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First-of-its-Kind Study Demonstrates Increasing Economic Impact of Technology Jobs in the Milwaukee Region

Technology dependent industries contributed more than $27.6 billion in regional economic impact in 2017

June 26, 2018

MILWAUKEE – June 26, 2018 – Leading job creators in the seven county Milwaukee region partnered for the first time to conduct a comprehensive study of technology talent and its impact on the economy. The analysis, titled Milwaukee’s Tech Talent Impact, identifies nearly 76,000 technology workers in 89 distinct occupations and revealed that technology talent dependent industries contributed more than $27.6 billion in regional economic impact in 2017. That’s nearly one quarter of the total regional economic output of $119.2 billion.

The findings were unveiled today at a community event that gathered business, technology, academic and government leaders to discuss the importance of tech talent in the region and what is needed for future growth.

“Technology is rapidly accelerating the pace of change and the need for talent across many industries,” said John Schlifske, chairman and CEO, Northwestern Mutual. “This study demonstrates the increasing economic impact of technology talent in our region and helps us better understand the needs for future growth. The private industry sector is committed to attracting and retaining tech talent, which will help position Milwaukee for success in a digital future.”

The study also identified three types of digital job categories account for 75 percent of the region’s tech talent, including computer/mathematical, engineering and business/financial. In total, the estimated earnings of the region’s tech talent exceeds $4.7 billion each year.

In order to identify technology talent in the region across multiple industries, this new analysis incorporates an occupation-based job definition, which goes beyond measuring manufacturing and services directly associated with information technology (IT). The research incorporates information from CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2017, the Brookings Institute and local employers’ input based on their respective workforce roles.

“Southeastern Wisconsin is no longer just a manufacturing region,” said Nick Turkal, MD, president and CEO, Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit health care system in the U.S. and largest private workforce employer in Wisconsin. “Our call to action is for employers, higher education and workforce development agencies to make investing in our digital workers and emerging technologies across all fields – including health care – a top priority for the region.”

The study found several occupations are experiencing higher than average growth rates (ranging from 9-16 percent): market research analysts, management analysts, computer system analysts, software developers, mechanical engineers and computer and information systems managers. However, the overall tech talent growth rate in the Milwaukee region has been low (8 percent growth from 2010-2017).

“Today’s advanced manufacturing jobs that are being created in southeastern Wisconsin and nationally require strong technical skills,” said Blake Moret, chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation. “Building and maintaining this skilled manufacturing workforce can be achieved through lifelong learning, competency-based, multi-media instruction, and partnerships between learning centers and manufacturers. Adopting this successful approach will help us develop the tech talent that’s required to meet our region’s growing needs.” 

The study shows the region is expected to experience a minimum of 31,000 job openings in the next five years due to replacement based on historical rates of retirement and changing careers. This figure does not include thousands of new jobs projected to be created in the Milwaukee region or the digital transformation that is driving talent shifts in most industry sectors. “Collaboration among our companies is critical,” said Tina Chang, CEO, SysLogic. “We all share the same goal of advancing technology in our region and we will have an even greater impact if we come together to support diversity while building up skills in the tech community.”  

To learn more about the economic impact study, visit The study was supported by the following companies:

  • Advocate Aurora Health
  • Baird
  • Dynamis
  • Foxconn
  • Gener8tor
  • Graef
  • Johnson Controls
  • Kohl’s
  • Miller Coors
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Milwaukee Institute
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Pendio
  • Penrod
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Safenet
  • Scanalytics Inc.
  • Skills Pipeline
  • SysLogic
  • West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

About Milwaukee’s Tech Talent Impact Study

Milwaukee’s Tech Talent Impact Study was conducted by TIP Strategies, Inc., in partnership with the Huls Group, LLC, on behalf of approximately twenty employers and non-profit partners in the seven-county region of Southeastern Wisconsin. This report aims to document the occupations that are a part of the tech talent cluster and the industries that depend on them. This Tech Talent Cluster goes beyond the traditional definition—which is typically limited to manufacturing and services directly associated with information technology (IT)—to capture workers across multiple industries. In addition to identifying a more comprehensive talent base, this approach allows the analysis to better reflect the importance of tech talent to the region’s major employers. These Tech Talent Dependent Industries are defined for this analysis as industries that have 15 percent or more of their workforce comprised of Tech Talent Cluster occupations. This analysis provides a baseline state of the talent cluster from which progress over time can be measured.

The Huls Group positions communities, companies, and organizations for accelerated success in the innovation economy and can be found at: TIP Strategies, Inc., is a consulting firm that specializes in economic and workforce development research, analysis, and strategic planning and can be found at:

About Advocate Aurora Health

Advocate Aurora Health is the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health system in the United States and a leading employer in the Midwest with more than 70,000 employees, including more than 22,000 nurses and the region’s largest employed medical staff and home health organization. A national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience, and value-based care, the system serves nearly 3 million patients annually in Illinois and Wisconsin across more than 500 sites of care. Advocate Aurora is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies and is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, and pediatrics. The organization also contributed $2 billion in charitable care and services to its communities in 2016.

About Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for more than 160 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach, we empower our clients to make the most of every single day and plan for important moments in their future. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience to help our clients navigate their financial lives every day. With $265.0 billion in assets, $28.1 billion in revenues, and $1.8 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to 4.5 million people who rely on us for life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, brokerage and advisory services, trust services, and discretionary portfolio management solutions. The company manages more than $125 billion of client assets through its wealth management and investment services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 104 on the 2018 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2018.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance).

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs approximately 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

About SysLogic

SysLogic is an information technology consulting and services firm dedicated to helping clients conduct business more effectively and efficiently. SysLogic provides deep industry expertise and delivers solutions that leverage leading-edge technology and sound business practices in the areas of business and technology strategy, enterprise applications and architecture, information management, and cybersecurity. The firm has been partnering with clients to extend the range, reach and value of information technology to help transform the way organizations do business since 1995.


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