Join us and Get Smarter

A smarter Milwaukee is a better Milwaukee. And a better Milwaukee is better-positioned to grow in a global economy.

That is the premise behind the fourth annual BizTimes Get Smarter Conference, which will take place Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee.

Experts in workforce development, education and executive enlightenment will convene to share their insights about how southeastern Wisconsin’s educational institutions and infrastructure, as well as the private sector, can collaborate to develop smarter employees who have the skills that employers need to grow their companies and the region’s economy. The conference also will feature a discussion about how the region’s executives can become more enlightened and effective leaders.

The conference will kick off with opening remarks by Tim Sullivan, who is serving as a special consultant for business and workforce development for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Sullivan recently submitted his long-awaited workforce development report to Walker, calling for bold actions to address the gap between the skills needed by the state’s employers and the skills of the available workforce. The report, “The Road Ahead: Restoring Wisconsin Workforce Development,” is a comprehensive review of the background and current issues pertaining to workforce development in the state.
Sullivan will outline his bold recommendations at the Get Smarter Conference.
Sullivan’s remarks will be followed by a panel discussion of workforce development and executive enlightenment. The featured panelists will include:

* Mike Lovell, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lovell will discuss the future of collegiate education and share ideas for how employers can become engaged with the region’s universities.

* Joe Weitzer, dean of the Center for Business Performance Solutions at Waukesha County Technical College. Weitzer will discuss how the Wisconsin Technical College System is responding to the need for trained employees in the skilled trades.

* Peggy Troy, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Troy will discuss the burgeoning employment opportunities in the health care field as the baby boom generation ages and the need for effective professional training and executive enlightenment.

* Keith Coursin, president of Desert Aire Corp., a Germantown company specializing in production of mechanical refrigeration equipment used for control humidity. Coursin has served as chairman at the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), a trade association based in Washington, D.C. Coursin will share insights about a bold scholarship program to attract new candidates for employment in the HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) industry.

* Greg Johnson, general manager of Power Test Inc., a Sussex company specializing in the design, manufacture and implementation of dynamometers and dyno control systems. Power Test recently formed Manufacturer’s Resource Training (MRT), a startup company focused on training people for entry machinist positions in manufacturing companies. The nine-week program will provide hands-on training using the Power Test production facility and equipment for entry-level candidates for employment in manufacturing.

I will have the honor of moderating the panel discussion.

The panel discussion will then be followed by a series of breakout sessions for executives interested in learning to become more enlightened and effective leaders. The sessions will be led by highly acclaimed consultants in the BizTimes network.
So, join us and help us build a smarter Milwaukee. Register to attend at

Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes.

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