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Local employers combat workforce deficit

By Maria Szatkowski featured story from

Employers tackled ways to bring jobs to north central Wisconsin Thursday’s Regional Talent Summit hosted by several Chambers of Commerce.

Wausau, Marshfield, Merrill and Portage County Chambers of Commerce partnered to help 225 attendees learn how to grow their businesses, while discovering new ways to both attract and keep employers in the north central Wisconsin area.

Edward E. Gordon of Imperial Consulting Corporation was the keynote speaker, and said one problem Wisconsin faces is filling about 200,000 vacant jobs.

“Unless this region of the state improves its job preparation and educational programs, people will leave. Other parts of the state are already doing this, and other states around all are reinventing the talent creation system,” Gordon said.

Leaders of the local chambers agree the program is only the first step in expanding the local workforce.

“Difference communities have different needs, so we’re trying to find those overreaching similarities and work on those things together,” said Dave Eckmann, President of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

Eckmann adds that the initiatives coming forward are allowing the chambers a chance to collaborate and understand how to address the workforce problem in north central Wisconsin.