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Meeting scheduled Friday on workforce needs

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Gazette staff
November 28, 2011
— Rock County employers are encouraged to participate in one of two upcoming meetings on workforce needs.

A health care summit will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, in Room 1400B at Blackhawk Technical College’s central campus.


A second summit, at the same location and time frame, will be held Friday, Dec. 9. It will focus on manufacturing/logistics and other sectors in Rock County.


According to national reports, the skills gaps between employers and workers throughout the United States are expanding.


Deloitte Consulting and the Manufacturing Institute’s 2011 Skills Gap study profiles these supply/demand mismatches. Nearly 1,200 executives from throughout the nation were part of the survey’s representative sample.


A few of the study’s results:


-- 74 percent of respondents noted that gaps among skilled production occupations were affecting their expansion opportunities and productivity standards.


-- 56 percent anticipated that their inability to attract qualified skilled workers would increase within the next five years. This statistic is compounded by a wave of projected retirements.


-- The positions with the highest projected replacements are those that require the most training, such as skilled machinists or technical positions.


-- Nationally, 18-24 year olds ranked manufacturing-related occupations last among a listing of competing careers options.


Similar trends have been noted locally, and the summits, which are sponsored by Rock County 5.0, will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas, as well as propose solutions.


Before attending, employers are encouraged to participate in a brief 10-question online survey. It can be accessed at blackhawk.edu in the Survey & Polls section.


While the summits are free, attendees are required to register by Monday, Nov. 28, to jpins@blackhawk.edu or by calling (608) 757-7772.


Rock County 5.0 is a five-year public/private economic development initiative designed to reposition and revitalize Rock County’s economy.



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