Gulfstream jobs shows area skills gap

GREENVILLE — Jobs and the lack of skilled workers will be in the spotlight over the next week. This as Governor Scott Walker puts money in his state budget to narrow the gap between skills possessed and skills needed. 

Ahead of the budget announcement about a week from now, the governor and lieutenant governor are touting jobs around the state.

At Gulfstream in Greenville, hopes are high thanks to strong orders for the company's newest flagship aircraft the G650. The company has more than 200 orders for the new $64 million plane.

"With the type of aircraft that we have it is a global economy for us to produce airplanes not just for the United States but around the world," said Greg Laabs, vice president and general manager of Gulf Stream Greenville.

Gulfstream Greenville designs and finishes interior work as well as paint for their planes. With orders for the G650 through 2017, more than 100 additional workers are being hired in a variety of different jobs.

The company says so far about 30 of the 100 available jobs have been filled, but because of the skills gap, Laabs says not all of them have come from the Fox Valley.

"A number of the positions are much more skill oriented and we are having to go out farther than just the valley or farther than just Madison or Milwaukee and reach farther across the country."

Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Shannon Full says that's a concern

"We do a great job developing talent here locally, but I'm concerned, is there enough in the pipeline with the K-12 system but also with the existing workforce for us to fill the immediate needs as well as the future needs."

An issue Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefish, who visited Gulfstream Tuesday, said Governor Walker plans to address in the next state budget.

"Get these folks the skills they need in order to take these jobs...that's why this governor is making about a $100 million investment in workforce development"

Jobs companies like Gulfstream are anxious to fill.

Kleefisch says the proposed budget would also add $15 million for technical colleges to provide students with the skills they don't have, but need for the jobs available.

It would also create a state office to approve distributing the money to train workers.

The budget doesn't become law until the legislature passes it and the governor signs it.

Copyright 2014 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Wisconsin (change)

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
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Governor: Scott Walker
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
Attorney General: J.B. Van Hollen

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