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Petryk column: New committee assignments for 2019

Warren Petryk

For my third consecutive term, it is once again my great privilege to serve as Chair of the Assembly Workforce Development Committee. As chair, I look forward to helping address Wisconsin's workforce needs, such as increasing the number of people in the workforce and doing what we can to strengthen our career pipelines for people in the state. In addition, I also was appointed to eight other committees that will allow me to strongly advocate for the needs of the people of the 93rd Assembly District.

As Vice-Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long-Term care committee, I hope to build upon the progress we made last session in addressing the needs of our aging population. 2017 Assembly Bill 432 which I authored and successfully passed in the Assembly with strong bi-partisan support, will bring CNA training requirements in line with federal standards and those of our surrounding states. By doing this, we can help address the critical nursing shortage faced by nursing homes and other facilities throughout the state. I am excited to re-introduce the bill during this session.

Another committee I look forward to serving upon is the new Assembly Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment. As a member of the Governor's Council on Workforce Investment, I know that we need to continue to find ways to get employers to see people with disabilities as a rich resource in addressing their workforce needs. Programs like Project SEARCH help young adults with disabilities connect with an employer to learn on-site training while finishing their last year of high school. Local western Wisconsin employers such as Mayo Clinic, Walmart and River Falls Area Hospital are all participating in this program. Also, initiatives like the Employment First Act which passed last session will be instrumental in helping people with disabilities achieve their goals and I am confident we will continue to successfully work on these challenges this session.

We also know that substance abuse is a growing and malicious problem in Wisconsin. The legislature passed a number of bills over the past several terms called the H.O.P.E. Agenda (Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education) to meaningfully address this growing epidemic. But we must continue our work and engage with every stakeholder to get people back on the right track. That is why this year, there will be a standing committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention, on which I look forward to serving.

My other Assembly committee assignments include Colleges and Universities, Energy and Utilities, Financial Institutions, Insurance, and Veterans and Military Affairs. I look forward working on these committees as well as on the Assembly floor to represent my constituents to the best of my ability. Thank you so much for your continuing support and input into my work on your behalf!