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Rep. Mike Gallagher and Rep. Amanda Stuck roundtable discussion on workforce

Roundtable discussion on workforce in Fox Valley Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- On Tuesday, more than 20 people of different views gathered inside Appleton Beer Factory.

"We believe our country's best when we bring ideas together all across the spectrum," said Steven Olikara.

Olikara helped host the roundtable discussion. He is the Co-founder and President of Millennial Action Project.

"Millennial Action Project is a national non-partisan organization working to bring together millennial law makers across party lines," explained Olikara.

Included in the roundtable was State Rep. Amanda Stuck and U.S. Congressman Mike Gallagher. Both highlighted some issues in the Fox Valley workforce.

"Employers in Northeast Wisconsin just can't find people," said Gallagher. "We have plenty of jobs available with full employment in Wisconsin and yet our labor force participation, nationally, is down."

Some at the table say people may not be applying to jobs due to the demand of skills. However, many companies are now offering training's.

"We need to be thinking of that now and preparing those students for those jobs," said Rep. Stuck.

Stuck said attracting millennial's to jobs also means reviewing the area.

"So we need to be really intentional about protecting our resources here, creating vibrant communities. Where young people want to live, that will attract employers and the jobs that they want to fill," said Stuck.

Another matter brought to the table was losing jobs due to technology in the workforce.

"We need to have educational opportunities and worker retraining programs that help them get a job in a different industry, should their jobs get disrupted by automation or trade or something else," said Gallagher.

State leaders say it's conversations from both parties that will hopefully bring growth to the future.

The state's unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 2.8% last month.

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