As Wisconsin Ranks Dead Last in the Midwest in Job Growth, Scott Walker Continues to Underfund Technical Colleges, Job Training Programs

Jul 17, 2014

Despite minuscule investments that fail to replace the $70 million cut in Scott Walker’s first budget, Wisconsin’s vocational and technical colleges, which administer jobs training programs across the state, continue to get shortchanged by Scott Walker.

Now, as Wisconsin has fallen to 35th in the nation in job growth down from 11th the day Scott Walker took office, we’re seeing the results of Scott Walker’s poor choices and fiscal mismanagement.

In 2011, Scott Walker slashed funding for Wisconsin’s technical colleges to the bone; a 30 percent reduction in general state aid for technical colleges — $71.6M over the biennium – that left the tech college system funded at 1989 levels.

Two years later Scott Walker only put $5 million per year back into the technical college system, yet he allocated $10 million for a nationwide marketing campaign to promote his failed flagship jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Joint Finance Democrats offered a motion to transfer the marketing funds to tech colleges but it was defeated on a party-line vote. They also tried unsuccessfully to add $60 million to tech colleges to address the skills gap.

“Scott Walker thinks he can get credit for investing a penny where a couple years ago he cut a dollar,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “If Scott Walker was serious about creating jobs and growing our economy in a fiscally responsible way, he would understand that we need to invest in our vocational and technical colleges. Luckily Mary Burke’s plan to Invest for Success does just that – and as governor, she’ll make sure our technical colleges have the resources they need to train the workforce of the future.”