In this uncertain job economy, Wisconsin Area Technical Colleges can be the answer.
A recent report by the Department of Workforce Development lists projections for the top 50 fastest growing occupations during the next six years. Marla Gamoran with the Madison Area Technical College , Director of Business and Industry Services, says it's scary to see the number of layoffs and plant closings. But, DWD's report shows there are many opportunities.
"Many, many of the opportunities that were highlighted (in the DWD report) are jobs that can be accessed by people who are either retraining or upgrading their skills. So, jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor's."
Examples of decent-paying jobs with good benefits are in the area of information technology, medical and dental assistants, respiratory and occupational therapists, preschool teachers and desktop publishers.
Gamoran says training for those jobs can be acquired at the technical colleges. She says if you're looking to do some retraining, go to your local job center or tech college and talk to a career development expert.
"There's a career profiling and interest tool that was developed at the UW-Madison called WIScareers that many, many organizations use. It gives a variety of different assessment approaches to help people uncover both their interests and their aptitudes and validate some of their skills."
Gamoran says job-seekers can retrain and use previous job experiences to make a transition to that "middle skill job." She says people with work experience and a good work ethic are valued by Wisconsin employers.
There are 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System.