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Walker Slams Door on Young Workers, Ends Apprentice Jobs

Rust never sleeps and apparently neither does Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) when it comes to attacking middle-class jobs. This week, he made another sneak attack.

Matt Hrodey at Milwaukee Magazine’s NewsBuzz site reports Walker quietly issued an executive order this month suspending rules that require contractors on state projects to employ workers under the state apprenticeship program.

Walker’s executive order, his 18th, was not distributed as a press release, unlike the prior 17, each of which can still be read on the “Media Center” section of the governor’s website.

Under the apprenticeship program contractors provide on-the-job training in a skilled trade to apprentices and also pay them wages as they attend classes at a technical college or other institution. It is overseen by the state Department of Workforce Development, and carried out at the local level by the state’s 94 local trade committees, boards staffed by local employer and employee representatives.

Like apprenticeship programs around the country, Wisconsin’s is a pathway to good, skilled middle-class jobs for young workers. State Rep. Barbara Toles (D) says suspending the rules will:

negatively impact people’s ability to gain access to apprenticeships, especially minorities and women.

Click here for the full story.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin workers are keeping up the heat on Walker and mobilizing support for the recalls of eight state senators who helped push Walker’s attack on worker through the state Senate. This week, more than two dozen actions have taken place or are scheduled across the state, including a rally in Milwaukee today near an event where Walker is scheduled to appear with County executive candidate Jeff Stone.

The Washington Post’s Rachel Weiner reports that recall backers say they have more than 50 percent of the number of petitions they need to recall the eight, although they are not over the 50 percent threshold in every district. Click here for her full story.

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