Exploring Wisconsin’s Construction Industry Pathways: A Gateway to Promising Careers

The construction industry plays a crucial role in Wisconsin’s economic growth and development. With a wide range of job opportunities and a strong demand for skilled professionals, it presents a promising pathway for individuals seeking rewarding and stable careers. Let’s delve into Wisconsin’s construction industry and the pathways available for Madison Region high school students through programming developed by Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP).

Understanding Wisconsin’s Construction Industry

Wisconsin’s construction industry encompasses a diverse array of sectors, including residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure development. It is an essential driver of economic progress, providing employment opportunities, infrastructure improvements, and community development throughout the state.

DPI’s Pathways Wisconsin – Construction Industry

DPI’s Pathways Wisconsin program aims to prepare students for successful futures by providing comprehensive career development resources. The program’s construction pathway focuses on developing the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in the construction industry. DPI’s website serves as a valuable resource, offering information on industry trends, job prospects, and educational requirements.

Exploring the MadREP Architecture and Construction Pathway

MadREP, in collaboration with DPI, has developed the Madison Region Architecture and Construction Pathway. This comprehensive guide provides a detailed overview of the pathway, outlining the coursework, hands-on learning experiences, and industry-recognized credentials available to high school students interested in pursuing a career in architecture and construction.

Career Opportunities in the Construction Industry

The construction industry offers a wide range of career opportunities, catering to individuals with various skill sets and interests with salaries ranging from $22,940 to $150,920. Whether you have a passion for design, project management, skilled trades, or sustainability, there is a role for you within the industry. From architects and engineers to carpenters and electricians, the construction sector provides a platform for personal and professional growth.

Benefits of Pursuing a Career in Construction

Choosing a career in construction can be highly rewarding. The industry provides stability and job security, with a constant demand for skilled professionals. Additionally, construction careers often offer competitive salaries, opportunities for advancement, and the chance to work on exciting and impactful projects that shape communities.

Educational Pathways and Training Programs

To succeed in the construction industry, it is essential to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. Completion of the Madison Region Architecture and Construction Pathway while in high school puts students on the right path for success in this industry.  Following high school, Wisconsin offers a range of educational pathways and training programs, including apprenticeships, and technical college and university programs. These avenues provide hands-on experience and industry-specific training, equipping individuals with the expertise needed to excel in their chosen field.

Industry Trends and Future Outlook

Staying abreast of industry trends is crucial for aspiring professionals in the construction sector. Advancements in technology, sustainability practices, and building techniques are transforming the industry. Professionals with a keen understanding of these trends will be well-positioned to contribute to innovative projects and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Get involved!

Businesses in our Region have highlighted talent development as a top concern for several years and it has only increased since the onset of the pandemic. If your business would like to take an active role in cultivating your next generation of talent, fill out this brief intake form to get started.

10th Annual Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit Welcomes 500+ Business and Community Leaders

A crowd of more than 500 business and community leaders joined MadREP and the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) on Wednesday, May 10 at the tenth annual Madison Region Economic Development and Diversity Summit. The day-long event was packed with important conversations about equitable development and embracing diversity as the Region continues to grow.

MadREP CEO Jason Fields & ULGM CEO Ruben Anthony shaking hands.

Attendees enjoyed remarks from elected officials, economists and business and thought leaders from our Region and beyond. Keynote addresses from Laura Dresser, UW-Madison Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Director at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), Jason R. Thompson, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Western Governors University, Troy LeMaile-Stovall, CEO, TEDCO (Maryland Technology Development Corporation), and Lela Lee, Actress/Creator of the “Angry Little Asian Girl.” All four speakers inspired and challenged the crowd to think about how we invest in diverse entrepreneurs and attract diverse talent to Southcentral Wisconsin.

As in previous years, the conference featured messages from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes and welcomed Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to the stage.

Breakout sessions at the summit included two presentations and two panel discussions focused on equity and quality of life:

  • “Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace,” with presenter Haley Moss, Attorney & Expert on Neurodiversity, Autism & Inclusion
  • “Improving Quality of Life—Not Just Business—is the Best Path to Midwestern Rejuvenation,” with presenter Amanda Weinstein, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Akron
  • “Pathways from Youth to Adult Apprenticeship: Examining UW Health as a Local Model,” with moderator Bridgett Willey, PhD, Director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways, UW Health
  • “What is Talent Really Looking For,” with moderator Mark Richardson, Founder & CEO, Unfinished Business

This unique collaboration between the Urban League the Madison Region serves as a national model for economic growth and economic inclusion. We would like to extend a special thank you to the many sponsors who made the event possible, especially our co-presenting sponsors, Alliant Energy and UW Health.

