In Gov. Scott Walker’s State of the State address Wednesday night, he referenced two employees at a sports bar and grill in Holmen because of their outstanding work.
Walker is calling 2014, the year of the "Better Bottom Line," which is a yearlong initiative that will focus on employment opportunities and training for people with disabilities.
Walker honored two workers, Joe and Brady, and their general manager, James Steinbrink, from Features Sports Bar and Grill, in Holmen, Wednesday night for being at the forefront of his new initiative.
Steinbrink said Joe and Brady have special needs.
“I first met them through a transition coordinator from the Holmen High School. They started doing dishes and kind of job shadowing. After seeing their full potential, we decided to hire them on as permanent employees here,” said Steinbrink.
Now they are part of the family. Joe has worked at the restaurant for six years, and Brady has been there for three years.
“Everyone that walks in says, 'Hey Joe, hey Brady.' Some tables tip them because they see how hard they work,” said Steinbrink. “It is so rewarding, and I could almost tear up thinking about the progress they have made from day one.”
This year, Gov. Walker wants to encourage other businesses to do the same.
“The key is giving employers the reassurance that this is not about charity, this is about identifying abilities that people have and plugging them into the right setting and the right circumstances,” said Walker. “All in all, we understand for an economic recovery to be real, we cannot leave anyone behind.”
The CEO and president of Riverfront, an organization that provides employment resources for people with disabilities, Mary Kessens said, “We haven't seen the plan yet, but we think it's wonderful that Gov. Walker understands there's untapped potential for businesses in employing people with disabilities."
Walker wants to increase the funding for Wisconsin's Fast Forward Program by $35 million.