Governor Scott Walker says he remains focused on creating a quarter million new jobs in his first term. The governor defended the job pledge Wednesday in the Wausau area, comparing that goal to winning the Super Bowl.
While he admits it’s not going to happen all at once, he says “we’ve laid the foundation, laid the groundwork, for us to head in the right direction.”
Walker continued to promote his Wisconsin Working agenda as a way to boost job growth. The agenda includes efforts like doubling the number of job fairs this year and hiring more state worker to help those on jobless benefits look for work.
Walker also says reforms he put in place in his first year, such as limiting collective bargaining rights for public union employees, have provided employers with the certainty they need to add jobs. He says the state having its finances in order should convince business owners that it’s safe to take the risk and invest in Wisconsin.
Democrats argue the governor’s policies are not working, citing federal labor statistics that show Wisconsin has lost thousands of jobs since Walker’s budget took effect last summer.
Walker spoke as committees in the Assembly and Senate passed a bill that creates a voluntary occupational training program for residents on jobless benefits. The program, which is modeled after similar training programs in Georgia and New Hampshire, provides 20 to 24 hours a week of unpaid on-the-job training for up to six weeks.
AUDIO: Matt Lehman reports (:28)