Creating jobs has been our top priority here at the State Capitol. We’ve had an “Open for Business” Special Session and passed numerous pieces of legislation aimed at creating jobs.
Our hard work is paying off.
We are seeing positive statistics from the Department of Workforce Development and announcements from several businesses about expanding or moving to the state. While this is only a start to our economic recovery, it's one that we should be excited about: Wisconsin is truly "Open for Business."
According to the Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin added more than $10,000 private sector jobs in January and that's even before the official hiring season begins. The job numbers released just Wednesday show the state unemployment rate is currently at 7.4 percent. We still have some work to do but I am confident that we have laid the foundation that will bring even more new jobs to the state.
During the Special Session on jobs earlier this year, state lawmakers approved an incentive for businesses to move away from the heavily-taxed State of Illinois to Wisconsin. This week, an Illinois-based business did just that. Catalyst Exhibits Inc. announced its move to Pleasant Prairie Thursday and bringing with it 105 jobs. The company makes items for trade shows and plans to invest $2.5 million in the state.
Good economy news also came out of Rock County this week. Stoughton Trailers is reopening its Evansville plant and will create 478 new jobs and retain more than 600 jobs. Governor Walker announced a $750,000 community development loan Thursday that will help the company buy equipment. In turn, the business will invest $11 million to grow its operations.
These are just two examples of companies that realize Wisconsin is a great place to run your business. I expect to see many similar reports in the coming months. Of course, we need to continue to get the word out that Wisconsin is open for business so more companies can hire additional workers and help jump start our economy. That's where the new Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation comes in. The new public-private entity has the sole purpose of creating new jobs in the private sector.
For more information on Commerce programs and services for Wisconsin businesses, contact a Commerce area development manager at http://commerce.wi.gov/BD/BD-AreaDevManagers.html.
If you are looking for a job currently or are an employer and would like to post a job, one place to check out is the Job Center of Wisconsin. It currently has more than 26,500 openings, some of which may be in your area. The website is http://jobcenterofwisconsin.com.