I believe the 86th District, along with the rest of Wisconsin, is capable of supporting family sustaining jobs and jobs with pay equity. Living wages and family sustaining employment have got to be the number one priority! Gone are most the factories of yesteryear that provided all people with a living wage and great benefits.

While we need to focus on what employers are looking for in the workforce and work together with our area colleges and technical schools, we must also look at the fact that not all people further their education for various reasons. In years gone by our factories provided jobs for what we would call unskilled laborers. There will always be a need in this category. I believe the fast food corporations today are that factory of yesterday, fully capable of supporting a living wage and benefits.

All too many adults are working minimum wage jobs, leaving them to rely on the system for support. We, the public, become angered with them, when perhaps our anger should be turned to those who do not provide a living wage. Consumer spending as it is related to tax revenue is down, creating an economic cycle leaving less revenue to work with the following budget. We need to be able to spend money to make money.

Let’s collaborate with the Universities and our Technical Colleges to stay on top of employment needs in our community. Let’s pay special attention to what we will see emerging as a workforce in the future. Let’s also work to keep it diverse. I feel our strong community should be comprised of manufacturing, health care, as well as retail. Let’s not overlook tourism. When people come and see what we have to offer, they often return!

☞ View more issues

Workers Rights

Nancy with Joel Lewis of Wisconsin Jobs Now and the Marathon County Board