Wisconsin Economic Development Association Applauds  Assembly Passage of Critical Talent Attraction Bill

Thanks Rep. Nancy VanderMeer for authoring the legislation

Madison, WI – The Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) commends the state Assembly for approving legislation (AB 888) yesterday that helps address Wisconsin’s growing workforce shortage crisis by funding a comprehensive talent attraction program that focuses on military veterans and their families. The bill, authored by Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah), directs the state to use $10 million from the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the effort.

“The biggest challenge facing Wisconsin businesses today is the state’s labor shortage and their inability to find enough workers to fill open jobs. It has unfortunately reached a crisis point and is threatening Wisconsin’s future economic growth,” said Mary Perry, WEDA President and CEO. “We want to thank Rep. Nancy VanderMeer for her leadership on this bill, her commitment to strengthening the state’s talent attraction program, and her efforts to bring highly-trained, experienced military veterans to Wisconsin.”


The legislation directs the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) – the state’s economic development agency –  to market Wisconsin as a great place to live and work for U.S. service members and their families who are transitioning to civilian life. Almost 200,000 service members leave the military each year, and these new veterans often have the skills, training, and leadership qualities needed to help address Wisconsin’s talent gap and provide businesses with an expanded employee pool.

“I’m extremely pleased that my colleagues and I were able to get this bill passed today, as the state needs to play an active role in helping job producers throughout Wisconsin address critical workforce shortages, said Rep. Nancy VanderMeer. “Veterans leaving active service are highly-skilled, work-ready individuals that not only possess a variety of technical skills that employers desire, but also possess the soft skills required to effectively meet the needs of employers.”

WEDC’s past talent attraction efforts have shown to effectively promote Wisconsin as great place to move to for career opportunities and a better quality of life. Assembly Bill 888, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the governor, will provide a much-needed boost to the state’s talent attraction initiative  and help ensure it continues to be a highly valuable talent development tool.