Gold Collar Careers
Manufacturing Works is a volunteer organization created in 2004 with the purpose of promoting advanced manufacturing as a career option, using the term Gold Collar Careers, throughout northwestern Wisconsin. The name Gold Collar Careers represents a blend of the traditional blue collar and white collar workforce. Gold Collar Careers refers to available careers in manufacturing that are in high demand and provide excellent pay and benefits.
The organization, Manufacturing Works, consists of economic development partners, private manufacturing businesses, technical colleges, universities and Workforce Resource in northwestern Wisconsin – all with the same goal to promote manufacturing as an excellent career option to parents, teachers, counselors, students and other influencers.
A Volunteer Organization consisting of numerous agencies
Thanks to the generosity of supporting manufacturing organizations, the efforts of key manufacturing leadership, the support of CESAs at the secondary education level, post secondary colleges, and Workforce Development organizations much has been done to fill the pipeline to producing trained technicians in North West Wisconsin. Regional groups such as EMMA, 7-Rivers, Manufacturing Works, Grow North, Centergy, and others began to create an enhanced regional West Central Wisconsin Manufacturing image and helped to fill the supply chain for these manufacturing technology education programs.
Many of the regional groups were connected with a Wisconsin Technical College Initiative called Advanced Manufacturing Solutions and numerous funding grant opportunities. Wisconsin was divided into four quadrants. The NW Quadrant or Advanced Manufacturing Network - Northwest, was established and linked six technical college districts from Superior to La Crosse and from Hudson to Wausau. These six districts make up approximately fifty percent of Wisconsin's geographic area so that outreach was a challenge.
The regional efforts to promote manufacturing careers have been successful to date with more work to do. Many of the mall kiosks, youth academies, robotics competitions, welding camps, nanotechnology camps, movie trailers, teacher in-service training, publications, outreach and PowerPoint presentations have begun to fill the manufacturing training programs.
Manufacturing Jobs are in high demand
The technical worker supply chain however will continue to be an issue in Northern, Western, and North Central Wisconsin if the demographic predictions are correct. As a result of the projected skilled worker shortage for the coming years, we are now moving to expand on the initial successes of these groups to provide regional youth outreach and promote the positive and exciting nature of manufacturing.
Our job has just begun to help the middle school, high school, and displaced worker populations explore opportunities in manufacturing. The Gold Collar Career website is a portal to help middle school and high school students, teachers, parents, and other influencers the ability to explore manufacturing careers.