Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted

Uncovering the Truth Behind Wisconsin's Skills Gap

Ask local employers about the biggest challenge they face, and quite a few will cite the “skills gap.” Businesses say not enough local workers are prepared to fill skilled positions, a problem that only will worsen as Baby Boomers retire. From workers’ perspective, some jobs are not attractive, because they present no career track.

WUWM explored the disconnect between employers and workers in the series Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted. WUWM News reporters and Lake Effect producers addressed the skills gap, including its impact on the community and what leaders are doing to tackle the problem.

Expert panelists and audience members weighed in at a community forum in October of 2012 at MATC's downtown campus. The event focused on what role government, educators and other groups have in connecting workers and jobs.

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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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