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October 29, 2015
CONTACT: Laurel Patrick, (608)267-7303 or
DWD Communications, (608) 266-2722

Governor Scott Walker Announces Wisconsin Job Seekers with Disabilities Achieve Employment Goals at Historic Levels

Madison – Governor Scott Walker was joined by Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today in announcing that DWD’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) helped 4,875 consumers achieve their employment goals during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015. This represents the highest number of successful year-end case closures on current record.

"One of our top priorities for the state is developing our workforce,” Governor Walker said. “A strong Wisconsin workforce enables our businesses to grow and thrive, which in turn, helps to strengthen our economy. We need workers with diverse skills, and that includes workers with disabilities, who have a unique set of abilities to contribute to Wisconsin businesses. The work DVR does to connect job seekers with disabilities to employers is outstanding, and it’s a win-win for our state as we bolster our workforce and spur economic growth."

Job seekers with disabilities who are eligible for DVR employment and training services work with a DVR counselor to discuss their career goals and how DVR can help them to achieve these goals. DVR exceeded its federal fiscal year 2015 goal of 4,420 successful case closures by over 450. Their total number of cases closed equaled 4,875, the highest number on record since at least 1993, when record-keeping and tracking for the program changed.

"Wisconsin's dedicated DVR staff helped thousands of Wisconsinites with disabilities reach their employment goals and provide job creators across the state with a pool of talented, loyal and highly-motivated workers," Secretary Newson said. "By providing the necessary support and training for everyone who wants to work, we will meet employers' talent needs and grow Wisconsin's economy."

Governor Walker signed legislation in 2013 to increase the number of consumers served by DVR by 6,000 in order to reduce or eliminate the Category 2 waiting list of persons with disabilities seeking assistance with job skills training and advocacy.

A Better Bottom Line:
Governor Scott Walker launched the year of A Better Bottom Line initiative in 2014 in support of overcoming obstacles to employment for people with disabilities. A Better Bottom Line, tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, promotes employment opportunities for people with disabilities through recognition, education, and investments in programs like Project SEARCH, which helps young people with disabilities transition from high school to the workplace. Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity initiative increased the number of participating Project SEARCH businesses by 20, up from seven, over three years.

Governor Walker also proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Wisconsin to promote employment opportunities for job seekers with disabilities and encourage Wisconsin businesses to provide opportunities for this skilled, dedicated, and capable workforce.

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