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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

Friday, October 2, 2015
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

DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Joins State, Industry Leaders for Manufacturing Day at EK Machine in Fall River

Governor Walker proclaimed October Manufacturing Month; October 2 is National Manufacturing Day

FALL RIVER – Today, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell joined public and private partners, including state Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) leadership, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers and other officials to celebrate Manufacturing Month and National Manufacturing Day at EK Machine Company, Inc. in Fall River.

"Wisconsin's manufacturing industry is essential to our economic prosperity," Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell said. "With manufacturers expressing the need for quality skilled labor, Governor Walker and the Legislature have made significant investments in workforce development programs aimed at building the skills and competencies of our current and future workforce."

October 2nd is recognized as National Manufacturing Day, Governor Walker has proclaimed the month of October as Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin to celebrate the manufacturing industry's vital role in our state's economy. The month also offers an opportunity to spread a positive message of a career in manufacturing, Wisconsin's largest economic sector, to the future generation of the state's workforce.

At today's event, regional educators and school administrators heard a unified message about the importance of Wisconsin's manufacturing industry from top officials at DWD and the Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Educators also heard from officials from EK Machine, one of seven companies that received 2014 Manufacturer of the Year awards, about the benefits of getting students involved in talent development programs like Youth Apprenticeship to prepare for their future careers. In the 2014-15 school year, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program has over 600 students enrolled in manufacturing-related programs. These programs combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training that enables a student to graduate high school with the skills needed for an entry-level job in manufacturing. EK Machine has participated in four successful youth apprenticeships and currently has five more enrolled.

The average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin is $54,400 per year, 24 percent higher than the average of $43,700 per year for all private-sector workers. Wisconsin manufacturers employ more than 450,000 workers.

During Manufacturing Month, Wisconsin manufacturing businesses, technical colleges, and other partners are encouraged to open their doors for tours, open houses and other events designed to showcase the great career opportunities that are available to individuals in manufacturing.

For more information or to register to host or attend an event, visit www.wimanufacturingmonth.org.

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