|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
|Thursday July 29, 2004
|News Media Contact
Governor Jim Doyle recently announced an additional $1 million in funds for Wisconsin Works (W-2) agencies in counties with high concentrations of newly arriving Hmong refugees. The Portage, Adams and Wood (PAW) Counties Consortium area W-2 agency has been allocated $65,983 of the total funds to assist approximately 45 Hmong refugees arriving in Portage and Wood Counties.
"Over the next few months Wisconsin will welcome at least 3,600 new Hmong refugees who will be eligible for W-2 services, food stamps, and Medicaid," said Governor Doyle. "This additional funding will help these Hmong refugees make the transition so that they can contribute to our communities and enjoy all that life in Wisconsin has to offer."
The additional funding will assist in meeting the needs of the expected Hmong refugees for cash payments and/or benefits in the W-2 program. The funding allocations were calculated based on information from the US Department of State regarding where the Hmong refugees will settle.
Various staff from the Department of Workforce Development; the state's 11 Workforce Development Boards; and, local and community agencies will meet with the Hmong refugees to assess their skills, and work with the business community to identify jobs for them. DWD will also provide access to job training services through W-2 and other community resources.
Governor Doyle has appointed a Hmong Advisory Task Force to oversee the resettlement of up to 3,600 Hmong refugees who have been living in a compound in Thailand for many years and are expected to immigrate to Wisconsin through the end of the year.
Earlier this month, when the Governor first announced formation of the task force, he also announced that he will provide an additional $1 million for local W-2 agencies in counties where many refugees are expected to resettle. The funds will help the W-2 agencies work with the newly arriving refugees to get them connected to work and become self-sufficient as quickly as possible.