Dear Manufacturing Leader,

The 3,000 unfilled manufacturing job openings in the region are expected to grow by 44% through 2021.

If you work in one of the following counties:

  • Kenosha
  • Milwaukee
  • Ozaukee
  • Racine
  • Walworth
  • Waukesha
  • Washington

I’m writing to ask your help through a collaboration with manufacturers to develop innovative approaches meet this challenge. In this case, a pilot program designed to upskill participating companies’ current employees.

We are asking you to fill out a survey we will begin to distribute during the week of November 18th. Before then, we are asking you to identify a person(s), within your company who would be best-positioned to respond to the survey – then enter their contact information through this link. Sample questions include:

  • Over the next 3 years, what number of each role type are you expecting to hire?
    (We will provide examples of 15-20 roles identified as high-growth.)
  • What skills (within those roles) are the most difficult to hire?
  • What are your preferred methods of offering training to your teams?
  • Who is the most important audience to train?
  • What factors are most important in selecting a training partner/vendor?

Once the survey is complete, we will begin the pilot program design process. Companies will have the option of joining the pilot program and sponsoring upskilling for their current employees. One of our current collaboration partners, Babatu Short of HellermannTyton, noted, “Our goal is to flip the paradigm of full-time, semester-long classroom learning, paid for by students to a series of shorter classes, on-the-job, paid for by employers.” This upskilling project will once again be led by manufacturers and facilitated by M7 and MMAC staff.

This is the next step in a broad, long-term effort to help Milwaukee Region manufacturers address talent challenges that exist today and are projected to become even more acute in the future. It builds on a current collaboration run by MMAC & M7. CareerX launched this fall, with 15 manufacturers piloting a program with 20 schools, 40 teachers, and 500 students to promote manufacturing through a series of work experiences.

With your help, we can do more together, move faster, while adding value to your current efforts.


Tim Sheehy