WI jobs agency’s revoloving door

Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) promised the people of Wisconsin 250,000 new jobs in 4 years as part of his 2010 campaign. So far, it’s been a tough slog. Job creation since Walker took office has been minimal and the WI Department of Revenue now projects the state will fall far short of this goal.

Most of the Midwest is experiencing job creation challenges, so Walker has plenty of company. But one of the quirks that makes Wisconsin unique is a department called the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The department is now on its third chief in ten months. One wonders how viable programs can get created and sustained when the boss’ office is fitted with a revolving door.

Manny Perez, Walker’s first DWD head resigned in May after less than five months on the job to return to the private sector. Perez had been a co-owner of a Milwaukee-based temp help firm and was a featured speaker at a 2009 seminar on keeping unions out of business. While he resigned allegedly to return to the private sector, there were unanswered questions surrounding his departure.

And now Perez’ replacement, Scott Baumbach, has abruptly left. In his resignation letter to Walker, dated October 24, Baumbach said, in part:

“Very soon, I will be starting this exciting new adventure which will allow me to connect jobseekers to jobs in ways above and beyond what I could do at DWD, and I look forward to sharing this new enterprise with you.”

If I understand this correctly, Baumbach is leaving the DWD to do precisely what he was hired to do as the DWD chief. One hopes his successor, Reggie Newson, will stick around long enough to have an impact.

This raises a lot of questions. Is connecting jobs with seekers far more lucrative in the private sector than the $120K Baumbach was being paid to do it for the state? Is the DWD too bureaucratic/ineffective/antiquated for anyone to turn it into a jobs creation engine? Is Walker selecting the wrong people to head the department? Is the economic situation in WI worse than the Department of Revenue’s already gloomy forecast?

If I were a Wisconsin resident, I’d be writing to Walker instead of posting to this blog.

38 Responses

  1. When the economy is depressed and demand is low it's pretty tough for industry to be enticed to create jobs. Walker joined the 2010 bandwagon of assertions of job creation without understanding how exactly he planned on doing that. Apparently, his appointees didn't really have a clue how to go about doing that either.Is the DWD a new creation or an agency that's been around awhile? It would be truly hysterical if it's a government entity newly created by Walker that's essentially failed.

    Like

  2. You close with the questions someone should ask the Governor, of course.Perry has a development slush fund in TX, but his friends and supporters make out like crazy from it.TX, and all states I am familiar with, have workforce commissions that actually seek to place the unemployed. TX's is effective enough that I would always recommend to any unemployed person to register there first, before seeking a private service. I assume most states have decent services. What do you know about yours?

    Like

  3. Interesting that Baumbach was an employment lawyer. That seems an odd background for a job creation czar.

    Like

  4. How is an agency called "Workforce development" supposed to be a job creation engine? Presumably it's suppose to prepare (retrain?) a potential employee for an industry, no? Like retraining an autoworker in Kenosha to, say, write computer software.

    Like

  5. And Perry says that he's going to create 10 times that many jobs if we elect him Pres.How, exactly??

    Like

  6. lms–did your daughter make it home before the snow hit Denver??And how did the audit go?

    Like

  7. The DWD isn't new. Don't know when it came into existence but it predates the Walker admin.@Troll, you're right. 'Jobs creation engine' may not be the appropriate phrase. But it is supposed to help businesses with incentives to hire more workers and help the unemployed find new work.As background for the post I was reading about the new legislation recently passed by the WI lege around the area of job creation. I didn't post any of it because, to my admittedly untrained eye, it looked like pretty small stuff. Might help to create 5,000-10,000 jobs over the next few years in a state that's lost 140,000 jobs since early 2008. Wisconsin has yet to come up with an answer to Michi's "how exactly?" question.

    Like

  8. Have any of you seen this viral email yet?May I present the “CONGRESSIONAL REFORM ACT of 2011”1. Term Limits: 12 years only, encompassing one of the possible options below.a. Two six-year Senate termsb. Six two-year House termsC. One six-year Senate term and three two-year House terms2. No Tenure / No Pension: Congressmen collect a salary while in office and receive no pay or benefits when they are out of office.3. Congressmen (past, present & future, including aides and staffers) participate in Social Security. This will be retroactive.All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system. Congress participates with the American people. If that doesn't work for you, FIX IT for everyone!4. Congressmen can purchase their own private retirement plans just as all Americans can.5. Congress will repeal its automatic pay raises and no longer vote themselves pay raises. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3% after a five-year moratorium on pay increases. Any future pay raises shall be voted on in a nationwide referendum, with 60% of votes cast needed for passage.6. Congress will eliminate its current health care system and participate in the same free market health care system as the American people do.7. Congress must be equally subject to all laws they impose on the American people. Congress must repeal current exemptions for itself as a body and for individual Congressmen, and enact no further exemptions in future laws.8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are null and void effective January 1, 2011. The American people did not make these contracts with the Senators and Congressmen. Our legislators made all of these contracts by and for themselves. This practice violates the principle of "government of the people, by the people, for the people."Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, not career legislators. Serve your term(s), then go home and back to work living under the laws you passed like everyone else.I guess the idea is to forward it and then send it off to your Rep and Senator. Congressional approval is now below 9%.

