Millions proposed for workforce development

DE PERE — Governor Walker is looking to invest nearly $100 million in Wisconsin's workforce. That includes helping build a medical college in De Pere.

It's another part of his upcoming budget.

Governor Walker laid out his job development plan at St. Norbert College Monday afternoon.

"Not only do we have plans for manufacturing and information technology and other key industries, one of the areas that had tremendous workforce shortage in key parts of the state is in health care," the governor said.

Walker wants to invest millions to improve rural access to health care.

That includes $7.4 million to help build the new Medical College of Wisconsin campuses in De Pere and Wausau.

"We all know there's a physician shortage, the shortage is getting worse everyday," explained Prevea Health President and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai. "Last week, I had to travel to New York to recruit physicians to work in Wisconsin. It's going to be much easier to recruit physicians training in Wisconsin and living in Wisconsin long term."

Governor Walker also wants to invest $3 million in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine to help expand training for doctors who will serve in rural areas.

$4 million would go toward rural hospitals to receive national accreditation and take on medical residents.

Millions would also go to state and technical schools for education and training initiatives.

Under the plan, starting in 2014, 10 percent of general state aid to technical colleges would be awarded based on job placement.

Will these investments do the trick? Area democrats remain skeptical.

"I certainly appreciate the investment, but the fact of the matter is, the governor cut close to $2 billion out of educational institutions out of last budget, and these new investments certainly don't get us back to that point, so I think we're suffering the effects of those cuts as far as the impact on our economy is concerned," explained State Representative Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay.

The governor will announce his budget later on this month.

Another part of the governor's plan would require physically able food stamp recipients to enroll in job-training programs.

The training would cost an estimated $17 million per year.

Copyright 2014 AP Modified. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Wisconsin (change)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
Offices & Officials

Governor: Scott Walker
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
Attorney General: J.B. Van Hollen

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