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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Governor Scott Walker Celebrates Grand Opening of Bay Link Manufacturing During Manufacturing Month

Green Bay – Today, Governor Scott Walker joined local partners to formally unveil the Bay Link Manufacturing lab at Green Bay West High School. The lab is part of a dual-enrollment program designed to give students experiences and skills that local employers are seeking, all while gaining both high school and college credit. Students in the program work with private manufacturing partners to design high-tech systems and complete projects in industrial welding, machine fabrication, and metals.

"The manufacturing industry is growing and thriving in Wisconsin, and there is no better time than during Manufacturing Month to highlight the Bay Link Manufacturing learning lab and recognize the partnerships between the Green Bay Area Public School District, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and the NEW Manufacturing Alliance," said Governor Walker. "Programs and facilities like Bay Link Manufacturing prepare students for entering the workforce by providing real-world training making them attractive to employers throughout Wisconsin and teaches them skills that they can take with them throughout their career."

Governor Walker visited the Bay Link Manufacturing lab back in March when the project was just getting off the ground. Today, the Governor was joined at the event by Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and met with Katie Clark and Alex Vandermuelen, two of 10 students who are among the first to benefit from this innovative program.

Governor Walker has proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month. Throughout the month, employers and industry partners have been encouraged to open their doors to students across Wisconsin to spread the positive message of a career in the manufacturing industry.

"Demand is growing for high skilled labor," Secretary Newson said. "Manufacturing contributes more than $53 billion to Wisconsin’s economic output and continues to grow. Already, the manufacturing industry employs almost 1 in 6 workers in Wisconsin. These are family sustaining jobs that pay over $10,000 more than the average private sector worker."

Governor Walker has invested more than $130 million in worker training. Targeted investments in our workforce with programs such as Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) allow Wisconsin manufacturers to address the skills gap and ensure workers have the skills they need for the jobs available today, and job creators are able to hire the workforce they need to grow and expand.

Governor Walker proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in conjunction with Manufacturing Day, which is held the first Friday in October. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is coordinating the planning and promotion of the month's events in partnership with the Department of Revenue, Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the University of Wisconsin-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center, and other stakeholders. For more information on Manufacturing Month, please click here.

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