Senator Jennifer Shilling to Receive the 2014 Government Leadership Award

Category: Press Releases

The 2014 Rehabilitation for Wisconsin/Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association Government Leadership Award will be presented to Senator Jennifer Shilling at the Rehabilitation and Transition Conference in Green Bay, Wis., May 1st, 2014.

“Empowering individuals with special needs to identify their unique abilities and maximize their potential continues to be a priority for me as a state senator,” said Sen. Shilling. “Strengthening job training and employment assistance services for people with disabilities is a smart investment for taxpayers, workers, and businesses. I am honored to receive this award, and I remain committed to helping our friends and neighbors with disabilities secure quality, long-term employment.”

Each year, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association solicit nominations for this prestigious award. Decisions about who will receive the award are made based on the nominee’s contributions to legislation, policies, and/or practices affecting people with disabilities. Past winners of the award include Representative Peter Barca, Representative Pat Strachota, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades, and Senator Kathleen Vineout.

“We nominated Senator Shilling for her ongoing commitment to advocating for individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin, and for her recent legislative success in strengthening job training through increased funding to the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation,” said Mary Kessens, Riverfront, Inc. President and CEO.

The legislation, co-authored by Senator Shilling and Representative Katrina Shankland, increases federal funding for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), which operates under the Department of Workforce Development. Access to employment services and counseling provided by the DVR allows people with disabilities to secure employment and increase self-sufficiency. The passage of this legislation, known as 2013 Wisconsin Act 58, will expand access to employment for individuals with disabilities by significantly reducing waiting lists at the DVR.

Senator Shilling joined the Wisconsin legislature in 2000, serving as a Representative from Wisconsin’s 95th Assembly District, which includes La Crosse County. In 2011 she was elected to the Wisconsin Senate in a special election, and was reelected in 2012.