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Industry Updates

Retirees in Northeast Wisconsin Still Willing to Work — Part-Time


In northeast Wisconsin, manufacturers are having a tough time finding capable employees — not that manufacturers in other parts of the United States aren’t experiencing something similar. But a solution to the problem — which could become a best practice for manufacturers’ human resource departments — could be to hire older manufacturing workers who are seeking part-time employment after they retire.

According to the Green Bay (Wis.) Press Gazette, three-fourths of older manufacturing workers in northeast Wisconsin want part-time or seasonal work after they retire. “Over half [of workers] want to work 20 or more hours a week, but a lot of our manufacturing companies don’t have part-time jobs,” Ann Franz, executive director of the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance (NWMA), told the Press Gazette. “So that’s one of the things we’re going to be saying you really need to re-look at.”

According to NWMA’s 2020 Vitality Index Study, three out of four manufacturers are having “difficulty finding talent” in the area. While the number is down from previous years, the high percentage is still alarming. The most-difficult-to-find employees are machinists. Franz said the NWMA found that older workers wanted part-time or seasonal work so they could maintain health insurance and build more savings.

Stephanie Bloomingdale, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, expressed concern that workers who really want to retire feel like they have to keep working. “Retirement is supposed to be retirement, not work,” Bloomingdale told the Press Gazette. “So is it just continuing to work, or is there any retirement? Are workers earning and saving enough to retire with dignity?”

Maybe they aren’t. Or maybe they just feel like retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Read the entire Press Gazette story here.