Walker announces 3 year, 4 million dollar program for technical colleges

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

La Crosse (WEAU) - Governor Scott Walker was in La Crosse announcing a 3 year, 4 million dollar program that will focus on fostering partnerships between Wisconsin technical colleges and employers.

Walker visited Pacal Industries to announce his new "Wisconsin Workforce Partnership Grant."

He hopes to close the gap between manufacturing jobs and available workers.

"There's all sorts of issues brought up from employers, but one that's frequently brought up is employers saying 'In my business I've got jobs, I just don’t have enough bodies to fill them,'” said Walker.

Any Wisconsin technical college will be able to apply for a grant. Applications will be able to be submitted March 22nd through May 9th.

Democrat party chair Vicki Burke says that this grant is making colleges jump through hoops when they shouldn’t have to. She believes Walkers grant announcement is a campaign stunt.

“He comes with these little programs so he can make an appearance and get some publicity out of it. To me it seems like a campaign visit,” said Burke.

Western Technical College in La Crosse plans on sending in an application. After talking to president of the college Lee Rasch, he says that they plan on submitting a more regional application to get the best results.

“We’ll put a regional application together. It’ll be a solid one. The announcement today is good news, we're glad to have that opportunity," said Rasch.

The Covenant Foundation will select award application winners based on how many degree holders will result, how many jobs will be created, and how aggressive the employer proposals are among other criteria set by Wisconsin Covenant Foundation.


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  • by Joe Location: Spring Valley on Mar 9, 2012 at 06:11 AM
    2 questions, where did Walker get the funds to pay for this program? If Walker had not made such severe cuts to technical colleges in the first place, this program would not be necessary right?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 06:17 AM
    You can tell he's getting desperate about the recall and now he's trying to make it look like he's undoing the damage his policies caused the tech schools.
  • by John on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:48 AM
    Stop whining WEAC people. The job you are doing to alienate students against employers is disastorous to young minds. Not everyone can collect welfare.
  • by Unions Destroy Good Employers Location: Independent Fiscal Conservative on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:46 AM
    Partnerships between schools and employers is absolutely key to students getting a meaningful and employable education. It's the missing link in many colleges and even high school.
  • by Duh! Location: Wisconsin on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:12 PM
    Walker's cuts to education in Wisconsin: $792 million in aid cuts to school districts, $250 million in reduced aid to the university system and $71.6 million from the tech colleges. Total: $1.11 billion. Amount saved by cutting teacher and public worker's pay: $300 million.
    • reply
      by Vinny on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:59 AM in reply to Duh!
      I agree this is a very good start, hopefully he can continue to find ways to make our state viable.
  • by Bill on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:50 PM
    The government needs to look closely at exactly what is needed for local business. For instance, they keep pushing out copious amounts of healthcare workers. Nurses to be exact. There are many who can not find a job or can only get part time in a nursing home, most are dejected. Even worse then that, the hospitals are laying off seasoned workers to get a few lucky ones of these at a huge discount because the market is flooded. It has pushed salaries downward and left untold misery in the homes of hard working middleaged nurses and other healthcare proffesionals. My point is this, maybe its time to cancel the healthcare programs for a while and let the market correct itself, or is that what Walker and his rich friends want-lower wages?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:43 AM in reply to Bill
      Bill: Walker isn't deciding how many to admit to a program - that decision is up to each WTCS college president. I absolutely agree that there are too many nurses locally and it is affecting the job market in negative ways. If you feel really strongly about this - give President Barker a call, email or letter.
      • reply
        by Ardoth on Mar 9, 2012 at 09:07 PM in reply to
        I am a retired RN. Thank God I got out when I did, many of the girls just ten years younger than myself have had thier lives devestated after being unfairly let go at one of the local hospitals. The Tech school administration isn't going to sign off on a cash cow that keeps them fat and happy, plus provides ample jobs for many of thier friends. Govenor Walker needs to step in, or doesn't the lives of average hard working people concern him?
    • reply
      by Ralf on Mar 8, 2012 at 05:57 AM in reply to Bill
      You are suggesting that the government dictates what people should be trained for, socialism at its best.
      • reply
        by jon on Mar 8, 2012 at 09:48 PM in reply to Ralf
        Why should my tax dollars be supportting something that isn't needed, just to provide government jobs? Ever consider that?
  • by Captain Obvious Location: Eau Claire on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:03 PM
    Keep up the great work Gov. Walker! It's about time the colleges learn to watch their spending and stop abusing the taxpayers and students with tuition hikes! If a college has a good successful plan, then they deserve the money. Nobody or any organization should get "Free Money" w/o a good successful plan! If the government keeps on giving out freebies, then nobody will work to improve. Anti-Walker people can gripe all they want, but now you are bringing money back into the education system since Wisconsin FINALLY isn't broke. If anyone has an issue with this or sees it as a publicity stunt, then shame on you and open your eyes!
    • reply
      by Normal on Mar 9, 2012 at 10:35 AM in reply to Captain Obvious
      were not broke?
  • by wisc citizen on Mar 7, 2012 at 06:37 PM
    The education system made a royal mess resulting from greed, insisting on 3.8% raises every year, and no contributions to their health care or retirement. Thank you, Walker,from the non-union,non-govt taxpayers.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 8, 2012 at 04:38 AM in reply to wisc citizen
      Not true. That 3.8% was the QEO or qualified economic offer. The 3.8% was the limit on what districts could give for a combination of insurance and wages. During many years teachers received no pay increase due to the cost of insurance. In some districts there were years teachers received a pay cut for the same reason.
    • reply
      by Hippie on Mar 8, 2012 at 06:41 AM in reply to wisc citizen
      Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Quit believing the hype.
      • reply
        by Anon on Mar 8, 2012 at 07:49 PM in reply to Hippie
        The QEO was repealed in 2009.
  • by anon Location: ec on Mar 7, 2012 at 06:32 PM
    scooter, ya took their money away- keep it !
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 06:26 PM
    let us taxpayers pay for big buisiness to educate their employees up to union trade standards so they can at least build things correctly because the rest of us (union) tradesmen had to go to school and pay for it with our own money and we do not get a dime from your tax money the only thing we did was help you (non union) people get better wages for what you do
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