JANESVILLE-Southwest Wisconsin will lose a tireless advocate for workforce services when Bob Borremans
retires later this year.
Since 2003, Borremans has been executive director of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, one of 11 in Wisconsin established by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
The board is responsible the planning and oversight of the workforce system in Rock, Green, Lafayette, Grant, Iowa and Richland counties.
Its services are driven by the needs of local employers and workers and are available through the job centers such as the one in Janesville.
has always stepped up to the plate," said Rich Gruber, first vice chair of the board and a vice president at Mercy Health System in Janesville.
was front and center when Rock County took one of its most devastating hits in 2008 with the closing of the General Motors
plant in Janesville and the impacts of a national recession.
said the period was easily the biggest challenge he
The board was responsible for coordinating a plethora of agencies and groups trying to help displaced workers.
"I was very pleased that the workforce system was responsive and able to bring in resources in the amount of about $12 million to help people go back to school, retrain and look for and land different jobs," Borremans
"I always expected it to take more than a couple of years to resolve, and I'm quite pleased today with the state of recovery in Rock County."
said that while the economic situation in Rock County received the most attention, all six counties in his
region had their own problems and unemployment rates in excess of 8 percent.
Gruber said Borremans
has done a yeoman's job in workforce development, which is often complicated by stacks of rules, regulations and restrictions.
Before joining the board, Borremans worked at Blackhawk Technical College, where he ended a 23-year career as vice president of administrative student services.
Shaw said Borremans
and his staff juggled a variety of responsibilities.
said, did a great job coordinating them and communicating with the variety of agencies and companies involved.
"I'm proud of the services delivered, but I'm equally as proud of the recognitions we earned," Borremans