MON AM News: Workforce shortage driven by aging population, low birth rate, report shows; State providing tax credits for Catalent expansion

— The state’s ongoing workforce shortage is being driven by a decreasing youth population, a growing number of seniors and a low birth rate, a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum shows. 

The lack of working-age residents varies across the state, with places like Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids faring much worse than the Madison and Appleton areas. 

Wisconsin’s working-age population — 18 to 64 — peaked in 2011 at 3.6 million, the report shows but has decreased by about 1 percent since then. It’s declined slightly each year for the past four years, marking a “relatively small” but nonetheless troubling trend, report authors said. 

At the same time, the state’s youth population has decreased by over 45,000 since 2011 for a decrease of 3.4 percent. And WPF says this trend is likely to continue, drawing on prior reports showing the state’s birth rate is the lowest it’s been in a generation. Furthermore, the state’s fertility rate has also decreased over the past 10 years. 

Citing numbers from the state Department of Workforce Development, the report shows total jobs are expected to increase by 210,178 workers between 2016 and 2026. And with many from the baby boomer generation retiring, more job openings are sure to be created. 

But the state projects “virtually no growth” in the working-age population through 2040. 

“While long-term jobs projections are difficult to make and could turn out to be inaccurate (due to a variety of factors such as changing technology and automation), these numbers paint an ominous picture,” report authors wrote. 

Since 2011, the state’s senior population — ages 65 and older — has increased by 163,970. And since 2005, it’s grown by 42 percent. Report authors say this trend could impact the state’s ability to fill existing jobs, as well as efforts to attract new businesses to the state and convincing existing companies to expand. 

See more: 

— The state is providing up to $1.3 million in tax credits to Catalent Biologics, supporting the company’s recently announced $75 million Madison expansion. 

Gov. Tony Evers joined company leaders Friday to announce the expansion, which is expected to create at least 145 new jobs in the state. 

“The numerous high-paying jobs created by this expansion will require an educated workforce to support new roles, which provides another example of how backing education in Wisconsin creates opportunities for businesses to grow and utilize our strong workforce,” Evers said. 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has authorized the tax credits, but the company won’t receive any until it hits certain benchmarks for both job creation and capital expenditures in the state. 

The 60,000-square-foot expansion will more than double the site’s commercial biomanufacturing capacity, according to a release from the guv’s office. Two new biomanufacturing suites will be constructed, adding clinical and commercial production capacity. The project is expected to wrap up by mid-2021. 

On top of the 145 direct jobs to be created, WEDC cites an economic modeling study to estimate the project could indirectly create 206 indirect jobs in the region, for a total potential impact of 351 jobs. 

Catalent is headquartered in New Jersey and has 35 facilities across five continents including 13 in the United States. The company produces approximately 72 billion doses each year for more than 7,000 consumer products. 

See the release: 

— Graduates of the Milwaukee School of Engineering have the highest average starting salary out of Wisconsin’s top colleges and universities, according to a recent ranking published by SmartAsset. 

MSOE grads earn $65,000 on average after leaving school, the report shows. And graduates receive more than $25,000 in scholarships and grants on average. Students qualifying for in-state tuition from MSOE pay just under $38,000 per year. 

The top five universities in the state for average starting salary were all between $51,000 and $57,000, though average tuition and grants vary more widely. 

Marquette University grads have an average starting salary of $56,400, and in-state tuition is $38,470, according to the report. Average scholarships and grants are $20,717. 

By comparison, UW-Platteville’s average starting salary is nearly as high — $56,000 — but average scholarships and grants are much lower, at about $4,000, while tuition is just under $7,500. 

UW-Madison’s average starting salary is $55,700, while average scholarships and grants are a little over $9,000 and college tuition is around $10,000. 

Meanwhile, UW-Eau Claire grads have an average starting salary of $51,100, with scholarships and grants at around $5,000 and tuition at $8,800. 

