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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

Thursday, November 13, 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

Secretary Newson Highlights Governor Walker's Talent Development Strategies in Remarks to Wisconsin Association of Staffing Services

MADISON – With Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative well under way, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson said today DWD and its partners will focus even more on worker training and talent development in the year ahead.

In remarks to the Wisconsin Association of Staffing Services, Secretary Newson said DWD will soon announce additional WFF grants for customized, employer-driven training. Of $15 million initially authorized, DWD has distributed over $6 million in WFF grants, funding projects to help over 6,500 workers gain skills for new jobs or jobs with higher pay.

"Worker training and talent development remain key to Governor Walker's agenda to grow the state's economy," Secretary Newson said. "As Wisconsin's talent development agency, we are committed to building the workforce to move Wisconsin forward, using all the tools available, from new innovations such as Wisconsin Fast Forward to longstanding programs such as Wisconsin Apprenticeship."

Wisconsin's unemployment rate, estimated at 5.5 percent for September, is the lowest since October 2008. Claims for unemployment benefits are at their lowest levels since 2000. As further evidence of Wisconsin's improving economy, DWD's online employment site, JobCenterofWisconsin.com, currently has nearly 78,000 job openings statewide.

Wisconsin has more than 1,300 staffing firms with over 65,000 workers and a payroll of $1.6 billion.

To learn more about Wisconsin Fast Forward, visit: wisconsinfastforward.com

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