Driving back from my family’s cabin in Waupaca over the weekend, something caught my attention; nearly a dozen billboards advertised skilled, entry-level jobs in the manufacturing and food production industries, many offering annual wages of $40,000 to $50,000. Additionally, as the owner of a recruiting agency serving Wisconsin technology companies, I’m reminded daily of the severe shortage of tech workers in our state.
While it is fantastic that Wisconsin has an overabundance of opportunity for folks with a broad spectrum of skills, the challenge is that demand for skilled talent is increasing in virtually every other corner of our country. Places such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, rural Kansas and Maine are paying people to move there.
It is clear that Wisconsin’s talent shortage is negatively impacting the growth of many Wisconsin businesses both small and large and therefore stymieing Wisconsin’s economic growth. It was a big miss for Gov. Evers to overlook talent attraction in his budget proposal and it is imperative that legislative leaders and members of the Joint Finance Committee prioritize making smart investments in talent attraction strategies that will attract a broad spectrum of skilled talent and deliver a return on investment to taxpayers.
Matt Cordio is a technology entrepreneur residing in Waukesha County.