I do think that this issue is framed incorrectly.
The budget proposal that Gov. Scott Walker introduces next month will signal whether Madison is prepared to tackle one of the thorniest obstacles confronting the state’s economy: reforming and funding training programs for job openings that currently go unfilled for lack of qualified applicants.
“We understand this will be a major issue for the Legislature and the governor,” said Bill McCoshen, a politically connected Madison consultant who also heads Competitive Wisconsin Inc., an economic development group.
The state’s skills mismatch - which leaves 35,000 jobs currently unfilled even at a time of chronic high unemployment - has become an economic stumbling block in Wisconsin, where factory and office managers blame their inability to expand on a lack of qualified job candidates.
The problem has lingered for years, sparking debate and policy papers but seldom triggering meaningful action.
It is not the government’s responsibility to train people for employers. That’s their job. What is the role of government, since we’ve made it so for well over a century, is to provide an education for citizens to enable them to be productive, active, enabled participants in society. Job training isn’t about providing employees for businesses or increasing jobs. It’s about enabling citizens.
Wisconsin hospitals reported a 55 percent increase in the number of advanced-practice nurses they employ, a 38 percent increase in certified registered nurse anesthetists and a 25 percent increase in physician assistants from 2009 to 2011, Madison-based WHA said Thursday in its Healthcare Workforce Report.
The Hospital Association attributed the increases to, on the one hand, hospitals facing increasing difficulty recruiting primary care physicians and, on the other hand, the positive impact on health care quality of advanced-practice professionals.
“The aging of Wisconsin’s population, combined with a growing primary care physician shortage, has created new opportunities for advanced practice health care professionals to apply their expertise in the hospital setting,” said Judy Warmuth, WHA vice president for work force development.