MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month, and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) will be promoting the state’s top industry throughout the month. In addition to making a number of stops throughout the state on its Manufacturing Tour – sponsored by M3 Insurance – WMC is releasing a series of videos promoting the industry.
Manufacturing is the number one contributor to Wisconsin’s economy, producing $63 billion in total output in 2018 – 19 percent of Wisconsin’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Additionally, the state’s more than 9,000 manufacturers employed 475,000 people in 2018.
The third video released in the series highlights the career opportunities that are available in manufacturing and how to attract talent to the industry. As WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer explains in the video, manufacturing faces a workforce shortage and the careers available pay well above average.
In addition to being financially rewarding, manufacturing careers also offer variety, skill development and career advancement.
“The diversity of what manufacturers produce, but also what you can do as an employee of a manufacturer, is more diverse than any industry I can think of,” said Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman in the video.
Bauer explains in the video that it will take a coalition to attract new talent to manufacturing and train them for the skills they need.
“This issue is only solved through a partnership with business, academia and government working together,” added Bauer. “We have a strong partnership. We have great technical colleges that can skill people up and we have government grants like the Fast Forward program to pay for those training programs.”
Businesses are also working with young people to get them engaged in manufacturing before they are making decisions about their future career paths.
“We have people working in this factory in Mayville from four different high schools, and we have opportunities for flexible schedules for youth apprentices to come in,” said Mayville Engineering Company (MEC) Vice President of Human Resources Cliff Sanderson. “We know they are not all going to stick, but it is the awareness where they didn’t even know this was an opportunity.”
The first video released by WMC focused on women in manufacturing and the second video featured the state’s technical training opportunities. To find out more about Manufacturing Month and to see all the videos, visit www.wimanufacturingmonth.org.