Help Wanted

Project Milwaukee
10:51 am
Thu November 1, 2012

What's Working, Missing in Efforts to Address Skills Gap

From left, 17-year-old Steven Sarwas, 17-year-old Richard Guetzke, 18-year-old Mark Anton. The high school students are preparing for high-skilled jobs through a program called Second Chance Partners.
Credit Erin Toner

As we’ve been reporting this week, Wisconsin employers say they have plenty of decent-paying jobs open, but cannot find qualified workers. And the skills gap or shortage is expected to grow, as experienced baby-boomers retire. WUWM’s Erin Toner has Thursday’s installment of our series, Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted. She observed programs successfully pumping skilled job applicants into the pipeline. Yet she learned, that what’s working – is also what’s missing.

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Project Milwaukee
10:47 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Workers Follow Different Paths to Build Skills For New Jobs

A worker operates a plastics molding machine at Pereles Bros. in Milwaukee. The company crafted its own training program for workers.

Businesses in the Milwaukee area say there are not enough skilled workers to fill available jobs.

We heard about that frustration Tuesday when WUWM’s LaToya Dennis spoke with local managers. Today, in our Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted series, we learn how people seeking jobs are striving to acquire the skills needed.

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Project Milwaukee
10:44 am
Wed October 31, 2012

The Girl Scouts Study Girls' Attitudes Toward the STEM Fields

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.

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Project Milwaukee
10:41 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Training Workers in "Soft Skills"

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.

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Project Milwaukee
10:39 am
Wed October 31, 2012

The HIRE Center Helps Workers Retrain

HIRE Center logo

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.

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Project Milwaukee
10:37 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Foundry Casts Manufacturing In a Different Light

A local foundry is providing scholarships to UWM engineering students to help change perceptions of the casting industry.
Credit Waukesha Foundry

As our Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted series on the skills gap has progressed, we’ve heard from analysts about the importance of developing alliances between industry and education. One such alliance is already in place between a local company and university.

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Project Milwaukee
10:33 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Report: "Skills Gap is More Limited Than Many Believe"

Significant or severe skills gaps were only reported in seven states, none in the industrial northeast or midwest.
Credit BCG data

Earlier on today's show, we heard Melanie Holmes, Vice President at Manpower Group, give details and analysis of that company's annual Talent Shortage Survey, in which almost half of the employers interviewed said they are experiencing difficulty in hiring for mission-critical positions.

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Project Milwaukee
10:29 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Manpower Measures the "Talent Shortage"

Skilled welders are among the professions most in demand, according to many business surveys.
Barnshaws, Flickr

All this week, we're examining the so-called "skills gap" - the apparent mismatch between employers with jobs to fill, and the pool of unemployed or underemployed workers that exists in southeastern Wisconsin - and around the country.

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Project Milwaukee
10:25 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Businesses Adapt to Lack of Qualified Workers

Chris Hoeppner works on a machine that bends metal at Waukesha Metal Products in Grafton.

Businesses in Wisconsin have been adapting to the fact they cannot always find the qualified employees they need. The skills gap has been affecting industries from manufacturing to health care. In today’s installment of our series Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted, WUWM’s LaToya Dennis visited several companies to learn about the impact the skills shortage is having on them.

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Project Milwaukee
10:18 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Skills Gap, or Training Gap?

Peter Cappelli is a professor of management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

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