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GREEN BAY — Wisconsin’s technical colleges are seeking displaced workers, veterans and individuals who want to improve their career to enroll in training programs to help fill a critical need for high-skilled manufacturing workers in Wisconsin.
The state’s 16 technical colleges are part of a statewide grant consortium, “Advance Wisconsin – Manufacturing’’ to help train more than 2,700 workers with high-demand manufacturing skills in machine tool/computer numerical control (CNC), welding, and industrial maintenance programs.
“Manufacturing in Wisconsin is growing and there are terrific jobs out there for workers willing to train and retool,’’ said Todd Mattison, Project Manager for Wisconsin’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant consortium, noting the state’s manufacturing jobs pay median salaries ranging from $36,700 for welders to $47,900 for industrial mechanics.
“The jobs are out there. Not only is the state’s manufacturing industry growing and needs highly trained workers, but the current workforce is nearing retirement age,’’ Mattison said. “We need individuals to give this opportunity a good hard look. Wisconsin needs highly skilled workers if we’re going to meet growing demand.”
Wisconsin manufacturing is on the rebound, adding 2,300 jobs in March alone this year and manufacturers statewide say they could grow faster if they had greater numbers of new skilled manufacturing workers.
Manufacturing took an enormous blow in the recession of 2008. But manufacturing exports have doubled since 2000, and manufacturing is now about a fifth of Wisconsin’s economy, producing $21 billion worth of goods in 2011.
“This effort is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together to fill a highly specialized need in our economy that has great promise for our state’s future. Colleges have improved their programs with the help of local employers and created shorter-term training geared towards employment,’’ Mattison said.
Advance Wisconsin – Manufacturing is a consortium of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges who are improving and expanding advanced manufacturing training. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has funded 100% of this project equaling $14.9 million. This is an equal opportunity program.