Employers worried about readiness of future workers
A new survey shows many Wisconsin businesses are worried about the next generation of workers.
Seventy-three percent of the companies taking part in the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) questionnaire, say public high school graduates are unprepared for the workforce.
Basic skills such as reading, writing and math were the chief concerns the WMC said need to be addressed.
“We know that if a student is not able to read at grade level by third grade, they are going to be behind for the rest of their life,” said Rachel Ver Velde, WMC Senior Director of Workforce, Education and Employment Policy. “It’s vitally important that parents have that notification from the school district and are able to work with [them] to put together a plan to get at-risk students back up to grade level.”
Students having internships and apprenticeships was something Ver Velde said Wisconsin public schools should have more of, not only to better prepare students for the workforce, but also help get them one of their first jobs, as well.
State education leaders say more financial support is needed to better prepare students.
“Our public schools need help in supporting their students and educators, and constantly advocating to siphon money away from them to fund voucher programs and riling up negativity against them through divisive rhetoric is not helping the matter,” said Abigail Swetz, Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) Communications Director.
Swetz added the DPI will continue to advocate for students and educators of Wisconsin public schools.