Industry Partnerships & Career Pathways

Building Wisconsin's Workforce; Expanding Wisconsin's Economy

Contact Us

Industry partnerships and career pathway development requires partnership at all levels. Our work in Wisconsin has engaged partners and stakeholders from the state capital to the shopfloor. While the Department of Workforce Development leads this work, it would not be possible without the strong engagement of private and public stakeholders at both the state and local level.

Industry Partnerships

At the state level, the Wisconsin Council on Workforce Investment (CWI) oversees this effort and advises the Governor on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) through strategies, policies and programs. CWI has endorsed Wisconsin Industry Partnerships and added three new sector subcommittees to guide and promote industry partnerships. The charge of the subcommittees is to establish priorities that will create measurable success for industry partnerships in Wisconsin for the Advanced Manufacturing, Health Care and Energy sectors.

The Wisconsin Industry Partnership Leadership Team provides a forum for moving work forward. Members of the team include executive level representatives of Wisconsin's Departments of Workforce Development, Commerce, and Public Instruction and the state's higher education infrastructure including the Wisconsin Technical College System, the UW System, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. The Team provides technical assistance, policy guidance and support for Industry Partnerships both within and among governmental agencies and across the state.

Career Pathways

The Wisconsin Technical College System and the DWD jointly lead the RISE Initiative. The entities are responsible for decisions made in pursuit of RISE goals and are accountable for progress under the grant. Each agency has appointed a Project Lead, and these two leads are the main contacts with the Joyce Foundation and they head the Steering Committee.

The RISE Steering Committee is comprised of representatives of DWD, WTCS, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW), and Madison Area Technical College (MATC). The WDBSCW and MATC bring regional/local perspectives and career pathway experience to the table, and COWS provides data and policy support for RISE work. RISE also contracts with Smooth Transitions, LLC, for project coordination responsibilities.

The existing Executive Committee of the Council on Workforce Investment has the role of the RISE Executive Leadership Group and provides input and advice regarding RISE strategies.

CWI Sector Subcommittees

Advanced Manufacturing

  • Joe Kinsella, Point Precision president (chairperson)
  • Anthony (Tony) Rainey, Master Lock Company UAW 469 president (chairperson)
  • Bob Borremans, Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board executive director
  • William Chaudoir, Door County Economic Development Corporation executive director
  • Kathleen Drengler, Human Resources North America director
  • Susan Hatch, Hatch Staffing Services president
  • John Heyer, Kettle Moraine Coatings, Inc. president and owner
  • James P. Hill, La Crosse Area Development Corporation executive director
  • Kim L. Kindschi, UW-Extension Division of Entrepreneurship & Econ. Development, executive director
  • Mike Klonsinski, WI Manufacturing Extension Partnership executive director
  • Gayle Kugler, WI Small Business Development Centers director
  • Jessica Legois, Wisconsin Department of Commerce policy initiatives advisor
  • James Mackey, WI Technical College System Office
  • Lee Rasch, Western Technical College president
  • Bob Sheppard, Pioneer Products plant superintendent
  • David Tomczek, Federal Tool & Engineering, LLC president
  • Charlene A. Yauch, P.E., Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) associate professor
DWD Staff
  • Amy Phillips, Division of Employment and Training program analyst

