Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman recently spoke to local employers and inmates at the third annual Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution Job Fair in Plymouth. The job fair provids DWD and the Department of Corrections a chance to educate employers, inmates, and the public about the misconceptions and barriers inmates have traditionally faced while trying to make a productive transition back into the workforce and the community. At the job fair, about 30 local employers learned that many offenders use their time in prison to obtain vocational training in areas such as welding, woodworking, building services, custodial skills, auto detailing, and office software.
Just prior to the job fair, Secretary Gassman addressed employers on the importance of greater collaboration with Corrections in order to providing employment opportunities to all Wisconsin citizens. She also mentioned that Wisconsin recently received the Building A World-Class Workforce Award from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). The national customer service award annually honors outstanding achievements by state workforce agencies across the country.
The award resulted from a partnership with DWD and Corrections to develop and deliver training for Wisconsin Job Center staff to better serve customers with an offender background. Fond du Lac Job Center personnel were available at the job fair to assist inmates in accessing available jobs on JobNet.