In a column published by the quarterly magazine, Wisconsin Business Voice, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer said the Badger State's workforce shortage could be partially solved by attracting Illinois residents over the border.In addition to the questionable desire to use taxpayer dollars for this “attract the FIBs” program that Bauer wants, there’s a bigger problem with WMC’s theory. The most recent “gold standard” Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages makes it clear that it'll take even more cash for this plan to work.
Listing the numerous problems faced by it's (sic!) neighbor to the south, Bauer claims there is an "opportunity for Wisconsin."
Last October, a scientific poll conducted by Southern Illinois University found that 47 percent of Illinoisans would leave the state. If they are already leaving Illinois, why not encourage them to come to Wisconsin, Bauer writes in his column.
He highlights the WMC-produced video "Wisconsin: A Great Place to Get Started" in the column, which promotes the state as an ideal location for startup businesses and millennial talent. However, he says a broader campaign is necessary and urges state lawmakers to fund the effort.
Average weekly wage, private sector Sept 2016
Average weekly wage, manufacturing, Sept 2016
Average weekly wage, construction, Sept 2016
So why would someone living in Illinois take a pay cut of $180-$200 a week to move to Wisconsin? Even more amazing is that Bauer would make these statements on the same day Governor Walker has signed a bill banning Project Labor Agreements on construction projects by local governments, a move that is likely to drive the wage gap between the two states even further apart.
It amazes me how the WMC/ALEC crowd continues not to understand that offering a fair wage and high quality of life attracts the talent you want. Or maybe they do get this concept, but they’re such arrogant greedheads that they don’t care to ask our state government to do something about it.
And then these idiots wonder why people aren’t streaming across the border to take work in Wisconsin, and whine about the “skills gap” that their anti-worker policies helped lead to. So I ask again, why are we allowing such self-absorbed, regressive dimwits to