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Pandemic continues to impact the workforce

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) - More than a year into the pandemic, the workforce continues to be impacted.

From labor shortages, to workers experiencing burnout, there have been many changes.

Katie Williams lives in Sun Prairie and says she always been career driven. “Right out of college, I joined a great company in Madison. I worked in a pretty technical role and within that role I developed a real interest in kind of project management.

After five years of working in the insurance industry, Williams moved on to a new company to expand her skills but like many other Wisconsinites she was laid off when the pandemic hit.

Williams say she put all her energy into searching for a new opportunity and eventually she found one in project management for an IT company.

“Now my current company I feel like it’s culturally just a better fit for me and it’s exactly where I wanted my career to go,” said Williams.

For many others, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the labor market.

Many industries are strained with worker shortages leaving a lot of available opportunities for job seekers, especially college grads.

“There’s worker shortages in a number of fields so a lot of college grads have their pick in certain areas,” said Matthew Hora, Associate Professor of Adult and Higher Education at UW-Madison.

Hora says much of those opportunities carry lower wage scales such as hospitality and restaurant workers. “Not sure you’re going to see a lot of college grads seeking those positions but with health care and teachers...there’s a lot of need for both of those occupations right now,” said Hora.

Williams encourages college grads looking for opportunities to keep an open mind.

“Leaving college you can think like this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. This is what I’ve been trained in and in my experience, doing things that you might think are far off from that can present opportunities that you really can get into and so, you know just don’t limit yourself,” said Williams.

Williams has since been promoted within her current company.

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