Wisconsin Academy: Examines “What Jobs, What Works?” in a public conversation about jobs and the Wisconsin economy

Contact: Jason A. Smith, communications director

Madison—It was one of Scott Walker’s first acts as Governor in early January. Meeting in a special session, Wisconsin lawmakers were charged to come up with “a bold set of reforms aimed at helping businesses create jobs.” Not surprisingly, the new Governor laid down the gauntlet, calling for, among other things, an overhaul of the Commerce Department and small business tax cuts. The time frame to complete the plan was set for little more than a month; the target figure 250,000 new jobs by the end of 2015. With unemployment holding steady at 7%, what will it take to reach this target figure? What are the ways in which state government and the private sector can generate more work for Wisconsin?

In What Jobs, What Works? A Conversation on the Wisconsin Economy, with Don Nichols and John Torinus, the fourth free public forum in the Wisconsin Academy’s “Talk to Me” conversation series, two of Wisconsin’s best minds on jobs and the economy assess the current economic situation in Wisconsin. Nichols and Torinus will review recent plans and proposals, gauge prospects for job growth and development in the state, and answer questions from the audience. Introducing the speakers will be David J. Ward, Wisconsin Academy Council member and founder and president of NorthStar Economics.

Join the Wisconsin Academy for this special “Talk to Me” conversation series event on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, from 7:00–8:30 pm at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art lecture hall, 221 State Street. This event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:15 pm. For more information, visit wisconsinacademy.org/evenings.

Don Nichols is a UW-Madison professor emeritus of economics and public affairs. He served as director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs from 2002 to 2006. His research is in the areas of macroeconomic theory and policy and regional economic policy. He is an award-winning teacher who has played a prominent role in public affairs, both nationally and in Wisconsin. He served on the staffs of the Council of Economic Advisers to the U.S. President in 1963 and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in 1975 and 1976. Professor Nichols was deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor from 1977 to 1979 and economic advisor to the Governor of Wisconsin from 1983 to 1986. He served on former Governor Jim Doyle’s Economic Advisory Council and is on the board of Thompson Plumb Funds.

John Torinus Jr. has worked as a journalist, entrepreneur, and business manager since leaving the U.S Marine Corps, where he served as an artillery company commander. Torinus served twenty years as CEO of Serigraph Inc., a graphics parts manufacturer with ownership in ten plants in the U.S., Mexico, China, and India. He continues as active chairman at Serigraph Inc., and is currently chairman of BizStarts Milwaukee. Torinus is a co-founder of Successful Entrepreneur Investors, an angel investing group, and has served on several task forces to reform health care delivery. He writes a weekly column for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he served as a business editor, and his hometown paper, the Daily News in West Bend, where he served as editor and general manager for eleven years.

The Academy Evenings “Talk to Me” conversation series is sponsored by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, University of Wisconsin–Madison, M&I Bank, Isthmus Publishing Company, and the UW–Madison Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE).

Can’t attend in person? Click here <http://www.uwex.edu/ics/stream/session.cfm?eid=26442&sid=41183> to watch this Academy Evenings presentation via live online video stream. Please tune in at 6:55 pm to ensure you view the entire program. Streaming video made possible with support from the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE).

About Academy Evenings

Academy Evenings engage the public in a wide variety of topics of public interest and feature Wisconsin’s leading thinkers, scholars, and artists. These free forums are intended to encourage public interaction with these leaders in an intimate atmosphere designed to foster discussion and build community. The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters sponsors Academy Evenings regularly in Overture Center for the Arts in Madison and at other venues across the state. For more information on Academy Evenings in your area, visit wisconsinacademy.org .