WI Governor Promises Year of A Better Bottom Line Initiative Promoting Skills For Youth And People With Disabilities


Green Bay, WI (WorkersCompensation.com) - The WI Governor's Council on Financial Literacy and the Department of Financial Intuitions (DFI) co-sponsored the 4th Annual Wisconsin Summit of Financial Literacy held today at Lambeau Field. The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) teamed up to highlight the Wisconsin PROMISE program, an example for Governor Walker's Better Bottom Line initiative, highlighting the partnership between the two agencies to improve the education and career outcomes, as well as encourage financial independence for low income children with disabilities and their families receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Wisconsin was awarded a $32.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in September 2013 for an initiative called Wisconsin PROMISE. The program assist youth and their families meet their school and work goals in order to better their income and financial stability, reducing poverty. Wisconsin PROMISE will enroll 2,000 youth (between the ages of 14-16) receiving SSI and their families during the program through June 2016.
"The Department of Financial Institutions is pleased to co-sponsor the Wisconsin Summit of Financial Literacy and we encourage participants to meet with Wisconsin PROMISE representatives who will be on site to provide more information about this program," DFI Secretary Peter Bildsten said. "As this is the Year of A Better Bottom Line as proclaimed by Governor Walker, we support efforts to help persons with disabilities achieve greater independence in part by helping them develop personal financial knowledge."
The summit is geared towards assisting teachers, community outreach educators, and workplace professionals who have a pulse on enhancing financial and economic literacy within their communities. Representatives with the Wisconsin PROMISE program were on hand at today's summit to discuss the importance of "Make Your Money Talk", a four session personal finance program covering economic and financial education geared towards participants that are eligible for Wisconsin PROMISE. Training is provided by the Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC).
"Wisconsin PROMISE offers the children with disabilities of this state and their families the opportunity for each student to have a postsecondary plan preparing them for life after high school," stated DWD Secretary Reggie Newson. "As a partnering agency, we are working in collaboration to coordinate our services to create an avenue in which youth are prepared to enter the workforce. These young students are the future talent for employers, and we encourage all of the employers in Wisconsin to become aware of this initiative and hire people with disabilities to assist in achieving a better bottom line."
Wisconsin is one of six PROMISE grant awardees. Others include California, New York, Maryland, Arkansas, and a consortium of states including Utah, Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.
With his State of the State address in January, Governor Walker proclaimed 2014 The Year of A Better Bottom Line and plans to spend the year highlighting successful operations thanks in part to the contributions of people with disabilities, while urging other employers to consider an often overlooked skilled and capable workforce.
DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) actively serves almost 17,000 individuals with disabilities, and in fiscal year 2014, it helped 4,415 consumers achieve their employment goals. These newly employed individuals are projected to earn $78.3 million annually, more than double the taxpayer investment in their services.

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