July 14, 2008

Bizarro World: Vos, McReynolds oppose governor's spending cuts

Here's some news that slipped past us Friday. County Exec Bill McReynolds and State Rep. Robin Vos, both known for wanting to cut government spending opposed a Doyle Administration plan to do just that (is this bizarro world?). The reason? It was going on in their own back yard.

The state wanted to cut three jobs from the Workforce Development Center and a fourth at the Western Racine County Service Center. Vos and McReynolds had good reason for opposing the cuts. Racine has the highest unemployment rate in the state. Why would you cut its services designed to help people find jobs?

Here's the full release that came out Friday:


Sec. Gassman announces DWD will rethink strategy for job centers statewide

Racine…State Rep. Robin Vos (R-Caledonia) and Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds praised a decision announced by Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary, Roberta Gassman, to halt her plans to reduce service at the Racine County Workforce Development Center, and others throughout Wisconsin, as part of a statewide consolidation plan. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Gassman made the statement in an interview on Wednesday.

The decision comes after talks in past weeks between Vos, McReynolds, Gassman and other community stakeholders who have made clear their desire that the direction of the Secretary’s emphasis be altered. At a meeting last week, Vos and McReynolds urged her to reconsider the consolidation. The plan also endured considerable criticism at a Senate Labor, Elections, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday.

“While I am always a proponent of consolidation when it will assure greater efficiencies,” said Vos. “I cannot condone reducing service at Racine’s Workforce Development Center when the city of Racine has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Doing so in these tough economic times will do a huge disservice to all the citizens of Racine County.”

Secretary Gassman’s plan would have consolidated 38 state job centers into 12 and would have required the 113 current staff members to travel between sites, leaving certain sites periodically un-staffed. Racine’s Workforce Development Center would have lost three staff to the job center in Kenosha, in addition to a staff reduction at the Western Racine County Service Center in Burlington.

McReynolds noted: “Racine County has a premier workforce development center, and the DWD staff are important members of that team. Losing them would have been a real disservice to Racine County’s workforce, especially its many veterans.” He added: “We owe a debt of gratitude to Representative Vos, who made last week’s meeting with Secretary Gassman possible. It gave us the chance to tell her Racine County’s story.”

Racine County’s model delivery system has been praised around the globe as an example of providing services in a seamless transition so displaced workers are able to get back to work quickly.

1 comment:

  1. Duh!!!

    Its an election year and Vos has an opponent.

    Unemployed job seekers still can vote!