February 12, 2016

Coalition recommends ways to bridge skills gap

A coalition of business groups has a list of recommendations to ensure industries can find workers with the proper skills to do-the-job. Competitive Wisconsin’s study Be Bold 2 has eight recommendations including more alignment of partnerships between schools, businesses, and other groups working to address the skills gap.

Linda Salchenberger, a Marquette University associate provost who co-chaired the report, says this includes an emphasis on internships and training. She says there are noble efforts happening in some areas of Wisconsin but there should be a statewide effort.

The group says the state should spend $100 million annually on employee training, a significant increase over the current $15 million. The study also suggests developing a statewide database to help inform which skills are needed in particular industries, and recommends creating a talent council.

Governor Walker, in a statement, acknowledged the skills gap and says he looks forward to reviewing the report. Walker has integrated previous recommendations from Competitive Wisconsin such as revamping to the state’s commerce agency into a public/private partnership.

The report was done in partnership with ManpowerGroup.

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