Secretary Ray Allen

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

photo of DWD Secretary Ray Allen

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Raymond Allen leads the state agency charged with building and strengthening Wisconsin's workforce. He was appointed to the position by Governor Scott Walker on January 21, 2016.

Secretary Allen directs the state talent development agency that has an annual budget of over $450 million, over 1,600 employees and six divisions: Employment and Training, Administrative Services, Equal Rights, Unemployment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation and Vocational Rehabilitation. Located within the Office of the Secretary are the chief legal counsel, communications staff, and Office of Policy and Budget.

Secretary Allen was born and raised in Milwaukee and moved to Madison in 1969 to attend college at the University of Wisconsin, from which he earned a degree in Journalism. Upon graduation, he went to work for the John Deere Company as a marketing and finance representative.

He joined state government in 1987, when he was appointed to serve in the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations. Secretary Allen later was appointed Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Employment Relations, where he supervised the Division of Affirmative Action, the State Employee Assistance Program, and the state's Total Quality Management Training Program. He also served as the Director of the State Office of Employee Development and Training.

During the administration of former Governor Scott McCallum, Secretary Allen served as Executive Director of the Technology for the Educational Achievement in Wisconsin Board, a state agency that administered financial assistance to Wisconsin's educational institutions to aide in the installation of educational technology. Beginning in 1996, he served at the Department of Financial Institutions, where he spent the following two decades in a variety of leadership roles, including four years as Deputy Secretary and one year as Secretary before his appointment to DWD.

Secretary Allen has been active in the Madison area community, serving on many community boards and commissions. He was elected to three terms on the Madison School Board, serving from 1995 to 2004, and was Chairperson of the Madison Area Technical College Board.

Secretary Allen is the former publisher and owner of The Madison Times, a weekly newspaper. He is a partner and Vice President of Madtown Paradies, which operates retail stores in Dane County's Regional Airport.

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