Looking at ways to bring more jobs to WI - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Looking at ways to bring more jobs to WI

MINOCQUA (WAOW) -- The number of people in the Wausau area who will find themselves out a job in the next few months has climbed to more than a thousand. State leaders on both sides of the aisle continue to look for ways to put people back to work.

"Our goal of creating 250,000 new jobs in the private sector is really something we can do," said Governor Scott Walker. "We've got to have the ambitious goal to do that."

Governor Walker set out to create a quarter million jobs by 2015 as a part of his campaign for office. A recent special session of the state legislature focused on generating jobs, but some democrats said it didn't accomplish enough.

"I'm really hoping that Governor Walker and the republicans in the legislature will work with democrats to focus on those policies we can put in place that create jobs," said democrat state senator Julie Lassa.

"People aren't getting the education they need to fill the jobs of the 21st century," said Manpower Group vice president Melanie Holmes. "Technology has changed so much in the way we work and if kids don't have those skills, they're not going to get those jobs."

Employment experts at the meeting said there's a mis-match between what business leaders are looking for and what job-seekers have to offer, raising even more questions for state officials.

"How can we get unemployed people the skills that they need to fill the positions that employers are saying they're having a hard time finding?" said Lassa.

Holmes said people going into the workforce don't always need a four-year degree to bring in a decent paycheck. Employers also look for interpersonal skills and specialized training, which students can sometimes get at a technical college. Job experts said they hope to bridge the gap. Governor Walker said he believes in the plan.

"It's not always going to come at 500 or 600 at a time," said Governor Walker. "It may come at 5 or 6 at a time. But if thousands do that, we'll get people working again."

"We need to get businesses partnering with education. We need to get government to understand the issues," said Holmes. "Everybody needs to work together to solve this problem."

Thousands of listings are currently posted on the state's job site. If you want to check them out, you can click on this link.

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