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.
The true market response for the unfilled jobs would be that the pay should rise to the point that people go and get trained.
Note, by the way, that Sullivan has left the commission. He was the loudest proponent of “gummint-paid training” (b/c Bucyrus doesn’t like spending money on people)—so it’s fair to speculate that “gummint-paid training” ain’t going to be the recommendation.
I thought MATC trained for jobs like this. Based on property tax bills in Ozaukee County, the MATC levy was the only one that went up. And it went up a lot. All for those $100 to $200k a year welding instructors and $250k a year administrators crawling all over that place. That school needs to be starved and the funds redirected into the type of training referenced in the article.
The other part relates to the wages being offered. I don’t know enough about the specifics of the market for these jobs, but would assume the pay would be at least equivalent to what they are paying in the sunbelt states. But the sunbelt states have sun, growth, new developments, 8 lane highways, less regulation and lower taxes. Part of the solution is making Wisconsin more attractive for people to migrate to rather than having the manufacturers migrate from Wisconsin.
And if the employers need to offer higher wages, then we have to lower their taxes and regulations so they are more competitive if located here versus the sunbelt.
The sunbelt states also have low wages, ungodly heat, high humidity, ginourmous electric bills, and generally less-educated/work-motivated individuals. Lots of companies have moved south for the low wages. Seldom reported is how many that have moved back/closed due to low-quality workers and high electric rates. Comes to mind without researching: Briggs (in part), AMF, Siemens, West Bend Co. The company my Father worked for moved to Arkansas for the low wages. By the time they accounted for the lower productivity, poorer quality and huge electric bills, it was a net loss. BTW, the company had a union (although weak) in a right to work state - Arkansas.
Walker already did the best thing possible for “jobs training”. It’s called Act 10. Now the high schools need to take those savings and retool their “industrial education” departments and get kids ready for the workforce. Over the past 20 years, most of these departments have been gutted or pushed to the side for the “college bound” kids. No thoughts towards a trades-based, skilled workforce. I’ve sold into industry for about 10 years. Same story all the time. Collect 20 applications. 10 can’t pass a drug test, 8 can’t do basic industrial math, 2 get hired. 1 or both quit because they didn’t realize the plant is noisy, dirty, hot, cold, the guy next to me makes fun of me, and every other wimpy excuse out there. They haven’t been taught that these can be good entry-level jobs to start their adult lives and that with some hard work, they can move up or take that knowledge and start their own business. Got to start at the high school level, locally.
I thought the Gov was about creating jobs? If we do not have the properly educated people for the jobs we have, wouldn’t it be job creatoin for the sate to provide job training?