State jobs director: 'Good as it's ever been'

Print Article

Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News Beloit Public Library Director and Beloit Rotary President Nick Dimassis shakes the hand of Department of Workforce Development Executive Director Ray Allen. Allen spoke at a Rotary lunch on Tuesday about the growing state economy.

BELOIT - Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Executive Director Ray Allen said Wisconsinites are living in extraordinary times when it comes to employment opportunities. Allen spoke at a Rotary lunch on Tuesday about DWD's efforts to get more people in the state's workforce.

"The economy at this time is as good as it ever has been," Allen said. "Anybody that wants a job can have one."

In 2010, Allen said Wisconsin had a 9.3 percent unemployment rate. In 2018, it's 3.0 percent.

In Beloit, unemployment was 18.5 in January 2010, and it was down to 4.4 percent in August.

Allen highlighted some of the Department of Workforce Development's efforts to build the state's labor pool such as a plan to bring millennials to Wisconsin and to create internships. If people have an internship with a Wisconsin company, for example, their chances of staying in the state is estimated to be 70 percent.

The department is trying to get those outside of the workforce employed again. One way is by offering a grant for entities to invest in vans and other flexible transportation to allow people to get to work and training.

By providing more robust support for people with disabilities through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Allen said 6,000 people have been placed in jobs throughout the state.

The department continues to work with the K-12 educational system, expanding the number of individuals who get into apprenticeship programs in a variety of career fields including information technology, healthcare and financial services as well as the trades.

Allen said there are opportunities within the state for family-supporting jobs not requiring a college degree.

"Our efforts are focused on providing opportunity and exposure to young people so they can make informed decisions," he said.

The department has also partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Tourism to attract veterans who are transitioning out of military service back to the state.

At the end of his presentation, Allen encouraged people to be supportive of Foxconn Technology Group's project in Wisconsin as it would bring in $10 billion in capital investment in the state with about 13,000 jobs in addition to 8,000-10,000 jobs created from businesses locating in Wisconsin to support Foxconn.

"Our commitment is not a giveaway. The money invested in the state by Foxconn would be extraordinary," he said. "It will revitalize that area. No matter how you feel, I hope you give it the chance to grow. I believe it will turn around the southeastern part of the state."

It is estimated FoxConn will add $51 billion to Wisconsin's GDP over 15 years - $18 for every $1 spent by the state on incentives.

"It also will put the state on the map. It's the only plant of that high of technical nature in the United States. It will be a magnet for young people to come here to work and be trained here," he said.

Print Article

Read More News

Beloit narrows superintendent search to two

February 21, 2019 at 9:59 am | BELOIT - The School District of Beloit Board of Education has announced two candidates will be invited back to interview for the superintendent position. They are Dr. Stanley Munro of Dallas, Texas ...


Read More

Hononegah High names new principal

February 21, 2019 at 9:25 am | ROCKTON - Hononegah Community High School will have a new principal starting July 1. On Wednesday, the Hononegah Board of Education approved hiring associate principal Chad Dougherty to replace outg...


Read More

Volunteer Recognition Banquet is coming soon

February 21, 2019 at 9:26 am | BELOIT - To help celebrate special people who make Greater Beloit a better place, save this date: Monday, April 15. The 39th Annual Beloit Daily News Volunteer of the Month (VOM) banquet will take p...


Read More

Turtle FD Assistant Chief Soderberg retires

February 21, 2019 at 9:21 am | TOWN OF TURTLE - Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Soderberg retired on Feb. 10 after more than three decades of loyal service. He not only battled blazes, but worked on many other department im...


Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2019 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy