MADISON - Making sure Wisconsin's veterans get the skills they need to transition from the military into the workforce is the goal of a budget motion offered by State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette). The motion will help fund and recreate successful services to help veterans navigate Wisconsin's technical colleges. Senator Darling says the motion will make sure Wisconsin's veterans are able to better transition to the workforce or to four-year colleges.
"Veterans face different challenges than most students do when they return to school," Darling said. "We owe it to our brave men and women in uniform who protect our freedoms to make sure their education isn't just paid for, but that their experience is a success."
Since Wisconsin's GI bill took effect in 2005, veteran enrollment in the Wisconsin technical college system increased nearly 500%. Between 4,000 and 5,000 veterans enroll annually using state or federal GI bill benefits. The co-chairs' motion will set aside $1,000,000 to fund grants at Wisconsin Technical College schools to develop and expand specialized instructional and support services for veterans by replicating what is working on other campuses. Representative Nygren says this is an important investment in Wisconsin's workforce.
"Veterans are some of the most sought after employees," Nygren said. "This investment will help increase the number qualified and skilled veterans for Wisconsin employers to hire."
The budget motion was added to the 2015-2017 budget by a vote of 16-0. The entire budget will also be voted on by the both the full State Senate and full State Assembly before going to Governor Walker's desk for final approval.