Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
Let’s begin with some important announcements.
Year-over-year manufacturing job growth ranked 5th in the country.
Business formation is up 5.6% so far in 2014 compared to same period in 2013.
Following Governor Scott Walker's initiative to target Waste, Fraud, and Abuse, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) has released totals showing during the four tax seasons in his first term, DOR stopped $134 million in refunds related to fraud and adjustments, compared to $60 million for the four prior tax seasons, an increase of 122% or an additional $74 million.
“Targeting waste, fraud, and abuse in state government is a key priority, because it is our job to spend the taxpayers hard-earned dollars wisely,” Governor Walker said. “This is a great example of how extra effort adds up, and allows us to continue to invest in worker training, and growing our economy."
The Governor is encouraging citizens who use propane to heat their homes to fill their fuel tanks early this season. In addition, State energy officials are reaching out to 25,000 households across Wisconsin that participate in the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) to help fill their propane tanks before cold weather sets in.
“While many people may not want to think about winter heating during the warm summer months, customers are generally able to purchase more propane at a lower price in August and September when supply is less in demand,” Governor Walker said. “Weather, grain drying, and several other factors put a strain on supply across the Midwest last winter and some of those same factors could be in play again this heating season. We encourage our citizens to take action now to be better prepared for the upcoming heating season and save money in the process.”
The Department of Administration’s WHEAP program will begin processing applications now (instead of starting on October 1 when the program officially begins) for the 11 percent of WHEAP households that use propane.
In addition to ensuring propane gets into customer tanks sooner, this will allow the State to potentially purchase approximately 15 percent more propane, resulting in as much as $1 million in savings that could be used to help additional residents in need. Currently, the average propane retail price is $1.69 per gallon compared to an average of $3.04 per gallon that customers paid at the end of February 2014.
Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch wrote a column about Wisconsin increasing its global exports.
Governor Walker toured a family-owned plastics manufacturer in Oshkosh, Lakeside Plastics. The Appleton Post-Crescent reported:
Lakeside Vice President Mike Cuttill said company executives had reached out to Walker for some time about visiting the plant in order to show him how they’ve benefited from his tenure as governor. Walker was elected in 2010 and was the first governor in the nation’s history to survive a recall election in 2012.
“It’s an opportunity to let the governor know what’s working for us and the challenges that lie ahead,” Cuttill said. “We’ve seen a good increase in our (sales) numbers, but sometimes we struggle with employee retention.”
This year alone, Lakeside managers said they’ve been able to add 38 new employees and continue to invest in new equipment and machinery.
“The governor’s policies have been extremely helpful for us,” Lakeside President Jeff Seibold said. “They’ve been instrumental in allowing us to invest in new equipment and jobs.”
In Eau Claire, Governor Walker delivered remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Energy Education Center at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). The Energy Education Center is an expansion and remodel of the current Transportation Education Center at CVTC’s West Campus in Eau Claire.
“The new Energy Education Center will provide yet another way for Wisconsin’s economy to grow and thrive, while equipping our workforce with the skills, training and programs they need in order to work in today’s ever-changing energy industry,” said Governor Walker. “This center will be a great resource for local communities and will facilitate exciting new opportunities and partnerships for businesses in the area.”
In Green Bay, Governor Walker delivered remarks at the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Annual Meeting at the Neville Public Museum. Wisconsin is home to 29 commercial ports and throughout the year, these ports handle more than 30 million tons of cargo, generating 10,000 jobs and more than $2.4 billion in economic activity.
“Wisconsin is a premier location with great infrastructure for business, including commercially-navigable waterways on three sides of the state: Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and the Mississippi River,” Governor Walker said. “Our ports play a pivotal role in the transportation of goods throughout the state and nation. This annual meeting is an opportunity for experts and professionals to come together, exchange ideas, and develop strategies that continue to build and support our thriving ports, which are critical to growing our economy.”
In Madison, the Governor congratulated eight Project SEARCH graduates on completing internship rotations at UW Hospital and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. Project SEARCH is a one-year transition program for young adults with disabilities, who are in their last year of high school. It offers the interns the opportunity to learn transferable, marketable job skills, which helps them secure employment after high school. Governor Walker supported the expansion of Project SEARCH under his year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.
“I want to congratulate the students graduating today, who are using their unique skill-sets to find success within the business environment,” said Governor Walker. “Programs like Project SEARCH, and employers like UW Hospital and Veterans Hospital provide crucial opportunities to our youth with disabilities and help them find a pathway to employment and independence. I look forward to many more graduation ceremonies as we continue to expand this program.”
And finally, in Merrill, Governor Walker paid a visit to Drew’s Piggly Wiggly as a part of his year of A Better Bottom Line initiative and a part of Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign, organized by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.
Governor Walker worked side-by-side with Lee Garner, a Drew’s Piggly Wiggly employee, during his shift.
“Drew’s Piggly Wiggly recognizes that individuals of all abilities are an asset in the workplace environment,” Governor Walker said. “I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to be here with Lee and work with him today bagging groceries and stocking shelves. I was able to witness first-hand the positive impact that hiring employees with disabilities has on the employee and community as a whole. In providing the training and resources necessary, individuals with disabilities are able to work in their communities at a competitive wage, gaining confidence as well as marketable skills."
The year of A Better Bottom Line initiative is aimed at overcoming obstacles to employment for people with disabilities.
Read more here.
Again, thank you, Governor, for all you do. We'll have more next Saturday.
Have a great Wisconsin week!