Wisconsin’s largest business lobby works to solve the problem of too few skilled laborers in the state. At a Madison conference Thursday, WMC Foundation President Jim Morgan said manufacturing is no longer held in high esteem, although these trades are in need of workers.
He praised Wisconsin’s K-12 system but said schools need to talk about skilled labor jobs, and expose children early on, to the trades.
Morgan also said companies are telling him about job candidates who don’t want to work full time, for fear of losing their social benefits like unemployment insurance, BadgerCare or food aid. He said this has grown into a large market of “handymen” who draw unemployment while working under-the-table.
A number of business owners, educators and chambers of commerce representatives attended the gathering. Walker administration officials, DWD Secretary Reggie Newson and WEDC Secretary Paul Jadin, also spoke at the event.
AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (:60)