Republicans Protect Crucial Jobs Program

Madison - On Thursday, State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chairs of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding the Skills Enhancement Program:

 "Several of our Republican colleagues reached out to us with concerns about prospective changes to the Skills Enhancement Program (SEP) under the Department of Children and Families (DCF). This important program helps individuals who are struggling financially to gain the skills necessary to find and maintain employment.

 "After speaking with our fellow members of the legislature and DCF, we learned that the agency was considering changes that would condense SEP funding from grants which span the entire state to five competitive grants.

 "Making sure people have the ability to learn new skills to enhance their own lives and the lives of their families remains a top priority for us. We look forward to working with DCF and stakeholders to make sure taxpayers are getting the best results possible in this program.

 "We have expressed our concerns to DCF and we are happy to report the agency has decided against condensing SEP at this time. People from every corner of the state will continue to have access to this vital program that has successfully helped individuals become and remain contributing members of society.

 "Thank you to our Republican colleagues who helped to bring this issue to our attention, and thank you to DCF for participating in an open dialogue with us in order to remedy this matter. We look forward to the great work SEP will continue to do in Wisconsin."