“BE BOLD 2: Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool” Study Released

Major new workforce development study calls for focus on developing and keeping talent and creating opportunities by building stronger bridges among employers, workers, government and education…

Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. is BOLD again! The BE BOLD 2 partnership with ManpowerGroup leads to exciting vision for growing state’s talent pool and strengthening economy.

MADISON – Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI) has released the results of a year-long examination of the state’s job skills challenges and opportunities. Prompted by growing concerns about existing skills gaps and the effects an aging workforce will have on employer ability to meet future needs, the study was undertaken in partnership with the globally renowned talent development and acquisition strategist, ManpowerGroup.

BE BOLD 2: Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool reviews major changes in “the world of work” and reveals new research indicating that Wisconsin is grappling with serious structural challenges. Most immediately, Wisconsin does not have enough skilled workers to meet existing employer needs while at the same time is working hard to assist citizens whose skills do not meet current market needs and are seeking employment. The data indicates that, unless we act now, over the next decade, Wisconsin will be confronting major shortages in skill clusters essential to staffing the state’s major industries.

“All of our research and hundreds of discussions with employers, workers and educators underscore the fact that Wisconsin needs to move quickly and boldly,” said Scott T. VanderSanden, president of AT&T Wisconsin and president of CWI. “We need to focus our strategic management. We need much more, much better actionable data. And, we need to let our employers and the rest of the world know, that Wisconsin understands the future of work and will have the talent they need, when they need it.”

The study underscores the need for immediate action on three strategic fronts including energizing the links between economic development and workforce/talent development; revolutionizing and leveraging the collection of, and access to, real-time information about jobs, skill requirements, career pathways and economic outcomes; and mobilizing talent development and acquisition abilities in support of Wisconsin employers and promoting our successes to attract talent and job creators to the state.

 BE BOLD 2: Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool contains eight operational recommendations targeted at achieving these strategic goals:

  1. Focus strategic management by replacing the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment and the Governor’s Council on Workforce and College Readiness with a new Governor’s Talent Development and Acquisition Council (Talent Council).
  2. Provide the Talent Council oversight of a $100-million Talent Development Fund to enhance the ability of Wisconsin workers, employers, educators, trainers, economic development professionals and communities to respond to supply and demand changes in critical skill clusters.
  3. Develop a comprehensive talent supply and demand projection for Wisconsin that examines the skills required by Wisconsin’s employer groups.
  4. Develop the most comprehensive real-time workforce/talent data warehouse in the nation.
  5. Develop a mobile application that provides job and career information on demand to everyone.
  6. Leverage real-time data, innovation and educational and training best practices to maximize citizen benefit from Wisconsin’s world-class education and training systems, empowering citizens to engage in lifelong learning that enhances employability and employment security.
  7. Support internships and experiential learning in targeted skill sets by enabling youth to enter the world of work by encouraging employers to align internships, apprenticeships and applied learning programs with the skill clusters roadmap.
  8. Alert employers and workers to Wisconsin’s ability to supply job creators in the United States and worldwide with the best, rightly-skilled talent in the world.

Linda Salchenberger, Marquette University Associate Provost for Strategic Planning and co-chair of the BE BOLD 2 study, said, “Our work makes clear that talent development cannot be a spectator sport. Parents, students, teachers, counselors, employers and workers must all participate in strengthening local economic capacity and building better communities. The recommendations we’ve offered build on work already started, but provide an important new strategic approach to engaging and enabling everyone to be a player in achieving the victory we all want.”

BE BOLD 2: Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool complements and enriches work done by Tim Sullivan, former president and CEO of Bucyrus International, the Council on Workforce Investment, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, and many others around the state and supported by the legislature, numerous local volunteers and boards and the state’s generous nonprofit community.

“There is already a robust conversation about the need to modernize and empower Wisconsin’s workforce,” said Bill McCoshen, executive director of CWI and managing partner of Capitol Consultants. “Talent development and acquisition is the key to getting that job done and Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. and the BE BOLD 2 Executive Committee believe this report and the 2012 Wisconsin Economic Summit Series on Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool will further energize, inform and engage citizen participation in what must be a statewide collaboration to build a future that works for Wisconsin.”

Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. is a nonpartisan public policy organization consisting of business, labor, education and agriculture leaders in Wisconsin who work together to focus attention on the state’s competitiveness. The organization was founded in 1981 and produced the game-changing Be Bold Wisconsin economic development plan in 2010. BE BOLD 2: Growing Wisconsin’s Talent Pool is available on CWI’s website, www.competitivewi.com and is available for download by clicking here.