Greater Oshkosh EDC surveying communities to find how child care affects the workforce

Data collection has begun and will continue through the end of January.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 5:44 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 5:54 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation, alongside the University of the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh’s Center for Customized Research and Services is partnering with the Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties to identify the child care needs of the area employees.

To better understand the gaps in child care the organizations sent out a survey to county businesses to give to employees.

Through environmental scans and independent research and gathering, it has been identified that a major inhibitor for the workforce able to return to employment is finding child care providers. In some areas, providers are only operating at 50% capacity because of the lack of child care workers, while other areas have a deficiency of facilities.

“Knowing there’s inadequate childcare as one of the causes of employee retention, doesn’t really help us fix the problem until we know more specifically, what are those gaps,” Mary Kohrell, the community economic director for Calumet County said.

While there are many reasons for worker shortages nationwide, Greater Oshkosh said, child care struggles play a big part. They hope that through their findings, communities can make changes to get people in the workforce again.

There are maybe people who are just exiting the workforce because they don’t have access to either affordable or available childcare,” Tricia Rathermel, the President & CEO of Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation said. “How many people, if they had more affordable childcare might have. Two parents working, which could just ease some of our labor issues, but then also help them with their quality of life as well?”

Data collection has begun and will continue through the end of January.

While the survey has been sent to area businesses, Rathermel said all input is welcome.

Take the survey Here.

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