Madison –Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today accepted a draft report from the Task Force on Transitional Jobs which outlines recommendations for establishing a transitional jobs program in Wisconsin. Gassman appointed the task force of legislators representing both houses and both major political parties, business, labor and external stakeholder groups, W-2 agencies and Workforce Development Boards in February with the charge that they identify best practices for a new transitional jobs program. Three technical advisors assisted the task force with research and expertise on transitional jobs programs throughout the country.
Gassman asked the task force to design a program which supported Wisconsin’s existing W-2 program, preserved participant incentives for moving into unsubsidized jobs, prevented displacement of non-W-2 workers by subsidized W-2 workers and helped address labor shortages in the state.
The task force completed its work today and delivered its recommendations to Secretary Gassman. The task force recommended that a transitional jobs program meet these goals:
"I am very pleased with the work of the task force. We can now turn to implementing such an important option for W-2 participants," said Secretary Roberta Gassman. "Transitional jobs provide participants real wages, rather than grants, for real work as well as the incentives of the regular workplace, including eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). By leveraging the federal EITC, millions of untapped federal dollars will be brought into Wisconsin, helping our local businesses and areas of economic distress," said Gassman.
Governor Doyle emphasized his support of the work of the task force and said: "States around the country have found that utilizing transitional jobs is a successful strategy for moving participants into lives of economic independence. I would like to thank Secretary Gassman and the members of the Task Force for developing this list of recommendations which will help us to increase the disposable incomes of low income families."
Gassman indicated she would be seeking recommendations for private and non profit business leaders and others to sit on a Transitional Jobs Recruitment Advisory Committee to assist the department in identifying employers for transitional jobs placements.
The Transitional Jobs Program is targeted to begin in early 2004.
Transitional Jobs website: http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/transjobs/