Capitol Update
by Senator Howard Marklein
October 23, 2020


My Summer Jobs

This summer, I was honored to be hired by eight different employers in the 17th Senate District as part of my Hire Howard experiences. I sincerely appreciate the time each of the employers gave to me to help me learn about their operations, employees, successes and challenges.
My experiences took me to a wide variety of employers:
Iowa County Highway Department – I learned how to stripe and resurface local roads. It was hot, hot work! But we are very lucky to have an extremely talented and committed team of county employees who care about our roads and the people who travel our communities.
Reedsburg Ambulance Service – While we didn’t get any calls (good news), I spent time with the Ambulance Service personnel and learned about their operations, equipment, training and challenges. I was amazed that our ambulances truly are mini-hospitals on wheels. They carry many medications and equipment to meet all of our needs.  The knowledge and expertise of the staff is impressive!
Tashner Vision Clinic, Platteville – I worked alongside Dr. Michael Tashner and his team to learn how to conduct exams and test prescriptions for new glasses. I also learned about the insurance and billing side of the business. All of the staff at Tashner Vision have deep roots in our community and truly care for the people they serve.
Marquis Energy, Necedah – I learned all about the operations of this massive ethanol plant. Howard Boppart, Grain Merchandiser, taught me about the corn buying process and their products. Their team also taught me about testing samples at the scale house, the entire ethanol production process and quality control. The ethanol industry is a big contributor to our agricultural economy.
Reedsburg Utility Commission, Fiber Broadband – Rural broadband has been one of my top priorities as your State Senator. I was excited to spend a day with the Reedsburg Utility Commission staff who were installing a fiber network in Spring Green as part of a Rural Broadband Expansion Grant project. I learned how to splice fiber and how the conduit for the fiber is constructed. I have a new appreciation for how long it takes to connect us!
Wis-Coat Asphalt Maintenance, Lone Rock – Melvin Joles invited me to shadow his asphalt business and I learned how to prep a driveway, fill cracks and apply the seal. This local, small business is a great example of high standards for excellence and an attitude of continuous improvement.
Mauston Public Works – I spent the day with several different teams at the City of Mauston’s Department of Public Works. I learned about their wastewater treatment process and testing, emerald ash borer program and the streets crew. It was interesting to see the diversity of talent, as well as the longevity of the men who work in this department and care deeply about the community they serve.
TG Soil and Water, Juneau County – Tom and Sherri Guyse are a husband-wife team that own TG Soil and Water, which provides soil testing and site assessments for onsite wastewater treatment options. One of my main takeaways from this experience was that a lot of rural Wisconsin could not be developed without the professional scientific approach of companies like TG Soil and Water. We are able to locate businesses and homes in very rural parts of our state because of their expertise in onsite wastewater treatment and soils.
Again, thank you to all of the employers who gave me their time, talent and knowledge this summer. These Hire Howard experiences really help me to understand the industries, workers and communities I represent. Every experience gives me at least one significant take-away that I will use as I make decisions as your State Senator. They also give me a deep appreciation for the talent and ingenuity that we have in our local workforce. I look forward to another round of Hire Howards in the future!
As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me to provide input, ideas or to seek assistance.  Send an email to sen.marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov or call 608-266-0703.