The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wisconsin’s state-run jobs-center (DWD) lists 86,000 unfilled jobs. This does not fare well for either Secretary Reggie Newson or Georgia Maxwell, the newly appointed Deputy at DWD, and it sure does not help Governor Scott Walker sell his lies as he waltzes around the country telling the nation how he single-handedly saved our state from being ruined.
But there are some questions that should be asked. Is it true that DWD has 86,000 jobs listed? And if this number is true, why hasn’t Reggie Newson or Georgia Maxwell exerted the right leadership and rallied Wisconsin workforce development organizations to fill these jobs with qualified people in the last three years? Even if the reported number is not accurate and there are let’s say 60,000 jobs — Why hasn’t DWD filled those positions?
And let’s say that the number is not accurate, which would be something Walker’s people would most likely say, then why is it not accurate? Why hasn’t Director Reggie Newson and Deputy Georgia Maxwell implemented the appropriate systems so as to have reporting done properly? Let’s roll back to a few weeks ago when it was reported that the Walker team wasted $1 million dollars to produce workforce data, but all was shut down because the system was not producing the kind of data the Walker team wanted, yet Georgia Maxwell justified the waste of money despite having no final results.
It’s no wonder why Wisconsin’s job creation record has fallen from 20th in 2010 to 38th under Walker’s leadership.
First, Wisconsin has a corrupt governor who is now mimicking the role of an absentee landlord. Second, CEO appointments at WEDC supported incompetence and corruption and the new CEO at WEDC, Mr. Hogan, is actually the former head of the failed M&I bank credit risk department. Really! The new CEO of WEDC is the same guy who put M&I bank under a boulder because he had approved risky loans.
Wow! With a couple of notable exceptions, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has been run by incompetent individuals. Reggie Newson operates as if he has no labor experience coming from transportation. New deputy Georgia Maxwell came from financial institutions; she has no operational experience in labor, and her only credential is being a close friend of Tonnete Walker. Scott Baumback, it’s been whispered by sources at DWD, had no knowledge of operations and workforce development and was apparently involved in an inappropriate relationship with his administrator that was opposed by former Secretary of DWD Manny Perez in 2011.
The reality is that, under Walker’s leadership, Wisconsin’s economic performance is dismal, job creation has been poor, and corruption has been welcomed at WEDC. He has tried to hide corruption by hijacking the open records law with Robin Voss, Scott Fitzgerald and Rebecca Kleefisch, who as Lt. Governor, still remains silent about the ethical violations at WEDC.
Truth be told, the dysfunction of WEDC and DWD is a tragedy for Wisconsin. It’s a tragedy because the Walker team failed to ensure WEDC and DWD were coordinating to make sure jobs were being created and workers were being trained to fill those jobs.
But instead of doing that, WEDC turned into a cash cow for corporate CEOs who donated the right amount of money to Walker’s campaign in exchange for WEDC nectar.