Office of the Governor Scott Walker
Office of the Governor, Scott Walker - Press Release

Developing Our Workforce: Governor Scott Walker Tours Career and Technical Education Program at Kaukauna High School

Monday, February 17, 2014 - Press Release

Kaukauna – Governor Scott Walker, State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson, and President of the Wisconsin Technical College System Morna Foy, visited Kaukauna High School to tour the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program today.

“It is never too soon to help our young people begin to build their foundation for a successful, prosperous life,” Governor Walker said.  “CTE programs open the door for great opportunity, allowing students to get ahead and graduate with real-world experience.  When programs, like the this one in Kaukauna, focus on the skills needed to secure the high-demand jobs available today, it offers a great benefit to both the future employee and employers looking to grow their business.”

The Kaukauna school district offers CTE programs in business and marketing, technology and engineering, and family and consumer sciences.  Governor Walker met students working to build robots using Bluetooth technologies as well as students who have partnered with international companies on product development of electric vehicles.

“A year or two in technical school, even short-term training, can open doors to rewarding careers, jobs with good pay and benefits, and family-supporting jobs,” Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson said.  “With this being Career and Technical Education Month, all of us need to get that message out, especially to young people, by text, twitter, or better yet, a face-to-face talk.  Take manufacturing, for example.  It's far from what it was years ago.  Today, it's high tech, it's the future.”

The high school counseling staff utilizes the Wisconsin Comprehensive school counseling model to assist students with individual career plans.  They host annual job fairs and work with Fox Valley Technical College on dual enrollment courses.  Currently, 17 students in the district are enrolled in Youth Apprenticeship programs.

Earlier this week, DWD announced its intent to award the first round of demand-driven worker training grants under Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Fast Forward initiative.  The approved applications total $2.6 Million for 32 innovative projects and will fund employer-specified training in high-demand fields including manufacturing, customer service, and construction.  Grant recipients must commit to wage increases and/or new hires.

The Department also announced a second round of training grants available in areas including: health care, information technology, transportation and distribution, financial services, manufacturing and construction.  To learn how to apply for grants or for more information, visit

Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity includes a $35 million increase to the Wisconsin Fast Forward program to focus on three new areas:

  • Invest in technical colleges to eliminate waiting lists for high demand fields including manufacturing, agriculture, and Information Technology;
  • Help high school students get training in high demand jobs through dual enrollment programs between our high schools and technical colleges;
  • Support the Year of A Better Bottom Line initiative, which helps people with disabilities enter the workforce.