Parisi is adding $60,000 in his budget for a full-time career specialist at Centro Hispano to expand the organization’s “Caminos Progreso” training program into more county departments. Two graduates of “Caminos Progreso” are among those working full time now in our 911 Center. Having a dedicated career specialist at Centro who focuses on recruitment for county openings will accelerate Dane County’s ability to diversify its workforce, creating opportunity for more in the community.
Parisi is also funding a new language access coordinator position in the Department of Human Services to ensure all of the work the agency does across this community is looked at through a culturally sensitive lens. This will enhance communication and connectivity to available services.
Parisi’s 2023 budget creates a new Dane County Caregiver Leave program. Many in the workforce find themselves as primary caregivers for aging parents, running to appointments and other obligations to help meet basic needs. This new Caregiver Leave will give employees caring for loved ones 80 hours of paid leave, allowing them to focus on family without worrying about their economic security.
In response to inflation, Parisi’s budget provides an inflationary adjustment for the Dane County workforce, sized near the most recent data available on the federal consumer price index. This 9% increase is substantial. It is also consistent with what has been seen by countless employers across many sectors to remain competitive with employee recruitment and retention efforts.
This budget includes a brand new policy that sets Dane County’s reserve fund balance to be no lower than 10% of the county’s operating budget. Dane County has come a long way in the decade since it had a negative fund balance. It’s important to protect the investment Dane County government has made in sound budgeting, to protect the budgets of tomorrow from the continued uncertain world.
The budget also funds a series of new positions at the Dane County Alliant Energy Center (AEC). The event and trade industry continues to undergo a recalibration after the Covid-19 pandemic. While a number of event venues have seen a return in business, the future of this industry remains an unknown. Adding these new positions is a substantial investment but gives the Alliant Energy Center the best possible chance at building back from the fallout of Covid.
Parisi is including $15.6 million for the county’s share of road improvement projects. The most sizeable individual project is for the reconstruction and widening of Highway M in the Town of Westport.