Last week we were honored to host a very interesting lunch event at the College that was coordinated by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) featuring a terrific panel discussing America’s Role in the World: Why Leading Globally Matters for Wisconsin. Panelists and featured speakers included Rep. Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District; John Ellenberger, Sr. VP for International Development at Land O’ Lakes; retired U.S. Army Lt. General William Troy; and Liz Schrayer, President/CEO of USGLC. About 150 business, government, education, and community leaders were in attendance.
Baby boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964) have been a significant presence in our workforce for many decades. As growing numbers of this generation retire, one of the biggest concerns we hear from employers relates to the level of experience, skill, and expertise potentially walking out the door with them.
A few years back a number of employers independently (and somewhat coincidentally) reached out to FVTC to assist with addressing their need to find skilled industrial maintenance employees. Even though we were graduating a significant number of manufacturing students, there were simply not enough to fill all the open positions in the region.
Every conversation I have with employers focuses on the concern about worker shortages and the difficulty they have in finding individuals with the skills needed to fill their open positions. The most recent economic survey conducted by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) indicates that 80% of employers are having trouble finding workers. Given Wisconsin’s demographics, this problem will, no doubt, only continue to worsen in the years ahead.
Last week we celebrated a long-standing partnership with Service Motor Company and Case IH. Many great things have resulted from this partnership, including our students’ access to the latest equipment and technology, and the development of a Precision Agriculture program, to name a few.
It was an opportunity to celebrate successes of the last decade and look ahead to new possibilities at a time when Ag equipment dealers and service centers are facing a critical shortage of skilled technicians, not unlike many other industries right now.
Last week we held a “grand re-opening” of our Bordini Center for both the community and college staff. After 30 years of serving the workplace training needs of thousands of employers and organizations, as well as hundreds of thousands of their employees and customers, this well-used facility really needed renovation. Through this process an entirely new configuration of space was achieved to better serve our customers for the next 30 years, including a much larger conference room that will seat about 400 people and added technologies to several training labs.
It was great to have over 300 people stop by to see what the new Bordini Center has to offer. If you haven’t had a chance to visit there recently, be sure to stop by.
This week was “education day” for both the Leadership Oshkosh and Leadership Fox Cities groups, and I had the opportunity to interact with both. It was a pleasure to offer some welcome remarks to Leadership Fox Cities as the group spent about a half day at the Appleton Campus getting a firsthand look at several of our technical programs.