Invest in Education, Workforce Readiness, and Innovation to Build a Strong Manufacturing Sector
Washington D.C. – In her first 100 days in office, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has put a strong focus on manufacturing and making sure workers have the tools and skills they need to succeed in an essential pillar of Wisconsin’s economy.
“In order to move the economy forward and create economic security for Wisconsin families, we need to invest workforce readiness and build a strong manufacturing economy,” said Senator Baldwin. “Manufacturing plays a vital role as the engine of a dynamic economy built to last. We are fortunate to have a strong technical college system that is working to provide a skilled workforce. Continued investments in education and innovation will help strengthen and build our advanced manufacturing economy.”
Since January, Baldwin has visited a number of Wisconsin’s technical colleges to learn about how they are training students for high-skilled positions and growing their manufacturing programs.
Baldwin has visited Northern Technical College in Wausau, Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, the Manufacturing Education Center (MEC) at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in Eau Claire, and UW Oshkosh’s Student Titan Employment Program (STEP) program. She also spent time at the NanoRite Innovation Center, an incubator that supports cutting-edge technology, product development, and startup companies. The NanoRite Innovation Center is an important partnership between UW Eau Claire, UW Stout, and CVTC, the State of Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Commerce, municipalities, and private companies like 3M and Xcel Energy that is creating jobs and bolstering an educated and competitive workforce in the region. Baldwin has also met with administrators from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in northwestern Wisconsin to discuss their integrated manufacturing space and campus program expansions to address the skills gap. In addition, while in Green Bay this spring, Baldwin toured the Advance Business & Manufacturing Center to learn about their programs, including workforce initiatives and partnerships with UW Green Bay’s small business development center, Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College and the Green Bay SCORE chapter.
As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Baldwin sponsored a budget amendmentthat invests in manufacturing by creating regional manufacturing hubs of collaborative research and development across the country. The public-private partnerships would pair the manufacturing sector with state and local governments, universities, and technical colleges, then work to develop region-specific world-class manufacturing technologies and products, built by American workers. The amendment was included in the final bill that passed through the Senate last month.
Recently, Senator Baldwin toured the future incubator for water technology businesses, set to open this summer in Milwaukee. She met with members of The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the United States. Created by leaders in both business and education, The Water Council is convening the region’s existing water companies and research clusters, developing education programs to train talent and build partnerships. The Milwaukee region has quickly become recognized as a world hub for water research, education and economic development.
“In order to move Wisconsin’s economy forward we need to invest in science, research and innovation,” said Senator Baldwin. “This effort in Milwaukee is a perfect example of how we can grow public-private partnerships to create jobs and build a ‘Made in Wisconsin’ economy.”