WEDC To Address Recouping Money From Businesses Caught Outsourcing

Wisconsin’s jobs agency will meet this summer to discuss efforts to recover money from businesses that have accepted state funds, despite outsourcing jobs. 

Mark Hogan, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. secretary and CEO, agreed to discuss the policies at the agency’s July board meeting, according to a letter sent to state Sen. Julie Lassa and Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca on Monday.  

Lassa and Barca, who both serve on WEDC’s board, requested the topic of discussion in a letter to Hogan earlier this week.

“I think we have to continue to remain vigilant, to make sure that taxpayer funds are being used appropriately to create as well as retain jobs in the state,” Lassa said Tuesday.

WEDC made headlines last week, after Madison’s WKOW-TV reported that W.W. Grainger, a Janesville company, outsourced jobs to Panama after collecting $50,000 in job creation tax credits.

Lassa says the meeting should help reassure the public that the agency is doing its job.

“It’s important for the citizens of the state to know that their tax money is being invested wisely in these companies and that the companies are upholding their end of the contract,” she said.

The agency, a centerpiece of Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs creation agenda, has been plagued by allegations of mismanagement and questions over its efficacy.