Feedback from the varied offerings of plenary and breakouts speakers was very positive the day of the event, as ideas, strategies, and tools were discussed to help organizations move their diversity and inclusion efforts forward. A few of the presentations from the Summit are available for sharing. If you are interested in sponsoring next year, getting involved, or receiving the presentation for a speaker or breakout session, please contact MadREP Operations and Fundraising Specialist Jana Moore at jmoore@madisonregion.org. Attendees are encouraged to respond to the follow-up survey sent out earlier, as feedback received on that form will help to drive the agenda for the 2024 Summit.

If you missed it, check out the conversation on twitter at #madsummit as well as photos from the day. We are grateful to everyone who helped make this continued collaboration a success. Don’t forget to save the date for next year: May 2, 2024.

MadREP Statement on State Child Care Funding

The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) strongly encourages the State to increase its investment in child care in Wisconsin’s 2023-25 biennial budget. Economic development in our state is limited by the availability of child care services. Underinvestment in child care will have long-term impacts on Wisconsin’s economy by negatively affecting tax revenues, household income, and businesses. State financial support is critical to supporting the already struggling child care industry that working families and businesses rely on. Past state funding helped child care providers across Wisconsin maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and prevented closures. Decreasing state funding to the child care industry will have severe and long-term consequences, interrupting access to high quality Early Childhood Education during critical child development stages. Significant state involvement in addressing the need for more access to child care is necessary for the success of MadREP’s regional economic development initiatives. Wisconsin will miss opportunities for industry growth and regional economic prosperity if it fails to provide foundational child care support for residents.

The Center Square: Wisconsin apprenticeship programs growing more popular

Source: The Center Square

Apprenticeship programs across Wisconsin are on the rise, as companies fiercely compete for talent in the post-pandemic era.

Wisconsin Apprenticeship Deputy Director Liz Pusch pointed to an ongoing surge in business engagement with the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD), adding that more students and even college-educated workers now view the program as an avenue toward better job opportunities.

“Our average age of a registered apprentice is 28 years old,” Pusch shared during a recent speech at the Madison Region’s Economic Development and Diversity Summit hosted by the Madison Region Economic Partnership and the Urban League of Greater Madison, according to WisBusiness.com. “So people are starting in their career route, and then they’re figuring out, ‘This is not what I want to do.’”

In April, DWD announced a new record-high 8,357 high school junior and senior students were taking part in the Youth Apprenticeship programs during the 2022-23 school year, and just weeks before then state officials highlighted that a record 15,900 apprentices took part in the Registered Apprenticeship program last year. While many of the programs typically train workers for a specific occupation, the youth program is structured to open participants to a growing list of career choices.

“Employers are starting to see some increased retention because you’re making and building this bond with the workers,” said Seth Lentz, executive director of the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, adding that more businesses are starting to internalize the long-term advantages of investing in their own workers’ skills.

Article originally published on thecentersquare.com

WPR: Wisconsin has regained almost all the population it lost since 2020, but rebounds have been uneven

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin has regained almost all the population it lost since 2020, despite the fact that deaths are outnumbering births in the state.

But even as more people move to Wisconsin, the state’s post-pandemic population gains have been uneven. Milwaukee County continues to shrink, while the Madison area in Dane County is surging. And several rural counties in northern Wisconsin are seeing relatively high population growth rates, recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

Transplants account for statewide growth, as more Wisconsinites die than are born

Between the official U.S. Census count on April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, Wisconsin lost 13,624 people, a drop of about 0.23 percent.

But, by July 1, 2022, Wisconsin had regained most of that loss, according to the updated census estimates. The state had nearly 5.9 million residents in 2022, which was only 1,186 fewer people than were tallied just after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

New people relocating to Wisconsin — whether from overseas or from other states — accounted for much of the population rebound between 2021 and 2022, said John Johnson, a research fellow at the Marquette Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

That’s because deaths have been exceeding births in Wisconsin every year since 2020.

Migration is going to be the driver of population change, growth or decline, going forward“Even last year, which was an improvement for the state, we still had more deaths than births,” Johnson said. “Migration is going to be the driver of population change, growth or decline, going forward.”

