Budget Writing Committee Begins Work

Last week the Joint Committee on Finance began voting on pieces of the budget and continued its work this week.

Included among the initiatives approved, is my proposal to increase support for the Wisconsin Technical College System by providing an additional $25 million over the next biennium.

Our state technical colleges are a cost effective option for students who want to earn college credit toward a four-year degree at a reduced cost or those who wish to enter the trades.

Wisconsin has a small pool of skilled talent yet many employers indicate they want workers with skills that require post-secondary education. It is estimated by 2050 that 60 percent of job openings in Wisconsin will require post-secondary education, however, fewer than half of Wisconsin residents have education beyond a high school diploma.

A skilled talent pool is also a major factor when employers are deciding where to locate or expand their business. If Wisconsin is to remain an attractive location for current and future businesses, increasing our skilled workforce will be imperative.

The WTCS is the pipeline that will help employers fill jobs and keep Wisconsin’s economy running strong well into the future. Many who are educated at a WTCS school complete their training in two years or less and more than 94 percent of WTCS graduates remain in Wisconsin further bolstering our workforce.

The tech colleges have also established relationships with schools that allow students to take college credit while still in high school. WTCS is also working with local businesses providing customized instruction to their employees to enhance their skills. From 2015-2017 WTCS trained nearly 109,000 employees per year.

Investing in our tech colleges is a wise investment and I’m pleased to see Joint Finance approved additional funding for our tech colleges.

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Take My Spring Survey

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Joint Finance has started crafting the next state budget. Be sure to fill out my spring survey to ensure your voice is heard! If you did not receive a paper copy of the survey you can fill it out at my website: reprodriguez.com.

I look forward to reading your response!


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