Walker cites manufacturing boost in Eau Claire stopGov. Scott Walker said Thursday he believes the state is on the right track for creating jobs.
By: By McLean Bennett, The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram , Superior Telegram
Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday he believes the state is on the right track for creating jobs.
Meanwhile, protesters unhappy with the governor's efforts to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights rallied outside Minnesota Wire's manufacturing plant on Eau Claire's northwest side.
Walker was in Eau Claire to tout his job-growth efforts. He said the state's private sector created more than 13,000 new jobs in January and February. About 8,200 of those jobs were in manufacturing, he said.
"That's a great sign," Walker said, noting manufacturing is one of three "core industries" he hopes will lead the state out of the recession, along with agriculture and tourism.
"The heart and blood of this state is still manufacturing," Walker said. "We do it better than any in the world. And the numbers we've seen for the first two months of this year show that we're on the right path."
Walker toured Minnesota Wire, which produces cables for medical, military and communications purposes, as part of a tour that also included a stop at a company in Wrightstown, located between Appleton and Green Bay.
Meanwhile, protesters lined the street outside carrying signs calling for a recall vote against Walker and criticized his attempt to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights.
The Republican-controlled state Legislature earlier this month approved a bill limiting public employees' ability to bargain with their employers for benefits. Walker, also a Republican, quickly signed the measure, but last week a judge ruled the state Senate violated the state open meetings law and blocked the measure from taking effect.
Lance Nelsen of Chippewa Falls handed out anti-Walker signs in front of the manufacturing building. Some of the protesters chanted, "This is what democracy looks like!"
"We want to make sure that Gov. Walker sees that the fervor hasn't died down and that wherever he goes across the state, he's going to have a group of workers who are expressing themselves and their opposition to what he's implemented," Nelsen said.
Walker in January signed legislation that exempts businesses from income and franchise taxes for two years if they move to Wisconsin. He also signed a law raising the amount of tax credits available to business.
In February, Walker signed a bill giving tax deductions to small businesses for each job they create.
"One of the things we've understood that the federal government I think has failed to understand is that the government doesn't create jobs. What we do is create an environment that's easier for folks to create jobs," Walker said.
Copyright (c) 2011, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis.
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