March 3, 1996
The new Partnership for Full Employment
Single workforce development system serves all workers, needs
MILWAUKEE - The State of Wisconsin joined with key employer organizations in announcing
today a "Partnership for Full Employment" for all of Wisconsin's workers and employers.
The Wis. Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations completely revamped the state's
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
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 Wisconsin's
growing, world-class workforce."
The legislation currently awaiting Legislative approval charges the state's 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 won't be satisifed until she
is self-supporting, for today's 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
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.
1.Self-service: Job seekers and employers who need little additional help can find each other on
the JobNet. Now available in Job Centers, this service will be available on the Internet soon.
2."Service Lite" provides job seeker workshops, résumé writing, interviewing, job search
clinics, and job clubs.
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.
3.Individualized or specialized: Job seekers facing more serious barriers to employment would
work with an employment manager who would conduct a more in-depth assessment of the
job seeker's needs and eligibility for services. That could include aptitude, medical,
psychological, skill and skill testing, as well as other specialized testing.
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 Tuesday's 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
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."