earlier this week, I observed the occasion by visiting a rather unusual dairy farm: one run by the inmates of the Waupun Correctional Institution.

    Tue, 06/17/2014

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  • Project SEARCH graduation in Marshfield Friday showcases value of worker training

    Spring is the season for graduations. At high schools and colleges across the country, families clap and cheer as their loved ones cross the stage and take a well-deserved bow.

    Today in Marshfield we’re celebrating a different kind of commencement. Today young adults with disabilities will officially graduate from the Project SEARCH program at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital, completing a one-year immersion experience that prepares them for full and productive lives as employees and members of the community.

    The hospital is currently one of seven Project SEARCH locations in Wisconsin. We’re so impressed by the results we’re seeing in these young people’s lives that state government is expanding its funding for Project SEARCH to 20 participating businesses over the next three years.

    Thu, 05/15/2014

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  • Protecting the knowledge that powers Wisconsin

    When you think Wisconsin tourism, you probably think about a Wisconsin Dells waterpark, a Door County winery tour or a northern Wisconsin supper club. But did you know that one of our fastest-growing industries is agriculture tourism? Visitors from all over the world are coming to Wisconsin to view our advanced agricultural operations, to learn more about our hybrid biotech seeds, to tour our ginseng farms.

    From ag tourism to the Global Water Center to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, we are attracting scientific interest from around the world for our innovation and invention across industries. These advances make protection of intellectual property an important policy priority for Wisconsin jobs.

    Mon, 05/12/2014

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