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WEDC Economic Summit Celebrates Wisconsin’s Workforce Innovations PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 23 October 2023 16:22

jobsSummit highlights public-private partnerships and new ways of preparing Wisconsin’s workers.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today joined more than 400 attendees at the Wisconsin Economic Summit in Appleton to celebrate the state’s successes in creating opportunities for workers, businesses, and communities through smart, strategic investments in child care, jobs and skills training, housing, and entrepreneurship, among other key areas.

tony-evers“Our state continues to see record-low unemployment, record-high workforce participation, and we continue to be in one of the strongest financial positions we’ve ever been in as a state,” said Gov. Evers. “This positive economic outlook is bolstered by the efforts of the folks here today—business, education, community, and nonprofit leaders—working to create opportunity and ensure that everyone can thrive here in the Badger State.”

The second annual Wisconsin Economic Summit runs Oct. 23-24 in Appleton and is hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The event draws more than 400 economic developers, state, local, and business leaders, as well as nonprofits, together to build an economy that works for everyone.

This year’s theme is “Together,” focusing on the partnerships between government, industry, educators, and nonprofits to increase opportunity through innovation, sustainability, affordable housing, child care, entrepreneurship, and more.

“Wisconsin is building partnerships between state and local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to create opportunities for everyone to thrive,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “We are seeing these partnerships pay off in efforts to train workers for high-demand jobs, in successful small businesses in all 72 counties, and in new quality and affordable child care spots.”

tech-jobsMuch of this year’s summit highlights the efforts of Workforce Innovation Grant recipients. Created by Gov. Evers in 2021 and administered by WEDC and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), $128 million in grants was awarded to 27 projects across the state working to solve their region’s most pressing workforce challenges. DWD estimates that about 11,000 people were positively impacted by these projects as of June 2023. The projects address everything from worker training to child care, and highlights include:

  • In the Milwaukee area, MobiliSE is providing about 3,000 rides to and from work each month, allowing those without transportation access to higher-paying jobs and supporting businesses’ workforce needs.
  • In the Racine area, more than 300 people have earned their high school credentials through Gateway Technical College, allowing them to embark on new career paths.
  • In Monroe, the Green County Family YMCA is preparing to break ground on an expansion that will open up 80 child care spots.

New at the Wisconsin Economic Summit this year, the Great Career Try-Out is an opportunity for summit visitors to try advanced simulation technologies being used to train the next generation of Wisconsin workers. The equipment is being supplied by recipients of the Workforce Innovation Grant.

At the event, Gov. Evers and other participants had a chance to care for a practice hospital patient during a high-fidelity patient simulation for nursing skills training from WisCAP (Wisconsin Community Action Program Association) with Bryant & Stratton College.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Wisconsin Forestry Center virtually transported participants to the Northwoods to harvest trees using a high-tech simulator.

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College brought portable robotic and industrial mechanical trainers, and virtual reality training was provided by Mid-State Technical College and the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County.

Participants also had a chance to try their welding skills inside a Chippewa Valley Technical College mobile welding lab.

More information on the summit and the Great Career Try-Out is available here.

Portions of the Wisconsin Economic Summit will be livestreamed on WisconsinEye at

Last Updated on Monday, 23 October 2023 16:38
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