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Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Comprehensive approach with four focus areas to meet increasing workforce needs
APPLETON – Responding to workforce challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, the Governor's Council on Workforce Investment (CWI) has presented a 2022-2026 Strategic Plan to meet the demand for skilled workers and sustain Wisconsin's robust recovery.
Meeting in Appleton, CWI Chair S. Mark Tyler and members sent Gov. Tony Evers comprehensive strategies to reinvigorate education at all levels, engage all employers, increase workforce participation, and align and maximize resources over the next four years.
"Much has changed since the CWI developed our last strategic plan four years ago," Tyler said in the plan's cover letter to Governor Evers. "However, the charge of the CWI remains the same and the significance of our work has never been more important.
"Aside from difficulties finding and hiring new workers," Tyler continued, "there are several other issues impacting businesses such as lack of access to childcare, broadband, transportation, and housing. All these issues directly or indirectly impact employers and their ability to acquire and retain talent. As Governor, you have emphasized 'connecting the dots' and that is exactly what we hope to accomplish through this plan."
The council consists of 36 members including business leaders; workforce representatives, state legislators, local elected officials, and leaders representing education, community, and labor organizations throughout the state. The council works closely with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) in developing strategies to meet the needs of employers and workers.
"With the visionary workforce investments Governor Evers has made through the $130 million Workforce Solutions Initiative, Wisconsin is experiencing a robust recovery," CWI Executive Director and DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. "The council's strategic plan will help guide additional investments and initiatives, as we and our partners, under the leadership of Governor Evers, work to meet the needs of all job seekers, workers, and employers. To ensure we can measure our success in implementing these strategies over the next four years, we've also established specific goals and related metrics."
Approved unanimously by the council, the strategic plan focuses on four broad areas, each with a series of goals and objectives:
The council's strategic plan was approved against the backdrop of record-low unemployment numbers for the state. DWD reported the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary, seasonally adjusted employment estimates for the month of April 2022 at 2.8 percent – tied with the record low from March – as job growth and labor force growth continued.
In setting goals and objectives for the four years ahead, the council also provided an assessment of the state's economy, including the following:
"The outlook for the state's economy is positive, although the ramifications of new viral strains are yet to be determined. Wisconsin's fourth quarter 2021 real gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded pre-Covid levels and state job numbers have returned to 98% of pre-pandemic levels.
"Other positive indicators are that employment levels in a few industries, such as manufacturing, construction, and professional business services, are back near pre-pandemic levels or higher; and, as of March 2022 data, Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) employment is above pre-pandemic levels. Wisconsin's employment-to-population ratio and labor force participation rate (LFPR) continue to exceed the national figures."
Learn more about: Governor's Council on Workforce Investment.
Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.