Skills gap contributes to unemployment
The biggest step toward self-reliance follows job creation. In 2002, Waukesha County's unemployment rate hovered in the range of 3.3 percent. As of August 2012, that rate sat at 6.3 percent. Just a couple years ago, the county's unemployment rate was as high as 8.7 percent, according to Francisco Sanchez, president of the Workforce Development Board that oversees Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties.
Sanchez said there are a large number of open positions, particularly in manufacturing, that go unfilled because of the growing skills gap facing the state and the nation.
"Some of the people that are unemployed, they don't have the right skill sets to fill the jobs that are open," he said. "So we are training and training and training, but obviously there is a limitation on how many people we are able to train."
The greatest shortages exist in engineering and skilled trades such as machining and tool-and-die makers. The need for nurses and other healthcare professionals is growing as well.
Said Sanchez, "We work with businesses. They help us in identifying the types of skills that they are in need of, so the people that we subsidize to go into training, we pay for the training, those individuals are going to be getting a skill set that businesses are looking for. But we are only one piece of the puzzle. There is also the technical college and the general public."
Ironically, he said, the nation is likely to face a labor shortage in the coming years as baby boomers retire from the workforce.\
by the numbers
In 2002, Waukesha County's unemployment rate hovered in the range of 3.3% . As of August, that rate sat at 6.3% .
- Hasslinger will not seek re-election in spring
- Community Briefs: Prayer group
- Community Briefs: Operation Christmas Child, Hartland Lights, more
- New faces likely on Delafield town board
- Delafield raises sewer rates
- Hartland Village Board reduces village expense for new radio system
- Lisbon names three finalists for administrator position
- George Miller retires from North Lake Fire Department after 65 years
- 'Big Hero 6' beautiful, fun, but ending lacks Disney magic
- Chief Augie Wilde reminisces on more than 50 years with the Hartland Fire Department