Health Care

  • Judy Warmuth, Wisconsin Hospital Assn. vice president-workforce development (chairperson)
  • Stephanie Bloomingdale, WI Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals director-public policy (chairperson)
  • Roberta Gassman, Dept. of Workforce Development secretary (chair emeritus)
  • Kris Andrews, University of Wisconsin System, director federal relations
  • Janice Atkinson, Dept. of Public Instruction, Career and Technical Education
  • Reggie Bicha, Department of Children and Families secretary
  • Fredi Bove, Department of Health Services deputy administrator
  • Kathleen Cullen, Wisconsin Technical College System vice president
  • Sally Cutler, North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board director
  • Gina Dennik-Champion, Wisconsin Nurses Association executive director
  • Laura Dresser, Center on Wisconsin Strategy research director
  • Barb Fleisner, Centergy, Inc. executive director
  • Celia M. Jackson, Department of Regulation & Licensing secretary
  • Russell King, Wisconsin Homecare Organization president
  • Kathy Loppnow, RN, MSN, Health Occupations Education director
  • Sally Lundeen, UW-Milwaukee, Nursing School dean
  • Don Madelung, Herzing University president
  • Katharyn May, University of Wisconsin, Nursing School dean
  • Nancy McKenney, Public Health Department of Health Services division director
  • Tom Moore, Wisconsin Health Care Association/ Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living executive director
  • Nancy Nankivil, Wisconsin Medical Society, senior vice president-quality & efficiency
  • Paul Nelson, WI Assoc. of Independent Colleges & Universities (WAICU) sr. vice president-public policy
  • Candice Owley, WI Fed. of Nursing & Health Professionals president
  • Dian Palmer, SEIU District 1199W/UP president
  • Tom Ryan, Department of Regulation & Licensing bureau director
  • John Sauer, WI Assn. of Homes & Services for the Aging executive director
  • Judeen Schulte, Alverno College, Division of Nursing chairperson
  • Tim Size, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative executive director
  • Nancy A. Sugden, UWSMPH assistant dean-academic affairs; Wisconsin AHEC Program director
  • Mark Thomas, Department of Health Services deputy secretary
  • Yer Vang, Office of State Employment Relations executive assistant
  • Rolf Wegenke, WI Assn. of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) president
  • Jackie Wells, WI Long Term Care Alliance director-community relations & external affairs
  • Paul Wertsch, MD
  • Joan Wilk, UW-Milwaukee, Nursing School professor-emeritus
  • Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher, UW Eau Claire College of Nursing & Health Sciences interim dean
DWD Staff
  • Rita Black-Radloff, policy analyst


  • Christopher Ruud, Ruud Lighting executive vice president (chairperson)
  • Forrest Ceel, Electrical Workers IBEW Local 2150 president (chairperson)
  • Marge Anderson, Energy Center of Wisconsin associate director
  • Lyle Balistreri, Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council president
  • Rhandi Berth, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/Big Step associate director
  • Earl Buford, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership / Big Step executive director
  • Thomas Burse, Buveck Consultants LLC owner & CEO
  • Eric Callisto, Public Service Commission commissioner
  • Daniel Clancy, Wisconsin Technical College System president
  • Matthew Frank, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secretary
  • Phil Koenig, DWD Office of Veterans Services director
  • Ken Iwinski, Energy Composites general counsel
  • Mark Kessenich, Milwaukee Area WIB director-development & planning
  • Walter Kunicki, Wisconsin Energy Company vice president
  • Kathy Kuntz, Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp director
  • Jessica Legois, Wisconsin Department of Commerce policy initiatives advisor
  • Karen Morgan, DWD Apprenticeship Standards Bureau director
  • Michael Morgan, Department of Administration secretary
  • Phil Neuenfeldt, AFL-CIO secretary treasurer
  • Rod Nilesestuen, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary
  • Joel Rogers, Center on Wisconsin Strategy director
  • Don Rouse, Kohl's Dept. Stores vice president-corporate operations (retired)
  • Michael Rowe, American Transmission Company vice president
  • Richard Schlimm, Wisconsin Community Action Program executive director
  • Julia Taylor, Greater Milwaukee Committee president
  • Judy Ziewacz, Office of Energy Independence director
DWD Staff
  • Karen Morgan, apprenticeship program director

Industry Partnership Leadership Team

  • Sharon Berge, DWD Division of Employment & Training program & planning analyst
  • Kathleen Cullen, Wisconsin Technical College System vice president-teaching & learning
  • Laura Dresser, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) associate director
  • Kristopher Frederick, University of Wisconsin System budget & policy analyst
  • Richard P. Jones, DWD agency liaison
  • Kim L. Kindschi, UW-Extension Division of Entrepreneurship and Econ. Development executive director
  • Jessica Legois, Department of Commerce policy initiatives advisor
  • Paul Nelson, WAICU senior vice president-public policy
  • Willa Panzer, WTCS assoc. vice president- student development & assessment
  • Jane Pawasarat, DWD Employment and Training Division Administrator
  • Sigrid Peterson, Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) graduate project assistant
  • Linda Preysz, DWD policy advisory
  • Jennifer Riggenbach, Workforce Central project director
  • Sharon Wendt, Department of Public Instruction