Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker admitted he was preaching to the choir today during a morning breakfast event with Fox Cities business leaders at Miron Construction in the Town of Menasha.
Walker garnered multiple standing ovations and cheers during his speech where he said Wisconsin was making progress to live up to his campaign slogan of making Wisconsin open for business.
“I’m the son of a pastor and my dad said he would always preach to the choir to get them to sing. That’s what I’m doing here. You are the people who other people look to and respect so if you’re excited about where we’re headed in Wisconsin, tell other people,” he said during the event organized by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Since taking office in January, Walker pointed to several steps forward the state has made to change the perception that Wisconsin wasn’t a good place for businesses. “Chief Executive Magazine does an annual survey of CEOs about the best places to do business in the U.S. Last year, Wisconsin was No. 41, this year we are No. 24,” Walker said. “That’s up 17 spots in the year so not only are people in Wisconsin listening to what we’re doing, people in other states are too. They know Wisconsin is now a place that is welcoming to businesses.”
And while Wisconsin garnered plenty of national attention earlier this year with the stand-off between union supporters regarding changes to the collective bargaining rules, Walker said “the courage demonstrated by our state to stand up and make changes that are good for the future shows business leaders we are a good place to invest in.”
When he ran for governor last fall, Walker pledged to create 250,000 new jobs in the private sector during his term. “We’re already off to a great start. In the first four months of my term, 25,000 new, private sector jobs were created in Wisconsin,” he said. “That shows we are making progress and that we’re open for business.”
Walker is excited about the new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which replaces the Department of Commerce, and will spearhead public-private partnerships across the state to spur more economic development.
“We have seen the success chambers and organizations like the New North have had in these partnerships and we want to do the same at a state level,” he said.