glance, the small pieces of paper attached to a bright yellow
background looked like an artist’s colorful collage. But it was
actually a picture created by local employers listing attributes
and skills employees need to be successful.
colorful note pinned to the wall in a conference room at Manitou
Americas in West Bend on Thursday morning reflected the thoughts
of area business leaders on the makings of a good employee —
thoughts that during a 90-minute meeting were shared with
representatives from the West Bend School District. The session
was sponsored by the Education Committee of the West Bend Area
Chamber of Commerce.
education committee was created as a standing committee to
strengthen the connection between employers and the school
district,” said Craig Farrell, executive director of the West
Bend Chamber of Commerce.
One of the
first tasks of the committee, which played an important role in
Thursday’s meeting, was to survey regional employers about their
needs, Farrell said.
from that survey were shared Thursday by West Bend School
District Superintendent Ted Neitzke.
interesting fact is that 58 percent of employers surveyed
indicated they were projecting to expand in the next three
years,” Neitzke told the group of representatives from area
businesses and teachers. “The survey also showed that 29 percent
of employers indicated that new employees do not fulfill the
necessary requirements for employment in entry-level positions.”
results from the survey indicated 30 percent of employers said
entry-level applicants “struggle with basic skills,” while an
even larger number, 43 percent, noted applicants lack technical
skills, Neitzke said.
75 percent of employers indicated that entry-level applicants
were disqualified because of background checks and the
percentage is even higher — 87 percent — of employers noting
that professional -level applicants have been disqualified due
to background checks.
said 85 percent of employers indicated they have a problem
filling entry-level positions because applicants failed to pass
One of the
goals of the meeting, Neitzke said, was to get feedback on what
those statistics mean, so in small group discussions, notes were
taken and then applied to large, yellow sheets on the wall.
employers in the group showed that items that may turn up in a
background check, like arrests for drunk driving, shoplifting,
domestic violence, drug offenses and fraud, can quickly
disqualify someone applying for a job.
potential applicants do on social media is also considered by
employers, as the notes indicated.
there are some very strong messages that we need to communicate
to our students about the legacy they are creating by their
choices, good ones or bad ones, that can have an impact on their
employability,” Neitzke said.
the small groups came up with when describing what makes up a
Good body language, no slouching or yawning
A good, strong handshake and looking people in the eyes when
Ability to take constructive criticism
Ability to manage their time productively at work
Possessing good telephone skills
Not being afraid to ask questions
Dressing appropriately for the workplace
Ability to make the correct change
Writing in legible sentences with correct spelling and
Ability to solve problems
Knowing the proper way to use email in a business situation
An ability to work in teams or unsupervised
Ability to measure
Good math skills
Good reading skills