Wisconsin agency wins Economic award

The American Legion annually honors companies and businesses that employ those who have served their country. Each year, the National Economic Awards are presented to employers who hire veterans, disabled veterans and older workers. Among those categories is one that recognizes those who help better the lives of disabled people: the National Award to Enhance Lives of Disabled Persons, which honors a company or agency for hiring the disabled.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has been named by the National Economic Commission as this year's recipient of the National Award to Enhance Lives of Disabled Persons. The Department - which provides training, employment and dislocated worker assistance - has hired over 60 veterans, 50 of whom are disabled. More disabled veterans are slated to be hired in 2010.

The Department of Workforce Development is committed to addressing the employment needs of veterans, especially disabled ones, and to be the lead state agency in the hiring of veterans. The Department, from its leadership to field managers, has an expectation of hiring disabled veterans. If a non-veteran is being hired, a summary has to be written and submitted, explaining the decision.

The Department leads Wisconsin in using the state's Veterans Noncompetitive Hiring Program. From March 2009 to December, 58 veterans were hired - 48 of whom are disabled. Additionally, the Department has created a brochure on using the Veterans Noncompetitive Hiring Program. It will be distributed to other state hiring agencies.

"From our efforts to hire Wisconsin's veterans to our excellent programs that help veterans succeed in the workplace, the Department of Workforce Development is committed to the success of those who have given so much to protect our freedom," Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman said. "On behalf of Governor Doyle, we are thankful to the American Legion for their ongoing support for our agency's commitment to veterans."