Rounding out the top 10 are UW-Stout, UW-Milwaukee, Edgewood College, UW-La Crosse and Cardinal Stritch University, with starting salaries for grads between $48,200 and $49,700. Average scholarships and grants for these schools range more widely, between $4,000 and $23,000. And tuition ranges from $9,000 to just over $28,000. 

See the report: 

— Foxconn is holding its second annual “Foxconn Day” hiring event in partnership with UW-Milwaukee’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. 

The day-long event will be held Wednesday at the school’s Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Building. 

Aside from meeting opportunities between Foxconn recruiters and other officials, the event will also feature panel discussions with leaders of Foxconn Industrial Internet, the company’s advanced technology group. 

Students will have the chance to hear from Brand Cheng, CEO for Fii, and Taiyu Chou, company COO, discussing industrial 5G networks and high-performance computing. 

See more event info: 

See an earlier story on Foxconn Industrial Internet: 

— Foxconn Industrial Internet will be manufacturing home security touchscreen tablets in Mount Pleasant for a San Jose-based company called Qolsys, according to a report from BizTimes Milwaukee. 

Fii has previously announced plans to make automated coffee kiosks for a Texas company called Briggo. 

In a separate report from the Milwaukee Business Journal, Fii has announced plans to record the 49ers pro football team’s postgame press conferences using 8K cameras. 

See more in Foxconn Reports below. 

— A number of business groups in the state are backing legislation to help System college dropouts with information related to training, education and career opportunities. 

Lawmakers were circulating the legislation last week for co-sponsorship. Authors include Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, Sen. Dan Feyen, R-Fond du Lac, and Sen. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville. 

The authors say the bill is “a creative way to recruit an underutilized market” — the 10,000 individuals each year who were enrolled in the UW System but didn’t graduate. 

The co-sponsorship memo shows materials and postage costs for the program would be paid for by private organizations providing apprenticeships or nursing training, technical colleges, or others training in collaboration with a tech college. 

The cost to taxpayers for the program is estimated at $40,000, and it would sunset after five years unless it was renewed with another bill, according to the memo. 

The Second Start bill is supported by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors, the Wisconsin Builders Association, Associated General Contractors Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Association for Home Health Care and others. 

See last week’s co-sponsorship memo: 


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– DATCP, DWD to provide job training for Wisconsin farmers


– Work starts on $40 million Soldiers Home project to create veteran housing

– Soldiers Home restoration for veterans housing begins after years-long effort


– State superintendent: Teacher shortage, achievement gap remain key challenges


– Second annual Fall Experiment festival planned for Oct. 4 and 5

– Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond to step down at end of season


– Gathering waters group to honor state conservation leaders

– Sensitive coastal habitat restored along Lake Superior’s Wisconsin Point

– State’s only CWD detection lab ramps up preparation efforts as gun deer season approaches


– Foxconn to assemble Qolsys IQ Panels in Mount Pleasant

– Foxconn to assemble home security tech products in Mount Pleasant

– NFL’s 49ers partner with Foxconn on 8K video production


– Joe Maddon, Harry Caray’s brought in to ROC Ventures counterclaim against Routine Baseball

– Festival Foods fined by state for having food below weight listed on labels


– Jim Mueller to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Nonprofit Excellence Awards program


– Pocan, Baldwin earn NFU Golden Triangle awards

– Pocan: More testing needed for proposed F-35 jets at Madison’s Truax Field

– Wisconsin youth strike against climate change


– Three-story mixed-use building planned for downtown Sussex

– Zuern Building Products moving HQ to former Legendary Whitetails building in Slinger

– Tim Michels talks $100M Milwaukee project, recruiting millennials: Slideshow

– Michels Corp. secures hotel for $100M Harbor District development in Milwaukee


– Updated design plans unveiled for Bayshore redevelopment


– Geneva Supply named fastest growing company of 2019 Future 50


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