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Oct 15, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies

In what will play a major role in Wisconsin's economic recovery, more than 426,000 "middle-skill" job openings -- those that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree -- are projected for the state by 2016, concludes this study by The Workforce Alliance (TWA) and the Skills2Compete-Wisconsin campaign, of which of COWS is a lead partner.

The report, which tracks Wisconsin's jobs at the middle-skill level, notes that funds from federal economic recovery legislation, especially the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are expected to create more than one million new jobs across the country and that Wisconsin has a number of exemplary middle-skill education and training opportunities. These opportunities must continue to keep up with the anticipated demand for middle-skill workers.

Wisconsin's Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs also assesses the current and future middle-skill employment and education patterns in the state.


Skills2Compete-Wisconsin believes every Wisconsinite should have access to education or training past high school -- leading to a technical college degree or diploma, occupational credential, industry certification, or one's first two years of college -- to be pursued at whatever point and pace makes sense for individual workers and industries.

Oct 07, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies
Developed by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy for Regional Industry Skills Education (RISE), Key Middle-Skill Opportunities in Wisconsin provides a detailed look at projected job opportunities and wages in well-paying occupations that typically do not require a 4-year college degree.
Oct 07, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
Developed by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy for Regional Industry Skills Education (RISE), Wisconsin RISE Target Population breaks down demographically those individuals who could use higher skills and better wages.
Sep 06, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin

The State of Working Wisconsin - Update 2009 gives a snapshot of the effects of the recession on Wisconsin workers and their families, and reports on other key trends.

Editors Annette Bernhardt, Heather Boushey, Laura Dresser, and Chris Tilly | Sep 01, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills

Across the United States, growing numbers of employers are breaking, bending, or evading long-established laws and standards designed to protect workers, from the minimum wage to job safety rules to the right to organize. This "gloves-off economy," no longer confined to a marginal set of sweatshops and fly-by-night small businesses, is sending shock waves into every corner of the low-wage -- and sometimes not so low-wage -- labor market. What can be done to reverse this dangerous trend?

This report, based on the book The Gloves-Off Economy: Labor Standards at the Bottom of America’s Labor Market (a Labor and Employment Relations Association volume published by Cornell University Press), provides a comprehensive yet compact summary of gloves-off practices, the workers who are affected by them, and strategies for enforcing workplace standards. The editors, four prominent labor scholars including COWS' Associate Director Laura Dresser, have brought together economists, sociologists, labor attorneys, union strategists, and other experts to offer varying perspectives on both the problem and the creative, practical solutions currently being developed in a wide range of communities and industries. Bernhardt, Boushey, Dresser, and Tilly and the volume’s 18 other authors combine rigorous analysis with a stirring call to renew worker protections.

(To purchase a bound hard copy of this report for $10, please contact Joanna Lukowicz,

Aug 13, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills
This report evaluates MATC's Science/Math Bridge, a pilot initiative to increase opportunities for lower-skill individuals to access - and succeed in - the college's science-based postsecondary programs.
Jul 23, 2009
Category: Wisconsin

This paper makes the case for a higher minimum wage in Wisconsin. Though the July 23, 2009, increase of the federal and state minimum wage to $7.25 will put money in the pockets of 196,000 Wisconsin working adults, we can do more to increase low wage workers' spending power, and in doing so, boost the economy.


A proposal by state leaders to increase the state minimum to $7.60 and index it annually to inflation would bring higher wages to some 316,000 workers and put 108 million dollars into the economy.

Matt Vidal | Jul 08, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies

This article, published in the International Labor Brief of the Korea Labor Institute, discusses the formation of the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP, its maturation as a key labor market intermediary in the Milwaukee regional economy, and how it is faring in the current economic crisis.

Midwestern Governors Association | Jun 30, 2009
Category: Jobs & Skills, State & Local Policy

This report, courtesy of the Midwestern Governors Association, outlines strategies for job creation through state policy changes in the Midwest.


COWS’ Sarah White served on the Advisory Board that developed and wrote the Platform.

Stacy Ho and Satya Rhodes-Conway | Jun 17, 2009
Category: Energy: Energy Efficiency, Energy
A Short Guide to Setting Up a City-Scale Retrofit Program, co-authored by Green For All and COWS, provides a model for designing and implementing weatherization and retrofitting programs on a citywide scale, with a goal of making these retrofits available to more households and providing good, entry-level jobs with career pathways.