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Sen. Baldwin Visits NTC, Talks Open Jobs and Skills GapSubmitted: 01/17/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WAUSAU - Thousands of Wisconsinites need jobs, and employers need workers. But there's a skills gap leaving some of those jobs empty.

That's why technical colleges around the state are developing programs to help train workers, and Senator Tammy Baldwin visited one in Wausau Thursday.

The newly elected senator learned about the programs at NTC created to fill those skilled job openings. She got a look at the energy efficiency lab, and the newly constructed manufacturing lab. Baldwin last visited the school when the manufacturing lab was being built.

"I truly believe we need to keep on making things in America, and making things in Wisconsin. And so an emphasis on manufacturing is needed. Technical colleges are really playing an extraordinary role in helping address that," says Sen. Baldwin.

Senator Baldwin says helping to get more things made in Wisconsin will be a major focus during her time in the Senate.

She also reflected on what it's been like to go from representing a district to an entire state.

"Sometimes I think of the congressional districts with very arbitrary lines. You feel as strongly about an issue whether it affects somebody on one side of a county line or on the other side of a county line. The biggest difference is the opportunity to fight for all the people of this great state," says Sen. Baldwin.

Senator Baldwin will serve on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. She hopes what they develop there, will help Wisconsin close its skills gap.

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The two-day trial for Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukauna, finished up Thursday afternoon, following a morning of the defense arguing it was all part of Spietz's job.

Spietz was a contract worker for a company called TruAssets, which secures abandoned or foreclosed homes throughout the country. The company is based in Arizona.

On Thursday, Spietz testified that in September and October, he took ATVs, bows, a John Deere tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the house to try and secure it for his employer.

"My experience with the work order is that it is our job to make sure the property is secured," Spietz said. "Obviously if I can open the doors and get into it, anybody can open the doors and get into it. So I ended up removing the ATVs with the trailer and them bringing them back to Kaukauna to lock up in my storage facility where they would be under lock and key for the future for whatever the bank decided they wanted to do with their property."

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"Couple spots on the floor, large, dark spots," Spietz responded.

"Knowing what you know now, do you know what that was?" Schiek asked.

"To the best of my knowledge that's where they were killed," Spietz replied.

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Bennett added Spietz gets little supervision from TruAssets, as Spietz testified he has never met a person from the company.

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