March 5, 1996
Tommy G. Thompson
201 E. Washington
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
The new Partnership for Full Employment
milwaukee The State of Wisconsin joined with key employer organizations in announcing today a Partnership for Full Employment for all of Wisconsins workers and employers.
The Wis. Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations completely revamped the states workforce development system to create an entirely new system for getting jobs to people and for finding qualified workers for employers. That program, like the partnership of employers, workers, and government entities that helped create it, will also be known as the Partnership for Full Employment.
The Partnership replaces the current hodgepodge of 101 current employment programs, many of which are inconsistent and overlapping and spread out among competing agencies. Instead, there will be a single, comprehensive employment and training system.
Carol Skornicka, Wis. Secretary of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, described the PFE as a bold new strategy, without precedent in the nation.
Yes, it is the delivery system for Wisconsin Works. But it is the system for all workers to receive whatever services are required on their way to becoming full-fledged members of Wisconsins growing, world-class workforce.
The legislation currently awaiting Legislative approval charges the states labor department with providing the delivery system for W-2. Welfare is being phased out of the Department of Health and Social Services and being replaced by Wisconsin Works, the work-based program to be run out of the new Department of Workforce Development.
Heretofore, the services available to job seekers have been circumscribed by whether they were veterans, persons with disabilities, former welfare recipients, recent graduates, laid-off from their jobs, displaced homemakers, or otherwise re-entering the workforce.
Working in partnership with other units of government and with the private sector, the goal is to serve the individual needs of every job seeker and every employer, Skornicka said.
We created this Partnership for Full Employment for the mother who wont be satisifed until she is self-supporting, for todays worker looking for an even better job, for the laid-off factory worker who needs new skills, for the business person who wants to expand if only there were enough workers and for everyone in-between. It is one system, but one that recognizes individual needs.
This convenient, cost-effective system was devised over the last year by over 800 individuals representing 110 entities businesses, organizations and associations, from 33 cities, counties and tribes, 12 state agencies, 20 University of Wisconsin and Technical College campuses. The process was broken into 51 work groups. Each was assigned a specific task but all were kept apprised of the others progress. No new fiscal appropriations were required.
The Partnership was announced at the Milwaukee North Job Center, one of 62 job centers now up and running or in development throughout the state. Job Centers will be the prime delivery location of the PFE. The Job Center network is being built with the help of a $10.5 million federal grant.
Job Centers locally controlled under statewide coordination combine, under one roof, the resources of state, county, technical college, and various private sector contract providers. They are being wired with a self-service, computerized job matching system called JobNet. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded JobNet 1st place in the Leading Tools and Technology category for 1995.
With Legislative approval, Gov. Tommy G. Thompson paved the way for the Partnership for Full Employment by combining all job training, vocational rehabilitation, unemployment insurance, and school-to-work programs, into a single state department the Department of Workforce Development, which will succeed the current Wis. Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations (DILHR) on July 1.
Three service levels
Three levels of service will be available to both job seekers and employers, depending on their need, not their classification.
For employers, job fairs will offer additional exposure to potential workers. Workshops will help employers deal with such issues as accommodating workers with disabilities, coordinating employee transportation, or finding workers during a labor shortage.
The resulting Individualized Employment Plan could include: job training, community service jobs, job coaching, education, health care, child care, transportation, housing, alcohol or other drug abuse counselling, mental health services, and vocational rehabilitation.
For employers, industry specialists will assess the needs of employers in a defined industry group, for instance, paper making, machine tooling, or food processing, and help with employment planning. Just as job seekers can work with a case manager in developing an Individualized Employment Plan, the employer and the industry specialist would develop an employment plan with targeted outcomes. These services could take a variety of forms including: job testing, employee screenings, mentoring, linkages with work supports such as child care, health care, transportation, and follow-up services such as job coaching.
Even before Tuesdays announcement of the Partnership for Full Employment, the National Alliance of Business selected Wisconsin as the State of the Year for outstanding and innovative leadership in workforce development. Gov. Tommy G. Thompson accepted the award October 16 in Washington D.C.
William H. Kolberg, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Business, told the Governor:
"With the implementation of a truly comprehensive education, training, and employment system, Wisconsin has emerged as a national leader in building a quality workforce for America's future.