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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, November 4, 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 Secretary Celebrates Apprenticeship Week in Fox Valley

Governor's proclamation covers Nov. 2-8, runs in tandem with National Apprenticeship Week

APPLETON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson delivered remarks today at Fox Valley Technical College to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. Governor Scott Walker also proclaimed November 2-8, 2015 as the first ever Apprenticeship Week in Wisconsin. Today's events highlighted the importance of the Registered Apprenticeship program in Wisconsin to apprentices and employers.

"The Fox Valley is home to large manufacturing companies that have been strong supporters of Wisconsin Apprenticeship through the years, and the Fox Valley Technical College has delivered quality instruction to apprentices who have gone on to good-paying careers as journey workers," Secretary Newson said. "Strong collaborations between employers, technical colleges and other partners will ensure Wisconsin Apprenticeship continues to thrive as a proven solution to the state's skills gap."

National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for Wisconsin to tell its story of Registered Apprenticeship and is an invitation to business and industry, education, career seekers, community based organizations, students and workers to learn about the real world advantages of apprenticeship.

"Employers committing to apprenticeship are making a significant investment in their workforce," stated Steve Straub, Dean of Manufacturing and Agriculture Technologies at Fox Valley Technical College. "Employers in this region realize the need to transfer critical knowledge from one generation to the next. It is an honor for Fox Valley Technical College to lead the state in apprenticeship enrollments."

Currently, Wisconsin Apprenticeship includes 2,352 employers and 8,844 apprentices in over 200 occupations across the state, including across Northeast Wisconsin.

Governor Walker is a strong supporter of the Wisconsin Apprenticeship program and included funding for the program in the 2015-17 biennial budget he signed last summer. Under the Governor's leadership, DWD has taken steps to modernize and reinforce the state's Registered Apprenticeship program as a national model. In April 2015, DWD presented the 2015 Wisconsin Apprenticeship Summit action plan, which culminated the work of state, national and international experts who convened in January 2015 at a summit that was facilitated by the National Governors Association (NGA) to focus on apprenticeship strategies and recommendations.

In September, DWD was awarded a $5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies (WAGE$) project. Under the WAGE$ initiative, DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards will register new apprenticeships in 12 high-growth occupations in Advanced Manufacturing, HealthCare, and IT industries, and the project will expand upon other existing programs.

For more information on Wisconsin's Registered Apprenticeship program, visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/

Read the Governor's Proclamation

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