October is manufacturing month in Wisconsin, and businesses, schools and state policymakers are trying to send a message: help wanted.
With an aging workforce, Wisconsin's manufacturers are targeting young skilled workers with a campaign to get the word out to millennials that there are viable career options that don’t require a four-year college degree.
To help attract new workers, the campaign aims to dispel some of the myths that surround manufacturing jobs.
"I think we’ve become all kind of guilty of pushing way too many kids towards a four-year university, which is an awesome place for plenty of kids," says Steve Benzschawel, a director at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. "There’s a whole lot of kids that aren't even aware of the awesome opportunities that are waiting for them in manufacturing."
The campaign is also focuses on teachers by incorporating hands-on curriculum into classrooms and parents by stressing that manufacturing jobs typically require less post-secondary education, and often there’s a job waiting for a student after graduation.