Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is joining the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin as its jobs ambassador, a role promoting careers in the construction trades.
Kleefisch served as Lieutenant Governor for eight years under former Gov. Scott Walker until he was defeated by current Gov. Tony Evers in 2016. Much of her time in that post was spent on workforce and economic development. In her new role at the ABC of Wisconsin, a trade group representing mostly non-union contractors, she’ll work to further trade careers as the Wisconsin construction industry grapples with a shortage of skilled workers.
“ABC of Wisconsin is doing tremendous work connecting people to family sustaining careers, growing our economy and educating more Wisconsinites about these opportunities,” Kleefisch said. “I see this as a way to continue my work as Wisconsin’s ‘jobs ambassador’ helping to grow our workforce and economy at the same time we grow paychecks.”
Immediately before joining ABC, Kleefisch had been working as executive director of the Women’s Sufferage Centennial Commission, a Washington-based group formed to mark the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, on June 10, 1919.
After leaving state government, Kleefisch had worked at the Women’s Sufferage Centennial Commission for about 10 months, joining the organization in January and departing in September. At the ABC of Wisconsin, Kleefisch will return to devoting much of her time to workforce and economic development.
Kleefish joins the ABC during national Apprenticeship Week, which runs through Friday. The ABC of Wisconsin, which represents 887 contractors, operates its own apprenticeship program, which has it working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and 11 colleges to train nearly 1,600 apprentices in 12 skilled trades. This fall, 450 more apprentices joined the program.
“As Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch was a very strong advocate for promoting careers in the skilled trades,” said John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin. “We are extremely pleased and fortunate that she will be continuing these efforts for ABC members and the entire construction industry.”