Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce: Businesses need action on workforce in State Budget

WMC Calls on Gov. Evers to Address Workforce Shortage in State Journal Column
MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President & CEO Kurt Bauer called on Gov. Tony Evers to address the state’s workforce shortage in a column published by the Wisconsin State Journal. See below for excerpts from the column or click here to read to editorial in full.
The labor shortage is the biggest challenge facing Wisconsin businesses and, thus, the Wisconsin economy. As a result, state business leaders hope Gov. Tony Evers will include tangible measures to address the problem when he unveils his state budget Thursday.
As a state with births below the rate of replacement for the last 20-plus years, we need to retain as many born-and-raised Wisconsinites as possible. The best way to do that is to make sure young people are exposed to the diverse and rewarding professions the Wisconsin economy has to offer so they can make informed career choices.
The governor’s budget should expand funding for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and, to the extent possible, encourage internships and job shadowing for K-12 students.
Apprenticeships are an invaluable way to help young Wisconsinites get career ready, and they should be widely available both in high school and after graduation. Our state should increase investments in apprenticeships to help students understand why a four-year degree is not the only way to find a worthwhile and meaningful career.
WMC strongly encourages Gov. Evers to expand funding for the state’s marketing campaign, intended to lure workers from neighboring states to take advantage of Wisconsin’s thriving economy and quality of life. After all, the best solution for an acute shortage of working-age people is to attract more working-age people.
This column first appeared in the Feb. 28 edition of the Wisconsin State Journal ahead of Gov. Evers’ first Budget Address on Thursday night.
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