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Jan 23, 201812:24 PMMaking Madison

with Buckley Brinkman

Wisconsin’s economy looks ready for takeoff

(page 2 of 2)

The Great Recession also made our ecosystem stronger for the future. Manufacturing became much more efficient, as output grew with a more effective workforce. The Wisconsin manufacturing industry finally made it back to 483,000 employees in November — the same level as nine years earlier and up from the trough of 424,000 workers in January 2010. At the same time, output increased by 18%. With unemployment at 3.2% in the state, creating jobs is not an issue, so this productivity improvement is good news.

Future growth depends on our ability to build productivity and bring more people into the workforce. These efforts require broad-based initiatives across many industries, not just a focus on a handful of sectors or companies. Success demands a fresh approach by business leaders, government, social agencies, and communities — really, all of us. We all must look forward to create future solutions and not assign blame for the current situation. We need everyone’s efforts and talents to drive forward. The challenges are complicated, so beware of people who provide one or two sentence solutions. The world is more complicated than a sound bite.

Wisconsin is on the runway, poised for a rapid ascent. Growth and success go far beyond job gains. Our diverse economic base, supportive ecosystem, and people throughout the state that understand the value of collaboration put us in a unique position. Our challenge is growing with fewer workers. That will require new approaches to productivity and transforming the ways we get things done. That should be enough to motivate all of us to address the critical issues and create a smooth flight plan into the future.

Wisconsin is ready for takeoff and positioned for a bright tomorrow! Are you ready to embrace change and engage? If so, grab your shades and let’s go!

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About This Blog

Buckley Brinkman is executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity and writes about the manufacturing sector in Greater Madison and throughout Wisconsin. He has a breadth of experience in helping companies drive growth, world-class competitiveness, and performance excellence, and has led efforts to save dozens of operations in the U.S. by finding new ways for them to compete. A Wisconsin native, Brinkman holds a business degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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