Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving, I am hoping that we all took some time to reflect on the
many blessing we have. Over the past year, I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity
to meet with numerous small business owners, educators, farmers, healthcare professionals and
local elected officials to learn how they work to create jobs and improve our communities. I
have been very impressed and definitely see a lot to be thankful for here in southwest
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Platteville High School Technology Coordinator
Greg Quam. He, along with Mary Johannesen and Julie Pluemer brought me up-to-date on a
program they are implementing in high schools throughout southwest Wisconsin called Project
Lead the Way. In short, the program strives to give students an opportunity to take courses that
cultivate their interest in science, technology and engineering. For example, students are able
to take cutting edge courses like the Principles of Engineering, Computer Integrated
Manufacturing, and Biomedical Innovation.
The idea behind the Project Lead the Way program is to get students interested in careers that
have strong job prospects now and well into the future. Preparing students for the high-tech
globally competitive job market we live in today is extremely important. It is very encouraging
to me that we have people right here in our own backyard implementing innovative programs
like this. It truly is amazing and it makes me proud to represent such motivated individuals.
Several weeks earlier, I had the privilege to spend the morning touring the Grant Regional
Health Center in Lancaster and meeting with CEO Nicole Clapp and her wonderful team. What
an amazing story. The quality and the level of service that patients are receiving there is
incredible for a community of only 4,000 people. From cardiac rehab to general care, they are a
top notch health care provider in our area. They aren’t alone though, Southwest Health Center
in Platteville and the Boscobel Area Health Care facility are also excellent hospitals that serve
rural southwest Wisconsin extremely well. Despite the many health care challenges we face as
a state and nation, I think it is important to give thanks for the tremendous quality health care
we have access to right here in southwest Wisconsin. We are truly blessed.
The examples listed above are just a few of the many positive stories we have in southwest
Wisconsin. We have a great deal to be thankful for in our corner of the state. Personally, I am
thankful to represent the 60,000 hardworking, caring and innovative citizens who live in my