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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 28, 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 High School Students at Western Technical College for Manufacturing Month

LA CROSSE – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell joined dozens of high school juniors and seniors from Bangor, Black River Falls, Holmen, Mauston, and Sparta for Manufacturing Discovery Days at Western Technical College in La Crosse.

"As we look to develop our workforce and address the skills gap, we must build awareness of the many career opportunities that are available in high-demand fields like manufacturing," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "Events like Manufacturing Discovery Days allow high school students to learn more about the challenges and rewards of a career in manufacturing, and to see firsthand the types of training programs that will help them build in-demand skills."

Governor Scott Walker proclaimed October 2015 as Manufacturing Month throughout the state to celebrate Wisconsin's manufacturing industry and to showcase the many opportunities for high-quality careers available to those who work in the state's largest economic sector.

During Manufacturing Month, Wisconsin manufacturing businesses, technical colleges, and other partners are being 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.

Approximately 75 students heard from Deputy Secretary Maxwell about the benefits of a manufacturing career in Wisconsin before learning more about the program options Western offers such as Machine Tool, Welding, Electromechanical Maintenance Technician, Electrical Computer Engineering Technology, Mechanical Design and Architectural Technology.

Wisconsin offers a variety of workforce training programs like Youth Apprenticeship aimed at building in-demand skills for high-school students. In the 2014 – 2015 school year, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program has 617 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.

The average pay for a manufacturing worker in Wisconsin is $54,400 per year, 24% more than the average of $43,700 per year for all private-sector workers. Approximately 9,200 Wisconsin manufacturing employers employ more than 462,000 workers producing more than $55 billion worth of economic output as of December 2014.

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