Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Walker focuses on filling open jobs during seventh State of the State addressSubmitted: 01/10/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Walker focuses on filling open jobs during seventh State of the State address
MADISON - Inside a full Assembly chamber, Gov. Scott Walker noted the job market is filled with opportunity.

"You see, without a doubt, Wisconsin is working," Walker said.

Walker focused heavily on employment through his 40-minute State of the State speech at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

"Wages are up,more than 50,000 new businesses have been created, and our unemployment rate, that's down to 4.1 percent," Walker said.

This coming session, filling those jobs is a priority. Walker admitted the state Workforce Development website has 80,000 openings. Meanwhile, five Northwoods counties (Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Florence, and Iron) have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state, including state Sen. Janet Bewley's Iron County.

"We've gotta make sure we're looking at the actual quality of life of people who do have jobs," Bewley (D-Delta) said. "Just because you have a job doesn't mean you're not poor."

Walker hopes to better prepare workers for those jobs by re-filling public schools with more funding.

"I want great schools for every student in the state," Walker said. "Our budget will include a significant increase for public schools. We will also help rural schools that have unique challenges such as transportation costs, broadband access, and declining enrollment."

Walker pledged $35.5 million more to help schools upgrade technology like fab labs, while promising to cut college tuition for all state undergrads.

Lincoln County Rep. Mary Felzkowski (formerly Czaja) thinks investing in schools will have a positive effect on the job market.

"We're going to be bringing in more employers," Felzkowski (R-Irma) said. "They're going to start looking at Wisconsin because we are leading the way."

As for getting to those jobs, Walker drew the lightest applause of the afternoon for his stance on filling an estimated $1 billion transportation shortfall standing by his word to not raise the gas tax or registration fees.

"Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you can respect that I keep my word," Walker said.

"If he is not going to raise revenue from some other place, he is going to cut something," Bewley said. "Soanother ax is about to fall and he didn't give us a clue as to what it's going to be."

State Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) agrees with Felzkowski's take on transportation: wait for an audit for the DOT to come in first before making any funding decisions.

"I'm not quite in as firm a position as the governor, but I do believe we need to use the dollars we have most effectively first," Tiffany said.

It's a battle Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) admits many Republicans don't agree with the governor on. But he says that, by and large the governor s priorities on jobs and schools are his.

"All of [today's speech focus] goes together, and hopefully those people will come and stay and hopefully those kids stay here and raise their own families," Swearingen said.

Those are families that Gov. Walker sees getting back to work.

"Wisconsin's future is bright, but there's more work to be done," Walker said. "We're not done yet."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MERRILL - It might look like Olivia Telschow works alone these days.  That impression isn't far from the truth.

"It definitely isn't a job for a slacker," Telschow said of her work.

Telschow is in her second year of running Helene's Hilltop Orchard south of Merrill. She's been busy pruning 14 acres of apple trees, mowing the grass, and cutting the corn maze four times in the last month alone.

"We kind of go through this mad panic about six weeks before we open and all of the sudden it's no longer counting down the weeks, it's counting down the days," Telschow said.

+ Read More

HAZELHURST - A local Northwoods business works together to make better products than it did when it first began in 1925. 

Tomahawk Live Trap has grown and even relocated to Hazelhurst since then.

Greg Smith and his wife Jenny bought Tomahawk Live Trap about seven years ago.

And the company has been growing ever since.

Sales have more than doubled since Greg and Jenny took over.  But it's not just the sales that have grown.

"When we first came in here, the culture, I'm going to say was toxic," said Greg Smith.

But it's not toxic anymore. Tomahawk Live Trap has worked with UW-Stout and its Manufacturing Outreach Center to form a better team.

"You treat people like people, you empower people so they can do their jobs and you listen to them," said Smith.

Operations Coordinator, Chris Powers was there when the Smith's took over and has noticed the big improvement with the environment.

"We work together as a team to put out the best product we can, as fast as we can," said Powers.

The program uses a "lean" philosophy which helps trim unnecessary portions of a work area.

"Only using and having what you need in an area versus a bunch of clutter and stuff in an area," said Powers.

The biggest customers for Tomahawk Live Trap are mainly animal control companies. They sell to not only American companies, but also around the world.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A car crashed into a store on Brown Street in Rhinelander today around 5 p.m.

The driver started to back out of a parking spot near the intersection of Brown and Davenport when she hit another vehicle.

An officer at the scene said the woman was startled and hit the gas instead of the brake.

The car crashed into Diane's Frame Shoppe.

There were no injuries but the car and the wall of the building were both damaged.

+ Read More

HARSHAW - More than 50 people from Vilas, Forest, and Oneida counties came together Wednesday to learn leadership skills. 

Northwoods United Way hosted the second annual Leaderfest at Rondele Ranch in Harshaw. 

Executive Director Nancy Sattler was excited to present this opportunity to people in the area. 

"We want to offer the opportunity for enrichment, learning, and growth and the opportunity also to network with other people from the Northwoods and to learn from them and maybe they can help them in the future," said Sattler. 

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A 50-year-old Lac Du Flambeau man faces felony charges for sexual assault. 

Deputies found out about the allegations against the man in May. 

To protect the victims' identities, we are not releasing his name at this time.

The assaults took place in the Town of Birch in Lincoln County in the summer or 2016 and the spring of 2017. 

The two victims were teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18. 

The suspect appeared in Lincoln County Court today where he was formally charged with three felony counts. 

The suspect posted a $5,000 cash bond and has been released from jail.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Most of us go out on the boat for a day of fun and relaxation. But to Gary and Shele Fawcett, a trip out on the water means a chance to teach history.

"The Eagle River Chain of Lakes alone is about 350-400 miles of water," said Shele.

"We talk about Eagle River and the things that used to happen up here, but nobody knows the stuff that's going on on the lakes," said Gary.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Wednesday's weather made it the perfect day for a group of people to grab their paddles and explore some Northwoods waters.

The Northwoods Land Trust invited the community on a tour of private and protected waters.

People met up to paddle down Deerskin River in Eagle River.

Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust Bryan Pierce said Deerskin River is special because it's a trout stream and known for its resources.

"Our intent is to try and keep it that high quality keep the water quality protected and also provide for both fish and wildlife habitat," said Pierce. 

Wednesday was also a celebration.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here