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Can Milwaukee Shake Its Blue Collar Image And Attract Tech Companies?

Damien Sachs-Dromsön

The most recent data put the unemployment rate at 5.4 percent - with job creation numbers in Wisconsin remaining below the national rate.

One area of concern among many in the Milwaukee area is technology jobs – specifically, concerns that companies may be overlooking the region because of a dearth of prepared workers.

Lake Effect regular Alison Bauter covers technology and innovation for the Milwaukee Business Journal, and recently chatted about Milwaukee's tech talent reputation, or lack thereof, with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich.

"If you're looking for tech talent, you're probably not going to go hunting in Milwaukee," Bauter says. "And if you want to start that kind of a company you're probably going to maybe start up in Madison, Chicago, Minneapolis, but Milwaukee...not so likely."

So what can Milwaukee do as a city to attract more companies and more workers? Bauter says we need to take a good look at what we can offer, or change, in order to attract a larger workforce and innovative companies.

"What are Milwaukee's assets?," she asks. "What do we have to attract people here and to keep them here? Because in this mobile workforce, a lot of people fear we are falling behind."

Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.