Department of Workforce Development News Release
|Wednesday, May 26, 2004
|News Media Contact
Employers Recognized at Workforce Development Conference
Seventeen Wisconsin companies receive Exemplary Employer Awards in
MILWAUKEE – On behalf of Governor Jim Doyle, Lieutenant Governor Barbara
Lawton and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta
Gassman presented seventeen Wisconsin companies with Exemplary Employer
Awards at the 11th Annual Governor’s Workforce Development Conference at the
Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Milwaukee.
"The awards honor some of Wisconsin’s finest employers, namely those who
have demonstrated exemplary employment and workforce-support practices,"
said Governor Jim Doyle. "Lieutenant Governor Lawton and I commend and
recognize these companies for their wholehearted dedication to the working
men and women of Wisconsin."
Exemplary Employer Award recipients met one or more award criteria that
focused on this year’s conference theme, Grow Wisconsin: An Economic
Imperative. Recipients were recognized for making special accommodations for
handicapped staff; encouraging employee training or enhancing progressive
retention strategies; hiring and retaining a diverse workforce; providing
opportunities to high-risk populations and/or implementing progressive human
resource/personnel policies that enhance the overall skill level of
"These companies are recognized because of their dedication and
commitment to further develop and sustain the workforce," said DWD Secretary
Roberta Gassman. "It is an honor to recognize these individual companies for
their efforts in building Wisconsin’s workforce by investing in the citizens
of Wisconsin, our most important resource."
Companies receiving an Exemplary Employer Awards
- AmericInn in Merrill, working with the Department of Workforce
Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, hired 6 individuals
at AmericInn’s integrated and community-oriented facility through the
Supported Employment Program.
- Ashley Furniture in Arcadia, for the last decade, has employed over 100
customers of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation who have varying
degrees of disability, including some with severe barriers to employment.
- Aurora Health Care, Inc. and Covenant Healthcare Systems, Inc. of
Milwaukee, created a Surgical Technology Training Program for 25
entry-level, low-wage hospital workers. Twenty graduated and were hired as
surgical technicians within the two healthcare facilities. The program has
begun its second year with a class of 20.
- Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, has recalled 202 employees
and hired 132 new employees after using a federal Earmark Grant, they
implemented a pre-employment training program to provide the skill sets
new employees need to begin employment at higher wages and with more job
Governor’s Exemplary Employer Awards
- Beckart Environmental, Inc. in Kenosha supports a Biotechnology Youth
Apprenticeship Program, which provides young people with new opportunities
and the company’s employees take personal interest in the success of the
students to make sure they have the science skills needed to continue
- Partnering with the West Central WI Workforce Development Board and the
Northwest Manufacturing Outreach Center, BioDiagnostics, Inc., in River
Falls, attained the International Organization of Standardization or I-S-O
certification, which resulted in the company retaining 20 jobs; creating 4
additional jobs, as well as increasing sales.
- Blackstone Consulting, Inc. in Fort McCoy received their third
Exemplary Employer Award by hiring over 25 formerly homeless or at-risk of
becoming homeless veterans. In partnership with the Wisconsin Department
of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans’ Assistance Foundation, Blackstone
placed these veterans in employment positions with the Department of
Defense at Ft. McCoy.
- Culver’s of Wisconsin, headquartered in Prairie du Sac, has
significantly grown in Wisconsin due to their employment and training
practices. Culver’s intense and innovative mentoring strategies provide
opportunities for success to many promising restaurateurs who might
otherwise struggle in a highly competitive industry.
- A small, rural business, Curtiss Metal Connection, Inc., in Curtiss,
responsible for machining and welding parts for manufacturers in Wisconsin
and Minnesota created a workplace that accommodates people with
disabilities and maximizes their potential.
- Milwaukee’s Direct Supply, Inc., created over 150 new professional jobs
in the past 3 years and plans to add 100 more in the next 12-18 months.
Direct Supply has over 50 interns, who will fill full-time positions at
Direct Supply upon graduation.
- Harley Davidson Motor Company in Menomonee Falls participates in
Wisconsin’s Apprenticeship Program, the Governor’s Workforce Shortage
Taskforce, the Apprenticeship Advisory Council, and State Apprenticeship
Advisory Committees for Machine Tooling, Maintenance Mechanics, and
- Hatco Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, used a federal grant to train 200
employees in a manufacturing process called Demand Flow Technology, which
increased productivity by 16% and a 60% improvement in manufacturing lead
- In response to health care worker shortages last year Ministry Health
Care in Milwaukee, contributed $500,000 to several technical colleges.
This year they are contributing $400,000 to address current and future
needs for trained professionals coming out of the technical colleges.
- SC Johnson, A Family Company in Racine was nominated by The Wisconsin
Technical College System for their innovative LINK program. LINK offers
training opportunities to employees, serves as a model for employee
development and recognizes the benefits of lifelong learning.
- Waukesha Electric Systems partnered with the Waukesha County Workforce
Development Center to expand its outreach and recruiting capacity. This
partnership provides opportunities for locally dislocated workers while
also meeting that employer’s needs.
- US Bank in Milwaukee provides guidance and leadership to financially
educate employees working with organizations, and other financial
institutions to provide low-cost banking products to those entering or
re-entering the workforce. A partner in the Milwaukee Asset Building
Coalition, US Bank stresses "Build Wealth-Not Debt" through counseling and
This annual conference is the hallmark of employment and training efforts
for workforce development professionals and businesses across the State of
Wisconsin. This year’s conference theme, "Grow Wisconsin: An Economic
Imperative" ensures that we continue to focus our collective energy and
resources on enhancing our human capital and the programs and services
created to assist and support families and the economy of Wisconsin.
For more information about the Governor’s Workforce Development
Conference, visit the conference web site at http://www.gwdc.net.
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Content Contact: Rose Lynch