E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.
Closing the Skills Gap
As I’ve traveled the state and talked to job creators from all areas, I often hear a similar story: they tell me jobs are available, but they can’t find skilled workers to fill the positions.
This week I was proud to roll out, with the support of the leadership of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, a new degree model that will help close this skills gap and get more Wisconsinites back to work.
The new UW Flexible Degree Program will be a knowledge-based model that allows students to start classes anytime and earn credit for what they already know. Students will be able to demonstrate college-level competencies based on material they already learned in school, on the job, or on their own. By taking advantage of a high quality, flexible degree, students will be able to accelerate their careers, effectively lowering the cost of higher education.
As states across the country work to improve access and affordability to college, this new initiative will place Wisconsin at the forefront of a new frontier in higher education.
Because of the support of the UW System we expect to make this program available online to students as soon as fall of this year. I am encouraged that lawmakers of both political parties, from different regions of the state, reacted positively to the announcement of this new degree model. To learn more, click here.
Expanding Our Economy Worldwide
In the last week, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary, Ben Brancel, traveled to China and signed a Letter of Intent making our state the preferred supplier of dairy goods and services to the Shanghai Dairy Group.
DATCP hosted the Shanghai Dairy Group during World Dairy Expo 2011 in Madison and introduced the Group to University of Wisconsin-Madison officials. Building off of this relationship, Secretary Brancel was on hand during a signing ceremony last week where the Shanghai Dairy Group and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, signed a separate Letter of Intent that will lead to the establishment of a university sponsored dairy technology center in Shanghai.
Secretary Brancel also met with other Chinese government officials and investors to discuss additional initiatives, projects, and potential partnerships. China has been an important agricultural trade partner – in 2011, 41% of Wisconsin’s ginseng crop was sent to China.
Expanding exports to other countries like China will help farmers and other agricultural related employers continue to grow jobs in Wisconsin.
Just Ask the Governor
Each e-update I will answer a question submitted by a recipient of the previous e-update or from someone who contacts my office directly.
Question: There have been rumblings in the Chippewa Valley Area that your long term plan for state land (Public Hunting) areas would be to turn them over to private organizations for deer management. Furthermore, it was suggested that these management organizations would charge a fee to use these lands that the state already owns. Can you please address this and ease our minds once and for all?
Answer: As long as I am Governor, hunting on public land in Wisconsin will always be open and accessible. I will not allow private organizations to take over deer herd management – and I would certainly not allow fees to be levied that would decimate Wisconsin’s hunting heritage.
These rumors started because the independent deer trustee, Dr. Kroll, will be coming out with a final report on the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) deer herd management practices in the near future. Dr. Kroll dispelled this rumor directly – you can hear from him by clicking here.
I look forward to reviewing Dr. Kroll’s independent, science-based analysis of the DNR’s current deer herd management policies. I am optimistic that his recommendations could help improve current policies and ultimately help restore the trust of Wisconsin’s sportsmen and sportswomen.
It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker