MADISON, WI -- Senator Rob Stafsholt (R - New Richmond) has authored legislation, SB 580 and SB 581, that attempts to significantly grow manufacturing and CDL education opportunities and programs for our high schools and tech colleges. The Senator testified in support of his bills last week in committee in the Senate, after they easily passed through the State Assembly by a wide margin of bipartisan votes earlier this fall.
“Many of our students here locally and around the state are interested in learning the skills of manufacturing and truck-driving but our schools lack the instructors and resources to get our students on their career paths. The bills I’ve authored put instructors in the class room to teach these skills and gives our schools additional resources to offer these programs. Jobs in the manufacturing and truck-driving industry can be high paying and are in demand. At a time when the price of college is at an all-time high, students are looking for alternative career paths, and our schools are eager to train them in these fields. These bills address a workforce issue right here in our rural area, as well as all around our state,” said Senator Stafsholt.
SB 580 and SB 581 specifically accomplish the following:
- Provides $5,000 signing bonuses for qualified instructors at tech college to teach courses on manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and CDL training.
- Makes $16 million available to Wisconsin’s Tech Colleges to purchase or upgrade manufacturing equipment to train students in these fields.
- Doubles the maximum amount of grant money High Schools can apply for with the Technical Education Equipment Grant Program.
- Allows High Schools to upgrade their already existing technical education facilities with this grant money.
- Requires the Department of Workforce Development to prioritize rural school districts when awarding these grants.
Senator Stafsholt also testified last week, alongside Chief Craig Yehlik from New Richmond and Chief Dan Orr from Hammond, in support of his bill SB 573, which doubles the payments issued to our law enforcement agencies after officers receive their annual recertification training.
He added, “Our local officers are in need of updated training to match the growing demands for safe communities. This bill significantly helps this by ensuring Wisconsin has the best trained and most qualified law enforcement officers as they work day-in and day-out to keep our communities safe.”