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DWD News Stories

DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek

DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek Nominated for StateScoop 50 Award in State Leadership Category

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Amy Pechacek has been nominated for the 2024 StateScoop 50 Award in the State Leadership category.

Gov. Tony Evers, DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek, and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Executive Director Kevin Shafer

Moving Wisconsin's Workforce Forward, with Investments in Green Jobs and Sustainable Opportunities

Wisconsin's motto is Forward, reflecting our state's drive to be a national leader. As we celebrate Earth Day, there's no better time to highlight Wisconsin's world-class workforce and the potential we have for further innovation and leadership through investments in green jobs and careers that advance the sustainability of our communities.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Workers with Disabilities Expand, Diversify Wisconsin's Workforce

Gov. Tony Evers believes everyone in Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to develop the job skills they need to achieve their employment goals. That includes helping individuals overcome employment barriers.

Matt Steeno and Derek Jablonicky

Service Leads to Success with Employment Support for Veterans

Matt Steeno joined the military to see the world – and he did. During his 23 years in the Navy, Steeno served in Iraq; Yokosuka, Japan; Monterey, California; London, England; the Horn of Africa; and Naples, Italy.

Jazmine Steinfeldt, shown with daughter Jaidyn, is wearing a WalkAide, which has helped her overcome a symptom of multiple sclerosis and continue working

Game Changer: Wisconsin Mom Back on her Feet with Help from DVR

For many of us, a short walk to work is a great way to start the day. But not for Jazmine Steinfeldt of Green Bay. Every morning, she would park her car a few blocks from her office and walk. Just a short walk, only a few blocks. But for her, it felt like miles!

DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek visited MMSD's South Shore Water Reclamation Facility

Catch the Wave with Rewarding Work in Wisconsin's Water Industry

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek and state water industry leaders have a message for job seekers, especially young students: Test the waters and take the plunge! Rewarding careers in water await!

Black History Month 2022 banner

Celebrating Black History Month with History in the Making

As we celebrate Black History Month and honor the accomplishments of Black Americans, we recognize that Wisconsin is at a turning point with greater potential than ever before to advance racial equity and economic opportunity. Our state's record-low unemployment brings a once-in-a-generation chance to expand access to jobs with wages and benefits that support workers, their families, and their communities.

DWD Secretary-designee, Amy Pechacek, giving her Human Rights Day presentation

Human Rights Day: Highlighting Wisconsin's leadership in protecting civil rights

Every year on December 10, Human Rights Day is observed worldwide to commemorate the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations. This Human Rights Day, DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek highlights Wisconsin's leadership in civil rights and DWD's efforts to make Wisconsin a fair and just place to live and work for all people.

Scott Cebery uses steps and a handrail provided by DVR to safely board his Bobcat loader.

Doing what you love: DVR aid helps local farmer maintain family cattle farm

In early 2009, a healthy 51-year-old Scott Cebery was operating his family's beef cattle farm in rural Phillips, Wisconsin, when he began experiencing sudden pain in his lower back and weakness in his legs. Diagnosed with transverse myelitis, he was able to regain enough strength in his legs with therapy to get around with a walker, but he knew his life would never be the same. Today, the 64-year-old walks with a cane and wears leg and ankle braces to get around his century-old farm. Despite these challenges, he continues to maintain a herd of 100 cattle and 185 crop acres thanks to assistance from DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

kids in canoes ricing

Preparing for the future: Collaboration is key to success for Bad River, Red Cliff summer youth program

Laura Miranda's son had no idea what a job interview was or why he would want to work during the summer; but once he started working, she noticed he seemed more engaged with family and outdoor activities than he had ever been before. Her son is one of more than 120 high school students who have participated in a collaborative summer youth program hosted by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa that offers high school students paid positions in their communities.

Butch Oertel

DVR – Offering Services, Resources, and Hope

For almost two decades, Butch Oertel has been running his own business – supporting his family and providing needed vehicle repair services in Central Wisconsin. But Butch remembers a time when disabling pain nearly cost him everything. He credits DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for helping his entrepreneurial spirit shine through.

S. Mark Tyler, Chair, Wisconsin's Council on Workforce Investment

September is Workforce Development Month

It is difficult to have a conversation with businesses these days without workforce issues rising to the top of the discussion. There is no question that businesses large and small are facing challenges that are more intense than ever before. Finding talent is a real challenge, and in discussions that I have had, the question "What are we doing about it?" has come up.

Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board

DWD applauds the work done by the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board

Childcare has been a significant barrier to employment for so many Wisconsinites. That is why the Department of Workforce Development is applauding the innovative work done by the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board in partnership with Northwood Technical College. They have developed a curriculum and certificate program that would provide training participants with the qualifications necessary to enter the childcare industry.

Courtney engaging her students in a science project

DWD Apprenticeship Program Makes a Difference in the Lives of Children

Small chairs, small tables and small toys. When Courtney Calhoun looks around her toddler classroom, she doesn't just see child-sized furniture and playthings, she sees a colorful, imaginative world that allows her toddlers to learn, grow and become confident in the world around them.

Workforce Network Logo

DWD applauds the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board for building The Workforce Network

DWD celebrates the successes of its workforce partners. Workforce development boards provide crucial resources to their communities that help people find jobs, educational opportunities or job training needed for a strong local workforce. DWD is applauding Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board for building "The Workforce Network," a comprehensive online directory of regional community resources that assist job seekers and employers alike.

