|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
Friday, May 7, 2004
News Media Contact
Madison – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today the appointment of Hal Bergan as Administrator of the Division of Unemployment Insurance, effective May 10.
"Hal Bergan brings a wealth of experience and talent to the department, and I am delighted to have him as a member of our team," Secretary Gassman said. "Our Unemployment Insurance Program remains the model for other states and as we meet the challenges ahead, I know Hal will help us maintain Wisconsin’s leadership in serving our workforce and our employers."
Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance Program, first in the nation, provides temporary economic assistance to Wisconsin’s unemployed workers. Weekly claims have steadily declined the last 12 months to 84,300 with benefits totaling slightly more than $18.5 million. While other states have had to borrow and raise employer UI assessments substantially to balance their funds, Wisconsin has maintained a stable fund and avoided major increases in assessments.
The success of the well-managed program is due in part to the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, consisting of business and labor representatives. Recently, Governor Doyle signed into law a measure recommended by the council and approved unanimously by the Legislature. As the new Administrator, Bergan will see to those changes, which include expanding job training opportunities, upgrading the automated claims system, and addressing eligibility requirements and potentially fraudulent claims.
Bergan served as policy director to three former governors: Patrick Lucey, Martin Schreiber and Anthony Earl. He also was president of the Wisconsin Center for Public Policy from 1979 to 1982. He is currently president of Bergan & Associates, a Madison consulting firm offering strategic planning to public and private sectors with an emphasis on improving customer service. As a consultant, he led an effort to dramatically reduce errors and streamline payment of UI assessments for the Iowa Department of Workforce Development.
Bergan earned his B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University and an M.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University. He succeeds William Clingan, who was named Administrator of the Division of Workforce Solutions.