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Gov. Evers announces appointments to Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence

By: Steve Schuster, [email protected]//November 1, 2023//

Gun Intelligence Center Chicago

Gun Intelligence Center Chicago

Gov. Evers announces appointments to Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence

By: Steve Schuster, [email protected]//November 1, 2023//

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As the Biden administration issued an executive order regulating safety, transparency and diversity of AI, Wisconsin officials are also tackling the issue.

Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced the appointment of 30 members to the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and held a public task force meeting Oct. 30, 2023.

Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the task force is bringing together private and public sector leaders to identify policies and investments that will continue to advance Wisconsin workers, employers, and job seekers through this technological transformation.

“AI is changing how we work and the needs of employers and workers, and we must continue to adapt in order to ensure our workforce, our economy, and our state are prepared for the 21st century,” said Evers.

“These task force members represent a range of fields that are a critical part of the important work we have to do to better understand and prepare for AI, and I am confident that with their insights and expertise we can work to identify the impacts of AI on various sectors and explore best practices that will help us plan for the future,” Evers added.

DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek said Wisconsin’s record-breaking economic performance—including a historically low unemployment rate, record high number of jobs, strong labor force participation rate, and record budget surplus—position the state well to harness dynamic AI opportunities.

“We are excited to convene the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence and identify strategic approaches to optimize the benefits of AI for our workforce and economy,” said DWD Secretary Pechacek.

“At DWD, we pioneered the use of AI to resolve a backlog of unemployment insurance claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to continue Wisconsin’s leadership with a workforce ready to capitalize on the opportunities of this fourth industrial revolution,” Pechacek added.

Other officials agreed.

“In Wisconsin, we are committed to building an economy that works for everyone,” said DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld.

“The task force provides a mechanism to gather expertise, insight, and public input to develop policies and programs that will advance opportunities for all,” Blumenfeld added.

“Already, Wisconsin industries and employers are deploying AI in fields ranging from manufacturing and health care to transportation, agriculture, and the sciences,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes.

“We view the task force as a means to further harness these technologies to strengthen workforce capacity and drive economic development,” Hughes added.

Appointees to the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence are:
• Amy Pechacek, Secretary, DWD;
• Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary, DOA;
• Missy Hughes, Secretary and CEO, WEDC;
• Dr. Jill Underly, State Superintendent, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction;
• Jay Rothman, President, UW System;
• Dr. Morna Foy, President, Wisconsin Technical College System;
• Troy Streckenbach, County Executive of Brown County;
• Trina Zanow, Chief IT Officer, DOA;
• Dr. Charles Lee Isbell Jr., Provost, UW-Madison;
• Greg Cisewski, Dean, School of Agricultural Sciences, Utilities & Transportation, Northcentral Technical College;
• Dr. Gholamreza Dehnavi, Department Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UW-Platteville;
• Dr. Kaushal Chari, Dean of Sheldon B. Lubar College of Business, UW-Milwaukee;
• Dr. Xuedong (David) Ding, Associate Dean for the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management, Director for School of Engineering, UW-Stout;
• Jeffrey Morin, President, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design;
• Stephanie Bloomingdale, President, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO;
• Jack Salzwedel, Board Chair, American Family Mutual Insurance Company;
• Jeff Yabuki, Chairman, Motive Partners;
• Nadiyah Johnson, CEO, Milky Way Tech Hub;
• Karl Reichenberger, Chief Intellectual Property and Information Technology Counsel, Johnson Controls;
• Mark Tyler, Chairman, OEM Fabricators Inc.;
• Ann Franz, Executive Director, NEW Manufacturing Alliance;
• Levi Felling, Chief Technology Officer, Elite EXTRA;
• Jeri Koester, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System;
• Israel Squires, Managing Partner, Midpoint Ventures;
• Chris Hein, Director of Customer Engineering, Google Public Sector;
• Dr. Keyanna Conner, Managing Director, Deloitte Consulting;
• Tim Fiocchi, Senior Director of Governmental Affairs, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation;
• Dave Mickelson, Member of Wisconsin Farmers Union;
• Brian Foster, Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Foster Trucking Inc.;
• Tyler Clark, U.S. Government Affairs Industry Director, Microsoft;
The first meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence is set for Mon., Oct. 30, 2023, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. with virtual and in-person meeting options. The in-person event will be held at the Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, 1 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53703. Register for attendance and choose attendance for one of three subcommittees via Eventbrite.

The three subcommittees are:
• Industries, Occupations, and Skills: This subcommittee will delve into the industries, occupations, and functional skillsets most likely to benefit or experience disruption from AI. Both employee and employer needs will be addressed.
• Equity and Economic Opportunity: This subcommittee will focus on advancing equity and economic opportunity as part of the AI transformation.
• Workforce Development and Educational Solutions: Based on the work of the previous two groups, this subcommittee will identify policy, educational, and budget solutions to prepare Wisconsin’s workforce, drive economic development, and sustain thriving communities.
Featured speakers at the October 30th meeting include: DWD Chief Economist Dennis Winters; Caroline Yap, Managing Director, Google Global AI Business; Emily Rose McRae, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner; and Tyler Clark, U.S. Government Affairs Industry Director, Microsoft.

Gov. Evers first announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence in August, and Executive Order #211, which established the task force is available here. Learn more about the task force, sign up for future notifications, and track ongoing work at DWD’s web page here.

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