Pride Month 2021 Flag

Am I Paying a Competitive Wage? Finding and Using Wisconsin Wage Data

The state and nation are experiencing a major demographic shift as the overall population ages and baby boomers retire. Coupled with the trailing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the labor force, we are experiencing an unprecedented period of tight labor market conditions. With competition for talent heating up, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) economists are often asked about competitive wages for various occupations in an area.

Pride Month 2021 Flag

Honoring Pride Month: Let's work together to advance equal rights and protections in Wisconsin

For the third straight year, Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is flying the Pride flag outside several DWD office buildings across Wisconsin. This flag is a visual representation of our annual celebration of Pride Month, which honors all the efforts taken to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

Joshua Johnson and his wife Michelle celebrating the closing on their first home.

From Prison to Apprenticeship: One man's journey to change his life and Wisconsin

Joshua Johnson had used the same deodorant for 10 years. In fact, he pretty much used the same everything for 10 years—clothes, toothpaste, snack food, prison bunk. Which is why, when he was released from Winnebago Correctional Center in 2005, after serving a decade-long prison sentence for armed robbery, and his parents drove him to a Wal-Mart for the first time, he was completely overwhelmed. There, on the shelves, were dozens of different deodorants to choose from.

Stacy VanWormer with her son, James, in 2020.

Down but not out: How the Dislocated Worker Program helped one Wisconsin mom launch a new career

Through the Dislocated Worker Program, which is designed to help eligible individuals connect with economically self-sufficient employment as quickly as possible, Stacy picked up new IT skills, learning about computer drives, file storage , and intermediate-level use of the most popular Microsoft Office Suite programs (i.e., Outlook, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Word). Job center staff helped her develop an individual employment plan, which included identifying employment goals and providing career, training, and supportive services to help her attain those goals.

Nikita on his first day as a full-time employee at Rice Lake Weighing Systems

No limits: Project SEARCH intern gains new skills – and a new job

Nikita Bergmark, a 23-year-old from Prairie Farm, Wisconsin, is a new full-time employee in the shipping department at Rice Lake Weighing Systems. But success didn't happen overnight for Nikita, who is on the autism spectrum. With the help of the Project SEARCH program, he gained the skills he needed to succeed in the workforce.

Shaun Lukas is an Employment & Training specialist at the Racine Job Center and he's ready to help you!

What's next? Opportunities don't just happen, you create them.

You're a hard-working employee but you lost your job because of the COVID-19 public health emergency, and you haven't been hired back. What are your options?

Whether you're looking for another job in your current field or interested in training for a new career, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and our workforce partners are here to help.

The apprentice is using a rope to safely remove a large piece of deadwood from a White Oak. Photograph courtesy of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

First-in-the-nation arborist apprenticeship program celebrates 5 years!

Department of Workforce Development (DWD) developed an entire apprenticeship pathway into the arborist industry through its Wisconsin Apprenticeship System. The Arborist Registered Apprenticeship started in 2016, the first program of its kind in the country.

Apprenticeship is employment, as well as post-secondary education, where apprentices learn only a portion of their skills in a traditional classroom. They receive most of their training on-the-job while working for an employer who pays the apprentices a wage, with the classroom instruction typically provided through the Wisconsin Technical College System. Apprenticeship has many benefits for both employers and job seekers. Most beneficial for job seekers is that they are a full-time employee from the day they sign their apprenticeship contract.

Group Portrait of Capitol Building Construction Workers, c. 1911. Photograph courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 122366

Highlighting worker safety: April 28 is Workers Memorial Day and OSHA 50th Anniversary

Wednesday, April 28, marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the federal regulatory agency that ensures safe conditions for our nation's workers. Former President Nixon signed the federal OSH Act into law on April 28, 1971. In the 50 years since, America's workplaces have been transformed.

People working on solar panels

Preparing for a greener future: DWD grant recipient trains workers for careers in renewable energy

A massive 300 mega-watt solar farm in Iowa County, a 200 mega-watt installation in Kenosha County, a pair of new farms in Manitowoc County—in the past year, a half-dozen large scale solar projects have cropped up across the state according to Renew Wisconsin. There is no question the solar industry is booming, and that means our state's workers need to be ready.

Industry projections graph

Strong job growth estimates offer hope to those still out of work

Short-term occupation and industry job projections for the state of Wisconsin show strong growth through the 2nd quarter of 2022. These estimates point to a continued, swift recovery of the job losses felt through the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cale Greig

Wisconsin Fast Forward helps Wausau man begin his new, post-COVID career

In early 2020, life was good for 40-year old Cale Greig. He was making decent money bartending, enjoying life in Wausau with his wife and his nine-year old son, and recently welcomed his second son, Callum, into the world. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit Wisconsin.

Learn about worker rights—in 60 seconds!

Wisconsinites can quickly and easily find expert guidance on workplace and civil rights challenges thanks to a new video series from the Department of Workforce Development's Equal Rights Division.

veteran at job interview

DWD encourages employers to become "vets ready"

Every year, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) recognizes businesses that have shown a deep commitment to reaching and supporting Wisconsin's veteran workforce. The Vets Ready Employer Initiative encourages employers to build support systems within their workplaces, hire and retain more veterans, and connect to veterans in the community and their families.

High School at Harley-Davidson: Career and Technical Education opens a world of possibilities for Wisconsin students

Milwaukee teenager, Sarah Klein, never imagined she would be spending her senior year working at a world-famous Wisconsin company, let alone picking up cutting-edge job skills that will take her far beyond high school. But that's exactly what happened…

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