Wisconsin has been hit by a series of disturbing job losses. There has been a lot of media coverage of the Oscar Mayer plant closure in Madison and the loss of over 1000 good jobs. Unfortunately, other lower profile closures and layoffs have been pilling up.
Nearly 500 Enbridge Energy workers in Canada and the United States were laid off, including employees in the Superior area. MetalTek International, in Waukesha cut 13% of its workforce last week. MetalTek International axed 60 employees.
In October, Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson announced it would cut 250 salaried positions. In September, General Electric sliced 350 jobs in Waukesha. HyPro of Whitewater is laying off 62. In Janesville, Data Dimensions cut 120 workers and Grainger laid off 20.
Johnson Controls Inc. is chopping 277 more jobs from its Milwaukee-area operations which recently received $1 million from WEDC to create jobs. In August, Johnson Controls announced it would cut 197 jobs in West Allis. The day after cutting 277 jobs, Johnson Controls increased dividends by 11.5%
Wisconsin will have lost more than 10,000 jobs in mass layoffs by the end of the year. There are no easy solutions to fix Wisconsin's economic woes. However, it is clear what we are doing is not working and we must change paths.
WEDC, Governor Walker’s discredited jobs agency, mistakenly assumes that giving aid to well-connected corporations will trickle down to workers. Wisconsin’s declining economic vitality is rooted in the failure of our political and business leaders to develop a serious strategy for expanding economic opportunity.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin lays the framework for a common sense strategy for expanding economic opportunity for everyone, not just the wealthy. We call it the Wisconsin Economic Opportunity Agenda. Wisconsin progressive political leaders need to make creating good family supporting jobs the singular purpose of Wisconsin economic development policy.