Study: Wisconsin will need to attract more educated workers
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin is lagging behind most of its Midwest neighbors in attracting highly educated workers, according to a new study.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum’s analysis of federal data from 2017 found that 20% of Wisconsin natives ages 31 to 40 who had moved away from the state were highly educated. The nonpartisan research group defined “highly educated” as those who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
In comparison, less than 10% of people in that age group who were born elsewhere and moved to the Badger State were considered highly educated, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
The findings show Wisconsin’s skilled worker gap is the eighth highest in the country, only behind Iowa in the Midwest. Neighboring Illinois and Minnesota saw net gains in highly educated workers in the same age group.
“Relative to other states, Wisconsin’s pretty strong at retaining people, but doesn’t attract people into the state that have college degrees, for example,” said Joe Peterangelo, the organization’s senior researcher.
State officials launched a nearly $7 million marketing campaign last year that sought to draw young workers from Chicago and other cities in the Midwest. Wisconsin officials have also proposed incentives to help keep students in the state after graduation.
Peterangelo said the state’s demand for more skilled workers is likely growing.
“Those higher-wage occupations and the ones that require more education are also going to be opening up, and we need to attract some of those people from elsewhere,” he said.
Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org