MADISON, WI (AP) -

Gov. Scott Walker says he will spend much of the next year encouraging Wisconsin businesses to hire more people with disabilities.

Walker said a 2012 meeting with a worker at Tailored Label Products in Menominee Falls inspired him to take on the issue.

Advocates say Wisconsin lags the country in job placement rates for people with disabilities. Their employment rate is less than one-third that of workers without disabilities.

Walker says he will be talking about the issue all year. He also wants to spend $800,000 by mid-2015 to expand an on-the-job training program for people with disabilities.

Beth Swedeen is executive director of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. She says she hopes Walker's initiative will change employers' attitudes.