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Employers & Regional Experts Discuss Workforce Priorities

On April 12th, bold headlines and bright ideas took center stage in La Crosse with over 200 workforce experts, employers, and educators joining Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek, Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna K. Foy, and nine other cabinet agency leaders to focus on workforce priorities to set a course for Wisconsin's future.

The event was part of the Winning with Wisconsin's Workforce series, jointly coordinated with the local workforce development boards and their service providers, featured small group discussions on workforce development services and support; housing and neighborhood investment; talent attraction and retention; health care licensing; veterans initiatives; ag industry jobs; healthcare and the workforce; childcare; justice-involved workers; and broadband.

“In my 18 years of being in workforce development, I believe this was the first time so many cabinet leaders joined forces to meet with employers and workforce development practitioners to not only talk about the workforce obstacles but also to have open dialogue with ideas to address the labor shortage that is here to stay for years,” expressed Cindy Simons, President of Forward Careers.

Featured leaders at the event included:

  • Wisconsin Workforce Development Association Executive Committee Chairman Anthony Snyder;

  • Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez;

  • DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek;

  • Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna K. Foy;

  • Department of Administration Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld;

  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO and Secretary Missy Hughes;

  • Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dan Hereth;

  • Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski;

  • Department of Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr;

  • Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Chris McElgunn;

  • Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge;

  • Department of Children and Families Division of Early Care and Education Administrator Priya Bhatia; and

  • Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Commissioner Tyler Huebner.

The La Crosse event kicked off the second round of the Winning with Wisconsin's Workforce series. The first round of 10 events ran statewide from Feb. 14 to March 16 and provided an overview of resources, key labor market data and the importance of focusing on homegrown talent. Subsequent events will highlight efforts to promote workforce participation and build workforce capacity through technology and training. The events will continue with more opportunities for statewide participation during the third and fourth quarters of 2023.

For more images of the event, click here.

About Forward Careers

Forward Careers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with over 30 years of experience administering and providing employment and training services across Southeastern Wisconsin. Established in 1990, our mission is to develop a thriving workforce and strong economy by being the preferred source for career exploration, education, skills training, and employment connections to every person and business.


Forward Careers, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer & Service Provider. If you need this information in an alternate format or in your preferred language, please contact us at (262) 695-7800. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired, please contact us at or through Wisconsin Relay Service at 7-1-1. This project is 100% or partially funded by the Department of Labor Employment & Training Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act/Emergency Recovery Grant/Department of Corrections Windows to Work, US Department of Treasury; American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)/Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds: Worker Advancement Initiative, Department of Labor Pathway Home 2, Department of Children and Families - John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood, Women & Girls Fund of Waukesha County, & United Way of Washington County.

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