Coalition Launches New Organization To Honor 2011 WC Centennial


Madison, WI (CompNewsNetwork) - Under the theme “Let's Make History Again!” a new organization has been launched to celebrate the centennial of U.S. state workers' compensation systems in 2011.

The Workers' Compensation Centennial Commission (WCCC) is a non-partisan entity being organized by a coalition of Wisconsin-based business, labor and government leaders.  Although the WCCC is being launched in Wisconsin, the site of the first constitutional workers' compensation law, the organizers are reaching out to other states to join in the celebration.

Today, the WCCC launched a national web site,, and announced the “Let's Make History Again!” campaign to urge U.S. postal authorities to announce a commemorative stamp honoring the centennial.  A similar PR campaign resulted in a 1961 White House event with President John F. Kennedy and Wisconsin Gov. Gaylord Nelson to honor the 50th anniversary of workers' compensation.  (Editors:  1961 JFK photo available upon request.)

“When nine states enacted new workers' compensation laws in 1911, it was a dramatic recognition of society's responsibility to the workforce,” said Greg Krohm, executive director of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions. “Today, workers' compensation stands as a pillar within the U.S. economic system that benefits all Americans.”

Jim Doyle and Tommy Thompson, two long-serving Wisconsin governors, were recently announced as the initial honorary commissioners of the WCCC.  Additional honorary commissioners will be named within the next few months to give the new organization a national profile, said Frances Huntley-Cooper, administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Worker's Compensation, and a member of the organizing committee.  In addition, a large WCCC Advisory Board is being assembled, with diverse representation across business, labor, government and academia to plan a series of 2011 events.

Historical background: The first constitutional state workers' compensation law was signed on May 3, 1911 in Wisconsin.  The first insurance policy to be issued under the new law took effect on September 1, 1911.  Eight other states passed similar workers' compensation laws by the end of 1911.  

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