Project Milwaukee

The HIRE Center Helps Workers Retrain

Oct 31, 2012

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.

Foundry Casts Manufacturing In a Different Light

Oct 30, 2012
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Our Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted series this week is exploring the realities and myths of the "skills gap," the apparent mismatch between unemployed workers and existing jobs.

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.

Historic Photo Collection / Milwaukee Public Library

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.

Series Preview

Oct 26, 2012

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.

Members of a studio audience posed question to our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval panel about what happened in 2011 and where we might go from here, Friday morning at the Pabst Theater.

We conclude our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval live panel discussion with a look at what the future of Wisconsin should be.

We continue our live panel discussion of the legacy of the past year in Wisconsin politics, live from Cudahy's Irish Pub at the Pabst Theater.

All this week, as part of our Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval series, we’ve been trying to digest the events of the past year – from the budget repair bill to controversial legislation, to the ongoing recall efforts. Today, live from Cudahy's Irish Pub at the Pabst Theater, we speak with a panel of guests – including lawmakers and people affected by this turbulent 2011 in politics. We ask what the past year has meant and what their vision of the Wisconsin of the future might be.

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