|Thursday, October 12, 2000 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
DEPARTMENT NAMES DVR TASK FORCE
To incorporate LAB audit into recommendations for reform
MADISON Department of Workforce Development Secretary Jennifer Reinert today named the members of the DVR Strategic Reform Task Force and will make their first order of business a review of the Legislative Audit Bureau report.
"The department takes the suggestions of the Legislative Audit Bureau very seriously and will forward all of the recommendations to the task force. The task force is made up of a very diverse group, with varying backgrounds and interests. This is essential as we look at how to best serve people with disabilities at the same time as we maintain a balanced budget," said Reinert.
The members of the task force come from the public and private sector and all have a stake in the future of the DVR program. They include people with disabilities, advocates, business owners, educators, financial managers and DVR staff and management, among others.
A professional facilitator has also been hired to coordinate the strategic planning sessions. Robert E. Morris, Organizational Skills Associates, Inc., has extensive background assisting private and public organizations in the development of management perspectives.
"This task force will have a very rigorous schedule and agenda, that will ensure there are no lingering issues as we move forward with a very specific plan to make the Wisconsin DVR program the best in the nation," said Reinert.
The task force will be charged with examining the policies, procedures and finances related to the vocational rehabilitation program and will suggest reforms that will result in high quality services for people with disabilities and sound financial practices. They will also be incorporating the public views shared in listening sessions hosted by the department in Madison, Milwaukee and Wausau.
"While the DVR task force represents so many different viewpoints, we could not include everyone that we would have liked to. That is why we held the listening sessions, to make sure nobody was excluded from sharing their suggestions on the future of the DVR program," Reinert added.
In its response to the LAB audit, the department did take exception to a figure used to describe the potential DVR budget shortfall. The LAB referenced an $8.5 million figure, which is incorrect. The actual shortfall, which was averted by applying other departmental resources, totaled $1.1 million. That $1.1 million drew down $4.2 million in federal match and $3.2 in social security reimbursement funds, which are obtained by successfully getting people on social security employed, for a total of $7.5 million.
"Its important to make that distinction so people do not believe there was a larger financial shortfall than actually existed. Resources were reallocated to ensure clients received the services that they were eligible for," said Tom Smith, DWD budget director.
"I am confident that DVR management and staff will provide the expertise and knowledge that will help propel the program forward as we implement a blueprint for the future," said Reinert.
The DVR task force will meet in early November for a strategic planning session and will forward recommendations by the end of that month.
Members of the DVR task force include:
| ||Vickie Tomaszewski, Citizen member, Stoughton |
| ||Kathleen Walters, Citizen member, Palmyra |
| || Lynn Breedlove, Executive Director Wisconsin Coalition of Advocacy, Madison |
| ||Linda Vegoe, Chair Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council, Madison |
| ||David Stinson, Chair Governors Committee for People with Disabilities |
| ||Bruce Borden, EBTIDE, Inc., Middleton |
| ||Manuel Lugo, DVR Regional Manager, Madison |
| ||Troy Cobb, DVR Counselor, Racine |
| ||Shawn Zee, DVR Counselor, Marshfield |
| ||Matt Even, Financial Management Expert, Deloitte Consulting Group, Madison |
| ||Lou Brown, UW-Madison Professor, Dept. of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education |
| ||Tom Modahl, Former Director UW-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute |
| ||Joe Mielczarek, North Central Technical College Center for Students with Disabilities, Wausau |
| ||Diane Knutson, Job Service Director, Pewaukee, West Bend and Cedarburg Job Center |
| ||Susan Lipp, Owner Full Compass, Middleton |
| ||Jackie Philpott, Director Catalyst Home Care, Madison |
| ||Patrick Mommaerts, Director Job Seekers Bureau at DWD, Madison |
| ||Robert Stuva, Executive Director Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, Madison |
| ||Wayne Corey, Wisconsin Independent Business, Madison |
A few additional members are yet to be named.
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