Demand for Skilled Industry Workers Rising in Wisconsin

📅   Wed August 23, 2017 - Midwest Edition #17


Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Ashland has teamed up with the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board to offer a new construction training course to meet the demand for skilled industry workers.
(Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College photo)
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Ashland has teamed up with the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board to offer a new construction training course to meet the demand for skilled industry workers. (Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College photo)

ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) The construction industry is struggling to find skilled workers as home construction is rising in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported that the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Ashland has teamed up with the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board to offer a new construction training course to meet the demand.

Almost 30 students are on track to receive a short-term technical diploma through the nine-credit course. The credits also can be applied to a technical degree if students continue their education.

Eric Lockwood, project manager of continuing education with the college, said the course has been offered to students at the Clayton School District, WITC-Ashland and Lac Courte Oreilles Community College.

“It focuses on construction framing where they learn about safety ... using power tools, building materials, plans, codes, building layout —things like that,' he said.

Andrea Huggenvik, sector and strategies coordinator with the Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, said they teamed up with WITC to offer the course because the area is slated to a 17 percent increase in construction workers over the next seven years. The Chequamegon Bay region had 1,148 construction laborers in 2014, which is expected to grow to 1,346 by 2024, according to the workforce board.

“This is a nationwide trend that we're really seeing not as many students going into trades, and we're really seeing that we need people in those sectors,' she said.