[Madison, WI] – As Wisconsin’s workforce shortage persists, Tony Evers’ Department of Safety and Professional Services is failing to grant licenses to Wisconsin workers.
As one staffing agency notes, “most of our candidates started the application for licensure months ago, successfully passed exams and requirements but have not received their license or even been able to talk to anyone on the licensing board for an update” – resulting in a “licensure limbo” that is exacerbating the state labor shortage and causing employers to struggle to fill crucial positions.
It would appear that Evers never learned from his mismanagement of the Department of Workforce Development, which resulted in some Wisconsinites being caught in the unemployment claims backlog for over a year. Unfortunately, Evers still isn’t up to the job of leading state government.
Read more from Empower Wisconsin below:
Evers’ DSPS is an ‘ongoing failure’
July 26, 2022
MADISON — Dawn Crim may have been shown the door, but the state licensing agency she has led for the past 3 1/2 years remains a mess.
A state lawmaker who chairs the Senate’s Licensing Committee says Gov. Tony Evers has run out of excuses for his dysfunctional Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).
“It’s an ongoing failure,” said Sen. Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk). “He doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he brings in people that don’t know what they’re doing.”
State Sen. Dale Kooyenga’s office continues to receive regular complaints from professionals fed up with unacceptably long delays.
Last week, the Brookfield lawmaker was forwarded an urgent email from a national healthcare placement firm that connects traveling dental hygienists to dental practices and communities. The firm, Team Placement, like so many licensed providers, has hit a wall with DSPS. In the email, first sent to U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher’s office, Team Placement’s Amelie Cox notes about a dozen traveling hygienists stuck in licensure limbo. Three others have given up because of the insanely long wait.
“Most of our candidates started the application for licensure months ago, successfully passed exams and requirements but have not received their license or even been able to talk to anyone on the licensing board for an update,” Cox wrote.
It’s a common complaint from all manner of professionals — from accountants to welders. Many applicants have waited six months or more, some more than a year, as DSPS slowly sorts through a backlog of filed forms. Some professionals tell Empower Wisconsin they have faced losing job opportunities because of the delays, and employers have reported severe difficulties filling openings.
Sortwell said the agency’s problems begin and end with an “absentee” governor who has failed to lead.
Felzkowski agrees. The senator says her Insurance, Licensing and Forestry Committee plans to hold a hearing into the dysfunction at DSPS sometime in late September.
She’s most concerned about the lack of urgency from a governor who has allowed a significant percentage of state workers to continue to work remotely.
“All you have to do is go to downtown Madison and you’ll see these agencies are empty,” Felzkowski said. “Why aren’t these people in their offices? Why isn’t there mandatory overtime? How can people go home at 12:30 p.m.?”