Secretary Reggie Newson

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

photo of DWD Secretary Reggie Newson

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson leads the state agency charged with building and strengthening Wisconsin's workforce. He served as Deputy Secretary from August 2011 until Governor Scott Walker appointed him Secretary on October 24, 2011.

Secretary Newson directs the state workforce agency that has an annual budget of over $450 million, over 1,600 employees and six divisions: Employment and Training, Administrative Services, Equal Rights, Unemployment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation and Vocational Rehabilitation. Located within the Office of the Secretary are the chief legal counsel, communications staff, and the new Office of Skills Development.

Prior to his tenure at DWD, Secretary Newson served as Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), one of the DOT top three leadership positions and a position he held since January 2011. He previously was operations director for DOT’s Southeast Region, managing a $320 million budget and directing 500 employees since 2005. He was responsible for daily business operations including human resources, finance, policy implementation and quality control and oversight of project management.

From 2003 to 2005, Secretary Newson managed the state Disadvantaged Enterprise Program, and in that capacity, he orchestrated and developed leading market management strategies for minority business development.

Secretary Newson has an MBA with an emphasis in corporate communications from Concordia University Wisconsin, an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as certificates in project management, management and Six Sigma from the UW-Milwaukee. He also has an associate’s degree in commercial real estate (ACRE) from Marquette University and a certified Six Sigma black belt. He is an alumnus of Future Milwaukee and former member of the Milwaukee Forum.

In July 2013, Secretary Newson was elected 1st Vice President of the National Association of Governmental Labor Officials (NAGLO), a professional association of workforce secretaries, commissioners and directors from each U.S. state and territory. He served as NAGLO Secretary/Treasurer from April 2013 until his election as 1st Vice President.

In 2005, he was honored with the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, which recognizes 40 Milwaukee-area individuals who are making a difference in their professions and communities. He served on the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Urban League and the 30th Street Industrial Corridor Board of Directors (ex officio).