MILWAUKEE — In
recent years, labor-related headlines across the state have
frequently placed a spotlight on the abundance of manufacturing jobs
and the need for skilled workers to fill empty positions.
and public officials and private company executives spread this
message on an even grander scale Thursday during a four-hour
advanced manufacturing recruitment event at American Serb Hall in
according to organizers, cast one of the widest nets across
Southeastern Wisconsin and was aimed at reaching hundreds of workers
looking to fill jobs in the manufacturing sector.
from at least 15 companies took part in the event. One of the
companies on hand was Foxconn, the multinational electronics maker
that is laying roots in Mount Pleasant in upcoming years.
however, a number of established firms also met with job applicants,
including four with locations in Waukesha County: Ace Precision,
Eaton Corporation, HUSCO International and Midwest Engineered
“The fact there
are this many companies here illustrates that there’s still a labor
shortage,” said Laura Catherman, president of the board overseeing
the Waukesha Ozaukee Washington, or WOW, Workforce Development
“This seems to be the perfect time to pull all of these
manufacturers together in one room.”
of technical colleges and workforce-related organizations also were
on hand to meet with attendees and discuss educational opportunities
as future jobs continue to open within the industry.
At a news
conference laying out the rationale for the recruitment event,
Kaylen Betzig, president of Waukesha County Technical College, said
her institution and others like it play a pivotal part in the
ongoing discussion surrounding the manufacturing workforce.
“This is our
wheelhouse — technical education is what we do,” Betzig said. “We’re
proud to serve the manufacturers in this state. We’re working really
hard to make this seamless. The technical college system is here to
advance the workforce.”
More than ever
before, the state’s technical schools are working outside a vacuum,
said Dorothy Walker, interim dean of Milwaukee Area Technical
College’s School of Technology and Applied Sciences.
together as a regional group, and we’re aligning our curriculum
together,” Walker said.
also was an opportunity to continue working toward erasing the
stigma that sometimes is attached to manufacturing jobs.
growing advanced manufacturing sector requires workers from a
variety of occupations,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “The industry
offers many good-paying jobs, with supporting wages.”
Some of the
positions under the umbrella of advanced manufacturing include
accountants, electricians, machinists, information technology
technicians, managers, office associates and welders.
Allen said, salaries for the advanced manufacturing jobs hover
around $55,000 annually.
manufacturing companies that participated in the event included
Briggs and Stratton, DRS Technologies, GenMet Corp., Krones USA and