May 11. 2011 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 1:19PM

Perez resigns as secretary of Workforce Development


Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Manuel "Manny" Perez announced today he has resigned from the post and will pursue new opportunities in the private sector.
Perez's resignation comes just five months after he was appointed to the post by Gov. Scott Walker.
"I'll be exploring business opportunities," Perez told BizTimes at the BizTech Conference & Expo today. "We achieved spectacular results at the Department of Workforce Development under the leadership of Gov. Walker. In particular, 24,000 positions have been created and filled in the state of Wisconsin."
Perez said he was able to achieve strategic alignment between economic development and workforce development initiatives and advanced the "financial transparency" at the DWD.
"Having achieved that in such a short amount of time, I realized that I still need the competition of the private sector," Perez said.
Perez said he will take some time off before formally re-entering the business world.
Perez is the former president and co-owner of JNA Staffing in Milwaukee.
Current Deputy Secretary Scott Baumbach will take over as interim Secretary.
"I appreciate Secretary Perez's willingness to serve Wisconsin," Walker said. "The Department of Workforce Development is vital to our mission of creating 250,000 jobs over the next four years. Already we have made important strides; in our first few months in office we have seen more than 24,000 private sector jobs created, including more than 11,000 manufacturing jobs. Recently, CEO magazine recognized Wisconsin as having the most improved business climate in the nation. We'll work diligently to make sure that DWD's leadership team continues to be able to help our economy grow."
"I want to thank Governor Walker for the opportunity to serve Wisconsin for the last four and a half months," Perez said. "We've made great strides in promoting our state's top-notch workforce and improving the Department of Workforce Development. As I move back to the private sector, I look forward to watching Wisconsin's economy continue to grow and create jobs."