At the Racine and Kenosha offices of Congressman Paul Ryan, things were a little louder and busier than usual on Aug 24.

Wisconsin Jobs Now is an coalition of local groups, faith organizations and neighborhood associations that want to bring jobs to Wisconsin. With megaphones and signs, group members gathered outside Ryan’s Racine office today.

“I have seen what good people and persistence can do,” said Diana Valencia, a member of the group. “The sudden drastic cuts have been such a blow to us. We need living wage jobs for citizens and we need training and education so we have people to fill those positions.”

Valencia is the Recruitment Coordinator for the GED/HSED Program with the City of Racine’s Park and Recreation Department, which helps adults earn their diplomas in order to make them more employable. The state has gutted funding for this program and also reduced Valencia’s work hours to 32 per week.

“These aren’t just 18 to 20 year olds who partied and didn’t graduate. These are 40-year-olds who find themselves having to search for employment in a different trade after 20 years of working at the same job,” Valencia stated.

When staff at Ryan’s office was asked for a statement, they handed out a press release, but Conor Sweeney, a spokesperson for Congressman Ryan, did agree to a short phone interview.

Read the rest of the story HERE

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