Evers asks for, receives, resignation of DWD secretary

Metro Wire Staff

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday announced he has asked for and received the resignation from Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman.

Frostman’s resignation is effective immediately. Department of Corrections (DOC) Deputy Secretary Amy Pechacek will lead the transition until the new secretary is appointed, according to a news release from Evers’ office.

“People across our state are struggling to make ends meet, and it is unacceptable that Wisconsinites continue to wait for the support they need during these challenging times,” Evers said. “It is clear that our unemployment system has faced historic levels of claims these past few months, hindered in part by antiquated technology we inherited, and processes designed by Republicans to make it harder for folks to get these benefits.”

The DWD has faced unprecedented unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, far exceeding Great Recession levels, Evers said. Since the pandemic began, more than 130 DWD employees have been reassigned to the Unemployment Insurance Division.

In total, the DWD now has more than 1,500 individuals working on UI cases, a 250 percent increase from 600 individuals previously.

“We have continued to add additional state resources to support the DWD, but it is clear that we must have a change if we are going to address these problems to get folks their benefits faster,” Evers said. “I am confident Deputy Secretary Pechacek has the leadership and skillsets we need to begin to identify solutions to these issues and to get to work making sure folks across our state can get the resources they need. I appreciate Secretary Frostman’s service to our state and wish him well in his future endeavors.”