Making Madison

WITH BUCKLEY BRINKMAN

An Explorer in an XLR world

I’m not a car guy. My Ford Explorer will pass 100,000 miles sometime in the next few weeks and I’m happy because it gets me there. Somewhere along the way, I lost the car gene.

When the skills gap becomes a body gap

We face a serious challenge to our economic future. Our skills gap is quickly changing into a body gap. Wisconsin addresses the skills gap as well as anyone in the country. Unfortunately, all of this effort will not be enough to overcome changing demographics. A shrinking workforce will require companies to improve productivity by almost 30% in order to maintain our present lifestyle. Making this transformation requires a new integrated approach, centered on three Ts: talent, technology, and techniques.

Three Ts for transformation

Manufacturing (and the rest of our economy) faces a tumultuous market in the next few years. Accelerating change, demographic trends, and discontinuous innovation will create new challenges for all companies, but even more for manufacturers.

Why is manufacturing so important to Dane County?

The Brookings Institute posted some exciting news this summer: Madison ranks No. 5 out of the top 100 metro areas in advanced industry growth. These are businesses that engage science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) resources and STEM employees to build cutting-edge organizations. Technology is key to these companies and manufacturing is a driver because 35 of the 50 industries are in manufacturing sectors.

About This Blog

Brinkman ThumbBuckley 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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