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Was There a Skills Gap In the Manufacturing Boom?

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Wisconsin Historical Society

Our Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted series this week is exploring the realities and myths of the "skills gap," the apparent mismatch between unemployed workers and existing jobs.

This gap is playing out as the country continues to slowly emerge from the Great Recession. But what was it like during times of rapid job growth, like the boom in the manufacturing industry in Milwaukee?

For some answers to that historical perspective, we turn to historian John Gurda, author of numerous books on Milwaukee history, including The Making of Milwaukee and Cream City Chronicles. He met up with WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl in the Menomonee Valley, and talked about how workers decades ago learned their trade.

Ann-Elise Henzl became News Director in September 2017.