Wisconsin Economic Future Study, June 2013 – The study assessed Wisconsin’s competitiveness by examining export, innovation and workforce performance of Wisconsin’s key driver industries, and compared those to competitive states and the U.S. as a whole. It reviewed the state’s business climate and the opportunities it poses for business and government. This study also identified the changes in driver industries since the original 2004 study, and more importantly, shed light on what occurred during the recession of 2008–2011.

Study from the National Governors Associations Center for Best Practice Policy Academy “What States Are Doing to Encourage Growth in Manufacturing through Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Investment.” The policy agenda for U.S. manufacturing is changing, with the debate shifting from how to rescue and retain existing footholds in the industrial sector to how manufacturers in this country should lead the world in new technologies and innovations.

January 2013: The Geographic Concentration of Manufacturing Across the United States – Executive Summary. Wisconsin is ranked #2 behind Indiana by Mfg. % of employment and Manufacturing % of Earnings in this report.  There are some great maps of U.S. counties indicating manufacturing concentration.  Use shift-“+” to zoom on the maps.

2012 MIT Sloan Management Review/Boston Consulting Group global sustainability and innovation study surveyed 4,000 managers and executives from 113 countries, asking how they are developing and implementing sustainable business practices. This report discusses the findings and offers lessons to managers who are either trying to develop a sustainability agenda or wondering whether they should.

The 2012 Annual Index: Leadership wanted – U.S. public opinions on manufacturing by Deloitte and the National Manufacturing Institute.
The results of the fourth annual survey of American citizens measuring their perceptions of the manufacturing industry in the United States relative to other industries reveal that the vast majority firmly believes that a strong manufacturing industry is crucial to Americans’ standard of living and economic prosperity, as well as the national security of the United States. However, most see our nation’s global competitiveness in manufacturing as stagnant or declining.

The McGladrey 2012 Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Report
This report was conducted using an online questionnaire promoted by McGladrey and various industrial associations to principally U.S.-based manufacturing and distribution organizations. There were 924 total valid respondents to the study (including 57 from Wisconsin) 77% were private or closely held businesses, and 12% private equity-owned businesses.

The study reports that executives remain optimistic about their prospects in the next 12 months; sales are expected to grow, while costs are expected to increase.  A majority of businesses plan to increase total employment in the next year, although 41 percent of businesses report that they find the skilled talent they need only rarely or some of the time. Businesses expect to increase their investments in process improvements this year.

BE BOLD 2 Report
In recognition of the fact that talent development and acquisition are the essential tools of economic development, Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. launched BE BOLD 2, a collaborative effort undertaken with international human capital expert, Manpower Group, to identify specific, measurable, actionable strategies that will make Wisconsin a global leader in the race to educate, train and support the talent that job creators must have. The BE BOLD 2 project builds on the work done in BE BOLD 1, but also builds on the work done by Tim Sullivan in his recent report “The Road Ahead.” Our shared perspective is that a world-class talent pool will be the central resource for Wisconsin’s long-term economic prosperity.

The Road Ahead: Restoring Wisconsin’s Workforce Development
A study released in August 2012 by Tim Sullivan, former CEO of Bucyrus and appointed as special consultant for the state of Wisconsin working on issues of workforce development.
This report will provide a comprehensive review of the background and current issues pertaining to workforce development in Wisconsin, with a special focus on the phenomena commonly referred to as the “skills gap.” It will provide historical perspective as to how current workforce development problems originated, as well as how those problems have evolved over the last three decades. The report will describe the extent of these problems today and the current impact on economic development.

The Midwest Challenge: Matching Jobs with the Education in the Post-Recession Economy
A study by the Georgetown Center for Education on the Workforce
Since the sharp economic decline in 2009, Wisconsin’s private sector has been gaining jobs, but at an unstable rate. The largest sectors of Wisconsin’s economy are also those that have lost the most jobs in the recession: manufacturing and trade, transportation, and utilities account for 65 percent of the losses. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was at 7.4 percent in March 2011, below the national average of 8.8 percent.

Help Wanted: Projections of jobs and education requirements through 2018
A study by the Georgetown Center for Education on the Workforce
Provides a detailed forecast of jobs and their education requirements that highlights how the ability of individuals to connect education, training, and careers has become key to employability and to attaining and maintaining middle class status, and second: to quantify how our ability to match education alternatives with career options is woefully underdeveloped.

The Multiplier Effect – There Are More Manufacturing-Related Jobs Than You Think
An article from the Manufacturing Executive Leadership Journal by Keith Nosbusch and John Bernarden of Rockwell Automation
The embrace of smart manufacturing techniques will turn conventional wisdom about indirect jobs creation on its head and change the image of the industry itself.

Make: An American Manufacturing Movement
This strategy, released by the American Council on Competitiveness in December 2011 outlines how the US can regain its leadership in manufacturing. Under the leadership of Council Chairman and Deere & Company Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen and a steering committee of 60 CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders, and laboratory directors, MAKE was released to Congress, the White House, and all 50 governors. The recommendations are the result of hundreds of interviews conducted over nearly three years by Deloitte, as well as dozens of dialogues where Council members and national thought leaders came together to discuss specific manufacturing topics.