MADISON (WKOW) — Worker shortages are not just happening in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, it’s happening right here in Wisconsin and hard times have fallen at Monroe Truck Equipment. But an idea by their HR department hopes to change that. Monroe Truck Equipment is working with a recruitment company in Puerto Rico to hire workers to move to Wisconsin.
"You have to start getting creative and you run out of resources so you have to start thinking outside the box,” said Brittni Ackley, Monroe’s HR manager. “That’s what led us to reaching out to people in Puerto Rico to not only see if we can help them, but they can help us."
Ackley calls it a win-win situation. Her company can gain employee’s while lending a helping hand to skilled workers looking for a job.
"It’s something different it’s a unique idea and sometimes it’s scary, but I’m grateful to be here and happy this company wants to do something good," said Ackley.
Ackley says they have close to 60 job openings and there’s plenty of work left untouched because there’s not enough people to get the job done.
"We’ve done a lot of recruiting at job fairs, but it’s still not bringing enough for that skill set that we need to complete our work. It does put us behind," she said.
They hope to hire 20-25 people from Puerto Rico and employees will receive the same pay rate as any other worker with the same skill set.
"I think business is beginning to pick up and boom, so in turn while it’s great to have record low unemployment we need to find people somewhere so we continue our growth in our business."
Governor Walker addressed this issue Tuesday saying there is a need for more training programs to fill the hundreds of job openings across the state.
“It’s a combination of a series of things. More resources for education and training, whether it’s through K-12, technical colleges, UW system and training programs like Wisconsin forward,” said Walker.