Gov. Walker signs worker training bill in Oak Creek

OAK CREEK -- Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that creates a pilot program to give unemployed people a chance to take part-time training jobs with employers that could lead to full-time work.

Participants in the one-year program will be trained for four to six weeks, while getting an additional $75 a week in unemployment benefits.

"Business, particularly small businesses, would tell us they had jobs, but they just didn't have enough skilled workers to fill them. (This bill) allows the connection with someone who's on unemployment, who's interested in a job that requires additional skills, to have the time and the ability to bridge that gap between unemployment and get that skills set and ultimately getting the job," Walker said.

Walker signed the bill Monday at a JX Peterbilt truck maintenance facility in Oak Creek.  Under the new law, employers, like JX Peterbilt, will allow those without jobs to essentially "test the waters" and grab a chance for full-time work. "With Wisconsin Wins, it helps mitigate that risk and will allow our company and many others across Wisconsin to hire those in need of employment," JX Peterbilt President Eric Jorgensen said.

The bill was drafted by State Rep. Mark Honadel (R) South Milwaukee, and was unanimously passed by both parties in the Legislature. "It was a very bipartisan bill.  Everybody in the Assembly voted for it and everybody in the Senate voted for it," Honadel said.  "The Wisconsin Wins program is very simple.  The best way to get a job is to do the job and that's what it does."

"This is a good example of what could happen if you really put a focus together.  These jobs aren't Republican or Democratic jobs, they're just good Wisconsin jobs," said Walker.

About 500 people are expected to join the program. The new law will go into effect on Sunday, March 18th. The legislation is based on similar programs in Georgia and New Hampshire.

"It's a good example of what could happen if you really put a focus together. These jobs aren't Republican or Democratic jobs. They're just good, Wisconsin jobs," Walker said.