Since March, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has struggled under the weight of a record amount of unemployment claims. The Department’s antiquated technology buckled under the sudden influx of claims, and the system rapidly backed up.
Six months into the quagmire, Governor Tony Evers fired the Department’s Secretary — Caleb Frostman. In his place, the Governor appointed Amy Pechacek as the ailing department’s acting head.
Between September and December, Pechacek cleared the state’s unemployment backlog by instituting sweeping, short-term reforms at the DWD. She was so successful that, last month, Evers announced she would become the Department’s new Secretary.
Last week, WORT Producer Jonah Chester spoke with Secretary-Designee Pechacek about the struggles the Department has faced since March, and the forthcoming challenges on the horizon.
(PHOTO: Brian Standing / WORT News)