Walker wows ‘em at the chamber

ELKHART LAKE – Gov. Scott Walker brought his message of economic and job growth in the state during his time in office to a receptive audience Tuesday.

The Republican, who is in his second term in office, was the keynote speaker at the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting held

The Osthoff Resort.

He praised the job-creating efforts of the 300-plus chamber members and guests in attendance and played up the role of his administration and the Legislature in enabling that.

“What we’ve tried to do is get out of the way, to empower you to do what you do,” Walker told an appreciative audience. “We’re proud to be part of helping to make that possible.”

The governor cited statistics showing that unemployment in the state down from 9.2 percent in 2010 to 4.4 to 4.6 percent today and noted that in Sheboygan County the figure is even lower, below the national average.

Walker quoted a Wall Street Journal study that showed only 10 of the 50 states had an annual unemployment rate in 2015 that was lower than


“We were one of that 10,” Walker said. “That might be a surprise because I didn’t see that in any of the Wisconsin media.”

He also pointed to labor-force participation rates, in which Wisconsin ranks sixth among the 50 states, with a 67 percent workforce involvement.

“That’s great news, but you wouldn’t often hear that in our media, because only if it’s bad news would it be on the front page,” Walker stated.

“There’s more people actually working in our state than at almost any time in our history,” he continued.

Walker attributed those figures to the pro-business policies of his administration and the Republican controlled Legislature.

“One part where government can do best is to get out of the way,” Walker summarized.

He noted that average property and income taxes have both declined during his five years in office.

“That’s real money, money in the hands of business owners, money in the hands of consumers, money in the hands of families,” Walker said.

The governor called for more emphasis on technical schools and career training, pointing to his administration’s efforts in those areas.

“We’ve put hundreds of millions of dollars into training and especially technical schools,” Walker explained. “We need to put the money where it’s needed. We need to make more investment in high-demand areas.

“We need to encourage more students to follow careers and career paths that require apprenticeships and technical schools. You can help us by sharing this message to high school students and parents of high school students,” he told his audience.

Review story and photos byEmmitt B. Feldner Review story and photos byEmmitt B. Feldner He encouraged the business people to support employment in three particular areas – returning veterans, the disabled and those on public assistance.

Walker pointed to state initiatives to get people off welfare and into job training and search programs.

“The people in Madison said you’re making it harder to get assistance and we said, no, we’re making it easier to get a job,” Walker stated.

“It’s not about kicking people off the taxpayer’s rolls (but) empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destiny, to have the dignity of a job.

“You help people live their part of the American dream,” he concluded before leaving to a standing ovation.

– Gov. Scott Walker – Gov. Scott Walker

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