BE BOLD I, Competitive Wisconsin, Inc.’s 2010-11 strategic initiative, offered recommendations that have transformed and energized economic development in Wisconsin, including the creation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the retooling of Wisconsin’s economic development incentives, the development of a state marketing program and the identification of a statewide inventory of certified sites for business development.
Now, evolutions in the global economy, dramatic and fast-paced technological innovation, systemic demographic shifts and changing expectations and behaviors have radically altered the challenges and opportunities employers and individuals face in the workplace.These fast-moving trends underscore an urgent need for proactive workforce strategies.
In recognition of the fact that talent development and acquisition are the essential tools of economic development, Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. launched BE BOLD 2, a collaborative effort undertaken with international human capital expert, ManpowerGroup, to identify specific, measurable, actionable strategies that will make Wisconsin a global leader in the race to educate, train and support the talent that job creators must have. The BE BOLD 2 project builds on the work done in BE BOLD 1, but also builds on the work done by Tim Sullivan in his recent report “The Road Ahead.” Our shared perspective is that a world-class talent pool will be the central resource for Wisconsin’s long-term economic prosperity.
There can be no argument about the need for action. Aging, retiring and departing workers, fewer young people entering the workforce, and net outmigration of highly educated and skilled workers clearly foreshadow serious worker shortages in Wisconsin’s not so distant future. A shortage of skilled workers is already putting Wisconsin businesses at risk. And, most urgent, the rapidly changing nature of the skills required in the modern workplace is driving a disturbing and disruptive mismatch between the skills employers need and the skills the Wisconsin workforce can offer.
In partnership with ManpowerGroup, Competitive Wisconsin’s BE BOLD 2 initiative began with an assessment of Wisconsin’s supply and demand profile in five skills clusters critical to driving more than half of the state’s GDP. Just as BE BOLD 1 looked at the impact of industry clusters, the BE BOLD 2 study illustrates the impact that the supply and demand of critical skills clusters can have on our economic development. Skills clusters are a contemporary way to group multiple occupations that share similar skills. Within the cluster, skills may be transferable across occupations or with additional training may serve as a stepping stone to another position within the cluster. In the future, mobility across industry and roles will be a new normal, and will require that we look at workforce development as an ongoing and critical component of Wisconsin’s talent strategy. A more detailed perspective on skills clusters is provided on pages 18-35 of this report.
Paralleling this effort, BE BOLD 2 reached out to leaders and stakeholders in Wisconsin’s education and training, workforce development, business, and policy-making communities—including representatives from Wisconsin’s Workforce Investment Boards, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU), the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations, and numerous employers and business associations and organizations—to learn from their experience and insights. BE BOLD 2 also undertook an intensive examination and discussion of innovation and best practices in workforce and talent development around the nation and the globe.
Informed by these three investigative efforts, BE BOLD 2’s Executive Oversight Committee, Chaired by Dr. Linda Salchenberger, Associate Provost for Strategic Planning, Marquette University, and Mr. Scott T. VanderSanden, President of AT&T Wisconsin, guided the design of the proactive talent development strategies Wisconsin must pursue to secure its future and the specific recommendations required to implement and sustain this game-changing strategic vision.
Click here to download the full 2012 Be Bold II report.