Steve Shupe (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Series: Wisconsin's 21st-Century Workforce

Manufacturing and agriculture have historically reigned supreme in Wisconsin's economy. But automation and consolidation in those sectors, and a shifting emphasis toward service- and technology-based industries, means the nature of work is changing rapidly. As workers across the state seek to start their careers, pursue better jobs, or find themselves struggling to reap the benefits of economic growth, they're looking for new opportunities wherever they might find them, including outside Wisconsin. As demographic and workforce shifts shape the state's future, political and business leaders are looking to attract and retain workers with advanced skills and education. These efforts are related to larger forces affecting Wisconsin's future, including population decline in rural areas, the role of higher education, and how public resources are used to develop the economy.
 
When economic recession struck in 2008, big banks weren't the only industry dealt a blow. Manufacturers suffered major setbacks, too, particularly automakers. Their struggles sent a ripple effect across the United States, but were felt in one Wisconsin city in particular.
Shared via
WPT
A shortage of foreign worker visas is leaving Wisconsin hotels and tourist attractions struggling to find seasonal employees. Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Trisha Pugal explains that many areas do not have the residential base to fill all their open hospitality jobs.
Shared via
WPT
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to authorize a $200 million expansion of job training and apprenticeships. Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership president Mark Kessenich discussed the role of apprenticeships in workforce development.
Wisconsin did not add many new private sector jobs in 2016. According to federal labor data, the state ranked 33rd in the nation. Wisconsin Public Radio capitol bureau chief Shawn Johnson discusses the state's job trends.
Wisconsin's private sector job growth ranked 33rd in the country in 2016, according to detailed numbers released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data provides the most thorough picture yet of job creation since Gov. Scott Walker took office in 2011.
Shared via
WPT
The book Janesville: An American Story explores the effects of the GM plant's 2008 closure in the southern Wisconsin city. Author Amy Goldstein discusses the short- and long-term impacts of the community losing this employer.
Low hourly wages, the lack of professional development opportunities and a high turnover rate are major factors contributing to the state's preschool teacher shortage, experts say.
Opportunities exist to improve Wisconsin's education pipeline and create a future with competitive wages, innovative industry and entrepreneurial activity.
Shared via
WPT
The Madison school district's Personalized Pathways program will allow students to pursue individual areas of interest to explore future college and career options. Madison school district Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham discusses the goals of this program.
Experts say Wisconsin's quality of life is contributing to the state's shrinking workforce and the lack of workers to replace retiring baby boomers.