    Like

  9. Hi michiShe got in about 10:30 last night and made it back to Golden. Then up and in Denver again this morning. The drive home from the airport was the worst……..but she's getting used to inclement weather.The audit lasted about 10 minutes, all she did was look at two quarters of payroll records which is pretty easy since we only have one employee……..me. I pay a service to do this for us and make the deposits so we're always legit and on time. She said the audit was only because we canceled our worker's comp as we're not obligated to just insure me as I'm not covered anyway. I kept it open for awhile in case we decided to hire someone but it's been so slow there's no money for that and I saved $600 year just by closing it. Anyway, easy peasy. Looks like my husband's still stuck with me as neither one of us will be carted away in handcuffs yet.

    Like

  10. I saw that, lms, but I think it was in a blog post rather than an e-mail. Single digit approval. . . yikes!

    Like

  11. Looks like my husband's still stuck with meHe's a lucky man–a lesser woman would've posted the pictures of him grating onions and sitting in the bottom of the drained pool. . .;-)

    Like

  12. michi, don't you wonder who those 9% are?

    Like

  13. Oh gawd, the goggles………here I go laughing hysterically again. It's one of those images that just sticks.

    Like

  14. "Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) promised the people of Wisconsin 250,000 new jobs in 4 years as part of his 2010 campaign"He should have promised them magic wands, and that the unemployed would all be taken to Hogwarts to become wizards and witches!

    Like

  15. lmsinca- I get the point of that "Act", but wouldn't whoever wrote that have been better served to advocate simply voting against incumbants? We should run an over under on the percent of incumbants who win in 2012.

    Like

  16. I have to assume the 9% are the 1% and their family members. . . who else? I mean, that's only 1/3 of those who approved of GWB at his nadir!And a new pair of goggles, too! LOL!

    Like

  17. "And Perry says that he's going to create 10 times that many jobs if we elect him Pres.How, exactly??"Magic! Chris Angel style . . . Mindfreak!He'll press that "Jobs" button more than Obama does. That's how it works. Big, candy-red "Jobs" button, right smack in the middle of the presidential desk.

    Like

  18. Good idea ashot, on the bets. Don't you think it would be sort of funny though if we flooded Congressional offices with this, each one individually signed by a constituent. I kind of like it as a warning.michi, just reliving the sight of him standing over the grater with big white goggles on sends me into fits…….literally one of the funniest things he's ever done and he's a funny guy.

    Like

  19. Big, candy-red "Jobs" button, right smack in the middle of the presidential desk.Engage avatar change app, MsJS!Sometimes that's what it seems like, Kevin, although I liked the Hogwarts suggestion, myself!

    Like

  20. Kevin, I'd give up my job to someone else if it meant I could get into Hogwarts.

    Like

  21. "How is an agency called "Workforce development" supposed to be a job creation engine? Presumably it's suppose to prepare (retrain?) a potential employee for an industry, no? "I know how I'd do it–negotiate deals with New Horizons and other training and workforce education operations to provide classes to the unemployed, covered by the program at a reduced negotiated rate, where folks currently unemployed could go to take basic computer classes, Word, Excel and Office, more advanced web or programming stuff if they have the basics, certification if they are highly qualified but just out of job options in their specific field . . . at least, that's where I'd start.

    Like

  22. Realistically, the easiest way for a state government to "create jobs" is to increase their own payroll, or poach them from some other state either by offering tax breaks or a more benign regulatory environment.If I was Scott Walker, I would be taking the CEOs or Caterpillar, 3M, and every other multinational in Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois out for dinner.

    Like

  23. "Kevin, I'd give up my job to someone else if it meant I could get into Hogwarts."That's part of Scott Walker's brilliant strategy. Employ current workers as witches and wizards and aurors, after adequate training at Hogwarts. Then that will free up a ton of jobs for muggles and some dirty mudbloods who weren't quick enough to get into the program.He's got this all figured out!

    Like

  24. BTW, I think most politicians looking to gain an office where they will be held accountable for unemployment and the economy are always taking a gamble. They know they are limited in what they can really accomplish, but if the economy is good, they know there's a good chance it will stay pretty good, and that serves them. If the economy is bad when they take office, they know there is a good chance that economic factors beyond their control will boost the economy and have that redound to their favor. Presidents are happy if, 6 months into their administration, unemployment down and GDP is up, even if they cannot possibly take credit for it. It's just good news happening on their watch.Promising millions of jobs might be a little much, though. That's a lot of luck to be looking for, in a sector-shifting global market.

    Like

  25. A red JOBS button looks like the EASY button from Staples. That's why I went with neon green.

    Like

  26. new post up!

    Like

  27. Clickin' on the jobs button. Creating jobs here, people! Creating jobs!

    Like

  28. We should run an over under on the percent of incumbants who win in 2012. agreed. set the line at 90%.

    Like

  29. "Kevin, I'd give up my job to someone else if it meant I could get into Hogwarts."What house are you?

    Like

  30. With the redistricting, that'll be tough, NoVA.

    Like

  31. "What house are you?"I'm totally in Hufflepuff.

    Like

  32. Duh, Griffindor obviously.

    Like

  33. Sorry that's a y I think non an i. I should have looked it up first…….it's been a long time since I read the books and I still haven't seen the last movie. Dragging my husband to a theater is worse than making him go to the dentist.

    Like

  34. Griffindor!

    Like

  35. Boy, is that first sentence garbled, lms! You speaking parselmouth or something?? 🙂

    Like

  36. The Official Hogwarts Sorting Hat tells you which house you're in. . .

    Like

  37. Nope just on a freedom high. I thought I spelled Griffindor wrong, and was too lazy to look it up.

    Like

  38. Sorting hat puts me in Ravenclaw. I wanted Hufflepuff!

    Like

Leave a Reply to NoVAHockey Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: