What is it? A collaboration of employers, educators, social and human service agencies and economic development organizations in Washington County.

Why was it formed? A survey of employers done in 2012 by MPTC  to better understand workforce issues, particularly the impending retirements of the Baby Boom generation, was published in early 2013. Employers expressed concern about the future workforce given the large number of anticipated retirements in the next 3-5 years and especially in light of the widely publicized  skills gap which many were experiencing first hand as they were hiring to support the economic recovery that was underway. A task force was formed in April 2013 to develop strategies to address these issues and Tom Hostad of Broan-Nutone was asked to lead the group.

Who is involved? Early team members included reps from Broan-Nutone, Signicast, Steelcraft, Regal Ware, Aurora and Froedtert. They were joined by school district administrators/superintendents from Hartford, Slinger, Kewaskum and West Bend. United Way of Washington County joined the team as they rolled out their Mobilize Communities strategy. Reps from Workforce Development, MPTC, UWWC, GPS Education Partners and several more employers in the county have also joined.

Mission: Provide a sustainable pipeline of appropriately trained and work ready individuals to support the needs of business and industry in Washington County.

Accomplishments:

  1. 450 teachers, administrators and guidance counselors have toured manufacturing and health care sites to better understand the modern workplace and the skills needed.
  2. Employer reps have toured the four school districts to gain a greater understanding of the curriculum and programs in place to support employer needs.
  3. A College & Career Fair was held in 2015 and 2016 giving over 1100 members of the combined Junior classes an opportunity to meet with representatives from employers, technical colleges, universities, trades people and the armed forces. The objective of the event was to provide an opportunity to better understand career options available in Washington County, the skills required and the resources available to obtain those skills.

Future plans:

  1. Workplace tours for students.
  2. Outreach to parents
  3. Identifying opportunities for partnerships between employers and schools and employers and social/human service agencies
  4. College & Career Fair to become an annual event
  5. Gaining a better understanding of employer hiring issues and developing programs to address
  6. Determining appropriate outreach and involvement at the middle school leve