The following is a gentle rewrite of an excellent article by Chris Rickert about a WMC survey suggesting more government action is needed to provide skilled workers for their businesses. It's how I read it.
If more than four years of total Republican control of state government isn’t providing the companies that belong to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce with the skilled employees they need, then maybe they should try doing more of what they should have been doing already: Hire unskilled people with brains and work ethic and train them themselves.
WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer is only the latest business representative whose rhetoric suggests workers should be showing up for their first day on the job ready to contribute to the company’s bottom line.
And if workers haven’t shelled out their own money for the training they need, they should be able to rely on
“Wisconsin business leaders are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of qualified workers as well as the lack of action by
The survey and meetings with WMC members show worker shortages run the gamut, Bauer told me, from entry-level to more advanced positions, from machinists to IT professionals.
The group supports funding technical colleges and Wisconsin Fast Forward, a
WMC’s latest survey didn’t try to ascertain how much WMC members themselves were doing to train workers, but Bauer said that’s something the lobbying group encourages, too.
“The strategy and approach changes depending on the sector of the economy, but apprenticeships, internships, part-time jobs, etc., are all part of the solution,” he said.
“Businesses that ‘grow your own’ will have a major leg up on their competitors.”
That’s good to hear, because it’s not as if
Technical colleges have seen cuts, but
But neither should
I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life, none of which I was specifically trained for by anybody but my employers.
Before I was allowed near one of the massive woks at the Chinese restaurant where I worked, for example, I spent hours cutting up vegetables into variously shaped tiny pieces under the tutelage of my boisterous and politically incorrect Asian boss.
Think “The Karate Kid,” but with food and more profanity.
The benefit for my employers is that I was a blank slate upon which they could write their way of doing things. The benefits for me were skill sets I was paid to attain.
Among the benefits to