TOMMY G. THOMPSON
For Release Feb. 12, 1999
Contact: Kevin Keane (608) 266-8110
GOVERNOR PROPOSES NEW SCHOOL-TO-WORK STRUCTURE
Board would unite all work-based learning programs under focused management
MADISON Gov. Tommy G. Thompson will propose in his biennial budget the creation of a new work-based learning board to bring greater focus to the states school-to-work and youth apprenticeship efforts and better prepare students for the workforce.
Gov. Thompson said the current school-to-work programs are spread among so many entities that it diminishes their effectiveness in helping students gain the skills to succeed after school. This new initiative will bring all these programs under one management team with the unified goal of matching students with schools and employers.
"We need to bring greater focus to the mission of school-to-work and apprenticeship programs, which is to link students with businesses so they can learn skills that will lead to a successful career," Gov. Thompson said. "This new board will bring together all the parties involved in work-based education and make sure were working together toward our common goal. We need to make these programs work more effectively for more students."
The Governors Work-Based Learning Board will be composed of nine members: the governor, superintendent of public instruction, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, director of the WTCS Board, secretary of the Department of Workforce Development, administrator of the Division of Workforce Excellence, a representative of organized labor, a representative of business and industry, and a public representative.
In addition, oversight of the work-based learning programs of the Department of Workforce Development (including the entire Division of Connecting Education and Work), the Department of Public Instruction, and the Wisconsin Technical College System would be moved to this board. The employees will physically remain with their respective agencies, however.
The board will actively recruit students and employers to participate in school-to-work programming as well as bring high schools, technical colleges and universities into the system. By consolidating efforts and bringing greater focus to these programs, Gov. Thompson hopes to get more students, schools and employers involved and produce greater results.
"The greatest challenge facing our economy is producing enough skilled workers for our expanding economy," Gov. Thompson said. "School-to-Work is the right program to marry the career goals of our students with the labor needs of our employers. We need to build these programs stronger."