The challenges and efforts to bridge the employment gap among workers generally are at the lower end of the skills spectrum. But as we've heard during our series this week, employers are reporting the greatest degree of challenge in filling jobs requiring highly specialized skills. Jobs requiring engineering, chemistry, biology, or computer science skills often can't be filled with on-the-job or certificate level training.
As we heard in our last segment, the skills gap - as it affects workers in the Milwaukee area - is about both highly skilled workers and people with lesser skills. And while some employers are looking for workers with very specialized experience, nearly all employers say they need workers with so-called "soft skills" - a good and reliable work ethic, ability to learn and adapt to a job, and good communication skill. But even those skills are lacking in some workers. And so a local foundation - generally known more for its work in aging and childhood issues - has added support for workforce development in the inner city to its priorities.
All this week on Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted, we’re exploring the so-called skills gap and ways area business, governments, and workers are addressing it. Today on Lake Effect, we’re focusing on the workers themselves and will begin with a roundtable conversation with people at the HIRE Center, which is located inside Milwaukee Enterprise Center-South at 8th and National.