Wisconsin's Skills Gap
Recent studies have highlighted a skills gap in Wisconsin. The most-recent study conducted by Competitive Wisconsin, Inc., in conjunction with ManpowerGroup, found that “Wisconsin does not have enough skilled workers to meet existing employer needs while at the same time is working hard to assist citizens whose skills do not meet current market needs and are seeking employment. The data indicates that, unless we act now, over the next decade, Wisconsin will be confronting major shortages in skill clusters essential to staffing the state’s major industries.”
According to a July 2012 Capital Times article, those industry clusters include manufacturing (computer numerical controlled machine operators and welders, in particular); health care (nurses, medical technicians and personal care aides); and information technology (networking and software engineers).
Western has seen increased demand for its graduates, particularly in manufacturing and healthcare. The chart below shows the number of jobs available in western Wisconsin on TechConnect, the electronic employment information system used by all Wisconsin Technical Colleges for employers to post job opportunities for students and graduates. While not all employers post their jobs through TechConnect (e.g. area hospitals typically post on their own websites), the numbers show an increased demand in several critical areas along with the number of Western graduates. By implementing Vision 2020, we hope to serve more students and get them into the workforce faster, helping to alleviate the skilled worker shortage.
|Air Conditioning, Heating, & Regfrigeration Technology||76||17||4||4|
|Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician||124||20||19||17|
|Electronic Systems Installation & Maintenance||89||23||20||21|
|Medical Laboratory Technician||19||10||9||15|
|Nursing - Associate Degree||102||80||96||74|
|Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, & Heating Service Technician||90||13||16||12|