Evers Fires DWD Secretary

I know everyone is focused on Washington right now, but let’s not let this get lost in the shuffle.

MADISON — Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman has resigned over persistent issues processing unemployment claims amid the pandemic.

Gov. Tony Evers said Friday that he asked for, and received, the resignation from 35-year-old Frostman, effective immediately.

Evers cites significant delays in processing unemployment claims amid the pandemic. DWD is in charge of that process.

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Between March 15 and Sept. 12, DWD reports 6,546,554 claims have been filed. Just under 11 percent – or 713,508 – of those claims are still being processed.

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Evers argues he has worked to provide DWD the resources to deal with the surge, including additional staffing. In additional 130 DWD employees have been reassigned to the Unemployment Insurance Division. The DWD now has more than 1,500 employees working on UI cases, a 250 percent spike from 600 workers before, according to the governor’s office.

It appears, though, that assistance failed to materialize into an improvement in processing claims under Frostman’s DWD.

Even though Evers took his customary cheap shots at Republicans in the announcement, he is acknowledging his responsibility for the failure. Good for him for acting. But shuffling the bureaucrats won’t be enough. Evers needs to hire a task master and empower him or her to act aggressively.