About 60 people gathered at Geneva National recently to discuss a matter that is vital to business growth in Walworth County: qualified workers. Chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Dennis Winters, set the stage for the event. He underscored the dire nature of the labor market in the near future. Spokespersons representing manufacturing, hospitality, and healthcare talked about the efforts and resources they are investing in connecting with students, even at the elementary level. While in the past, it was perceived to be a burden to mentor interns, it is now becoming a recruiting effort. Businesses engaging with schools will be the key to feeding the employee pipeline of the future. More than ever, it will be critical that schools and the business community interface on a regular basis. Fifty years ago, 60% of jobs were unskilled. Today, almost that same percentage of jobs require technical skills. While almost 70% of students enroll in a four-year college after high school graduation, only 25% complete a baccalaureate degree. Many of the current and future jobs will require training and education, but not necessarily a four-year degree. Getting students and parents, especially, to think about alternative career pathways is key to this whole issue.
View more information on the Employee Pipeline.