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The Spirit of Industry – A column by Senator Moulton

A Column by Senator Terry Moulton, 23rd Senate District

September is a great month – there is excitement in the air as the long, lazy days of summer give way to the faint roar of school buses, the hustle and bustle of busy schedules and the rumble of combines in the fields.  Despite the flurry of activity, Wisconsinites get together with family and friends on Labor Day and soak in the last days of summer.

The people of Wisconsin have always had an industrious spirit.  From our days as a territory, we were miners, fishermen, beaver trappers and traders.  We were frontiersmen and women and while some of our ancestors were born here, some traveled across land and sea to call Wisconsin home.  Today, we are farmers and innovators, tech startups and teachers, day laborers and small business owners.  Despite that diversity, wherever I go, I always find that Wisconsinites share a deep love for our state and common desire to keep Wisconsin great and maintain a high quality of life for our kids and grandkids.

In that Wisconsin spirit of industry we declared our state “Open For Business” five years ago and have continued working to ensure that Wisconsin remains a great place to work and raise a family.  President George Washington wrote, “A people . . . who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see, and who will pursue their advantages, may achieve almost anything.”  This Labor Day, I want to share with you a few of the ways that together we have harnessed our spirit of industry and are moving Wisconsin forward to achieve great things.

Last month, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released Wisconsin’s July unemployment numbers.   The report showed that Wisconsin outpaced other states with our unemployment rate dropping to 4.6% compared to 5.3% nationally.  In addition, the most recent quarterly report shows Wisconsin added nearly 40,000 jobs in the past 12 months.  Industry Week reports that in the past year, Milwaukee has seen a 33.5% increase in manufacturing jobs, beating out 348 other metro areas and tying San Francisco for the nation’s top spot.

This week, Bloomberg Business included three Wisconsin cities (Kenosha, Madison and Milwaukee) in their report called “The Unlikely Cities That Will Power the U.S. Economy.”  These cities were recognized for having high rates of employment in science, technology, engineering and math fields.  Wisconsin is on the forefront of a boom in numerous tech fields from software to biotech and the UW System and our tech colleges are preparing bright Wisconsin minds to take on the challenges of these advanced industries. These new jobs and the industries that serve them mean growth for Wisconsin and more opportunity for Wisconsin families.

As you can see, when it comes to industry and hard work, we have a lot to celebrate in Wisconsin.  On Labor Day, I want to take a moment to recognize the men and women who mined, manufactured and milled our state into being and those who continue to work hard every day with the resilient, industrious spirit that has made Wisconsin great.  Thank you for all that you do and happy Labor Day!

As always, if you have questions or comments about any state-related issues, you can contact me at Sen.Moulton@legis.wisconsin.gov or (888) 437-9436.