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Walker promotes training and manufacturing in Rhinelander, assures no staff issues now

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR-Krall) -- Governor Scott Walker says the controversy surrounding his top aides while he was Milwaukee County Executive isn't applicable now because, “they aren't around anymore.”

Walker says the current administrative team is effective. He says they were, "a handful of people who no longer work with me, who are out of the way of state government right now. Instead, the people I have around me are helping us to provide the largest sector job growth we've had in April through December last year."

Democrats have been combing over thousands of emails from Walker's days in Milwaukee looking for a potential link between Walker and his workers, some of whom have been convicted of various crimes.

Walker says a recent Citizen Action report claiming Walker's job creation division, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, favored placing jobs in Republican districts over Democrat ones is false and biased. "Completely biased and partisan reports. What you find are similar reports from the Department of Commerce under (former Governor) Jim Doyle. Just because you have a significant number of business leaders more often than not happen to be Republicans vs. Democrats. We measure success not by party affiliation, we measure success by whether those employers are creating jobs."

Walker stopped at Northstar Steel Fabricating in Rhinelander Friday to highlight his manufacturing agenda. He says a 7.5 percent manufacturing tax credit will help companies to create more jobs. "Manufacturing has been a key driver, not just in our state's history, but really in our last year. We were second only to Michigan in terms of the most new manufacturing jobs in the country, we want to see companies like this grow here in Rhinelander and across the state of Wisconsin. Our manufacturing tax credit.”

The Governor recognized Northstar Steel for job creation, and their efforts to train workers in collaboration with Nicolet College. Founder Peter Denis and his son Mark started in 1981, and specialize in operator cabs for off-highway equipment, engine mounts, control panels, and custom fabrications. The company employs more than 40 workers in a six-building campus with over 200,000 square feet of production space.

Walker touted his Wisconsin Fast Forward program, which uses 35-million dollars to invest in technical training, high school dual enrollment, and helping people with disabilities enter the workforce. He’s also promoting the programs plus tax changes with his Blueprint For Prosperity program.

During the Rhinelander stop, Walker confirmed that he won't officially launch his reelection campaign until the spring. Former Jim Doyle staffer and Democrat Mary Burke is already campaigning against him.