All this week, we’re talking about what many have described as the “skills gap” that’s opened up in this country – the disconnect between employers who have job open, many in highly skilled manufacturing trades, and the millions of unemployed or underemployed people in this country.
The perceived skills gap has been everywhere, it seems. The State of Wisconsin set out to study it and find solutions for connecting unemployed workers with existing jobs.
The Urban Economic Development Association will convene its annual summit to discuss it next week. And newspapers and magazines have devoted hundreds of column inches to exploring why this supposed gap has opened up.
While Wisconsin continues shaking off the recession, thousands of workers still don’t have jobs. Yet businesses, particularly manufacturers, report having a difficult time filling certain positions. Several people actively addressing the problem defined it from their perspective.
Many people are looking for work, while at the same time some employers say they can’t find skilled applicants to fill jobs. We’re reporting on the “skills gap” this week in our series, Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted.
The disconnect between jobs and workers is a relatively new phenomenon in Milwaukee. During the city’s manufacturing heyday, from the late 1800s until the 1970s, there were thousands of jobs in the Menomonee Valley alone – and a steady stream of workers to fill them.
Throughout the fall of 1862, Wisconsin soldiers were making a name for themselves for their ferocious fighting in several major battles - most notably the Black Hats of the West gained their better known moninker The Iron Brigade after an epic battle at Sout Mountain 150 years ago last month.
Those of us who ride the bus on a regular basis take it for granted that the man – or woman – behind the wheel is going to get us where we’re going safely. But few of us give much thought to the driver and what he or she does, aside from stopping the bus, opening the doors, and accepting fares.
There’s been increasing talk lately about the “skills gap” – the phenomenon of employers unable to find skilled workers. WUWM examines the issue in the series Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted.
The stories will air all next week on Morning Edition, Lake Effect and All Things Considered. WUWM also will host a community forum at MATC on Tuesday Oct. 30. We’ll ask expert panelists and audience members to talk about the role government, educators and other groups have, in connecting workers and jobs.
Sunday’s mass shooting at a Brookfield salon has prompted some Wisconsin legislators to call for stricter gun laws. Police say Radcliffe Haughton shot and killed his estranged wife Zina Haughton and two of her co-workers at the Azana Salon, then turned the gun on himself. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, a national study released today supports several proposals suggested here.
We now continue our series on Wisconsin’s efforts to improve the health of children in foster care. Child welfare officials admit the existing system is not meeting many kids’ needs. As we reported Tuesday, the children’s health records are often incomplete and scattered among the many caregivers and doctors who’ve passed through the kids’ lives. To address the problem, the state plans to roll out a “medical home” program that would centralize each child’s care. Today, WUWM’s Erin Toner highlights another state initiative – a sharper focus on helping children heal from trauma and abuse.