In 2022, 63,397 Wisconsinites died — 1,758 more than were born. By comparison, more than 7,657 people moved to Wisconsin from elsewhere in the U.S., and an estimated 8,174 people immigrated to the state from other countries, according the Census Bureau totals.

The phenomenon of deaths exceeding births has been decades in the making, Johnson said. Demographers point to factors like the aging of baby boomers, as well as trends seen in other developed nations where people are more likely to give birth later and to have fewer children overall compared to previous generations.

“The pandemic accelerated that trend (of deaths outpacing births),” Johnson said. “The switch from slightly more births than deaths to slightly more deaths than births occurred sooner than we expected, but I think most demographers expected that switch to happen later in this decade.”

In 2020, deaths exceeded births in half of all U.S. states, which was a record high number of states, according to an analysis from the University of New Hampshire. Those trends continued into 2021 (when deaths outpaced births in 26 states) and in 2022 (when there were more deaths than births in 24 states), according to a UNH analysis.

Deaths from COVID-19 itself played a role — an estimated 16,498 Wisconsinsites have died from the disease since 2020. Experts also point to the likelihood of excess deaths, meaning people who died as an indirect result of the pandemic. That could include people whose access to health care was delayed, or those who died of drug overdoses or suicide amid social isolation.

And, on the other end of the life cycle, the pandemic may have motivated parents to delay having children because of worries about finances, health risks or being cut off from social supports.

Population rebounds were uneven, as Milwaukee County kept plummeting

Although Wisconsin has as a whole has attracted enough transplants in the last year to nearly make up for its post-2020 population drop, rebound patterns vary widely across the state.

Those divides could have lasting economic implications, as workforces grow or shrink. Population also translates to political power, since census counts are used to calculate representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and to help determine the boundaries of state and local political districts.

Although Milwaukee County remains the state’s most populous county overall, it’s also lost the most residents in recent years.

The county’s population dropped by 20,834 people between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2022, a decline of more than 2 percent.

In a statement, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said the county’s strategic plan aims to retain residents, in part by focusing on people who have been historically underserved.

“Milwaukee County remains at the top of some of the worst lists when it comes to race and health equity, and we’ve been at the top for the better part of the decade — this hurts everyone,” Crowley said. “If we’re concerned about the exodus from the County then we must make the investments to make our region a place people want to stay, settle down, and contribute to the community around them.”

Rates of homeownership, poverty and infant mortality vary widely between white, Black and Latino Milwaukee County residents, according to figures gathered by the county as part of its racial equity public health plan. The city of Milwaukee also routinely ranks as among the country’s most racially segregated.

The county’s post-pandemic population loss is a continuation of a long-term trend. Between the 2020 and 2010 Census, Milwaukee County lost more than 8,200 residents, close to a 0.9 percent drop.

The 2020 figure could shift somewhat, however, if an effort by Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson is successful. Johnson is challenging that city’s official 2020 Census count, arguing the Bureau undercounted the city’s residents by about 16,500 people, leading to millions of dollars in forgone federal funding.

Post-pandemic figures show Dane County growth continues

At the other end of the spectrum was Dane County, which has seen continued population gains since 2020.

Dane County added 6,696 people since 2020, the largest number of new residents for any Wisconsin county, the new Census Bureau data shows, representing a growth rate just over 1 percent.

Madison, Dane County’s largest city, is home to Wisconsin’s state capital and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The county’s largest employers include the health care records company Epic Systems and the insurance companies American Family Insurance and CUNA Mutual, according to the Madison Region Economic Partnership. It’s also home to the scientific research companies PPD and Exact Sciences.

Between 2010 and 2020, Dane County’s population grew 15 percent to more than 561,500 people, according to the U.S. Census.

Although Dane County gained the largest number of residents, several northern Wisconsin counties actually saw the highest post-2020 growth rates as a percentage of their total populations.

Vilas County near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula gained 716 residents since spring of 2020, a 3.1 percent bump. In Burnett County, which borders Minnesota, the population likewise jumped by 3.1 percent, although that increase represented a relatively modest number of 510 additional residents.

Johnson says that could be a result of people who’ve retreated from urban areas to be closer to nature.

“Everyone I’ve talked to thinks it’s the …  lifestyle popularity of moving up there and living in a more rural area with access to great parks and things like that,” he said. “Many more people moved to the Northwoods than moved away from it, and that’s what drove whatever population growth those counties did see.”

Originally published on wpr.org