It will take baby steps for the state of Wisconsin to get the 250,000 new jobs Gov. Scott Walker promised on the campaign trail in 2010 and recommitted to over the weekend, he said Monday.
Walker made the statement while speaking to about 50 employees of Jensen Metal Products, when he stopped in Caledonia while campaigning for the June 5 recall election.
Walker announced Monday that Jensen Metal Products will expand its manufacturing operation, creating 39 new jobs, thanks to $2 million in tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation over the next several years.
The announcement came just a few hours after Walker was in Neenah to announce Plexus Corp., another manufacturing company, is planning to create up to 350 jobs thanks in large part to $15 million worth of enterprise zone tax credits through the WEDC.
“Those are nice (announcements) to have a few big ones, but in the end, the way to get the economy going is not to get one or two big announcements, but hundreds and hundreds of 10, 15, 20, 30 (new employee) announcements,” Walker said. “We’re committed to small business growing.
“If there are larger businesses that want to grow, we’re going to do cartwheels to get them, but it’s really about helping our existing, small businesses succeed. … We can be a better partner and better ally to small businesses and that will help us get to that 250,000 job growth.”
Over the weekend, Walker recommitted to his pledge to bring 250,000 jobs to the state by 2015. He told the small crowd of Jensen employees that since taking office, the state has gained 14,4000 new manufacturing jobs, including 6,500 since Jan. 1 of this year, a tally Walker said was the sixth-most in the nation.
“It’s announcements like this that are part of that trend,” Walker said. “It’s incredibly important to us. We’ve been working on announcements like this for the last year and half. If things work out three weeks from tomorrow, we hope we’ll be in a position to continue doing that instead of going backwards.
Walker remained cautiously optimistic about the state’s job growth despite admitting April’s job numbers, expected to be released later this week, will likely be neutral at best. He said many employers have put off hiring because of worries about the recall.