February 12, 2016

Expert: Friendly business climate not enough for growth

The UW Board of Regents listens to experts about the linking economic prosperity and higher education. Anthony Carnevale, a Georgetown University researcher and professor, said by 2018, over six-of-every-10 Wisconsin jobs will need at least a year of technical college training. In a national report on job prospects, Carnevale said Wisconsin will create 139,000 jobs by 2018 that need some type of post-secondary education while only 52,000 more jobs can go to high school grads or drop-outs.

Rebekah Kowalski with Manpower Group addresses the skills gap phenomenon. She said businesses, including multi-national corporations, are looking to close their Wisconsin operations because they can’t find skilled workers. “We just can’t get the pipeline full of enough talent,” Kowalski said, attributing what she hears from employers. Meanwhile, Manpower has been reporting for more than a year Wisconsin has 30,000 job openings.

She said a place with the lowest cost only goes so far to attract investment. Companies in other countries and other states want to set up in locations that have a long-term view for the workforce.

Kowalski laid out some principles from the Competitive Wisconsin’s Be Bold 2 report which Manpower helped author. It lays out ways to establish a pipeline from K-12 to further education to companies.

AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (1:15)

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