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“You cannot choose your battlefield, God does that for you; But you can plant a standard Where a standard never flew." - Natalie Crane

Focus on Workforce

Over the past 10 years, the discussion around Wisconsin's economic viability has evolved from one that was focused on talent development and alignment to one that is now focused on the fact that we do not have enough working age individuals in the state of Wisconsin to meet our current demands for available positions. Consider two quick facts:

- Wisconsin is facing a projected nursing shortage of approximately 1,000 nurses per year for the next 20 years
- By 2022, Wisconsin's workforce shortage will be 46,000

Wisconsin needs to grow its residential workforce not by tens or hundreds of people a year, but by thousands of people each year for the next twenty years to meet the projected demand. Without these workers, Wisconsin's ability to invest in critical infrastructure and maintain a high quality of life will face serious challenges. We cannot meet the demand for these jobs without focusing on workforce recruitment and workforce retention. 

Wood Communications Group is working closely with Competitive Wisconsin, Inc, regional economic development organizations, education institutions, and major businesses around the state to identify recruitment and retention strategies that will help to fill high demand positions as soon as possible and create a talent supply chain that will help address the State's longterm workforce shortages. If you are interested in working with Wood Communications Group and Competitive Wisconsin on the workforce recruitment and retention initiative, please contact Kristin Dollhopf at

Kennan R. Wood

Kennan Wood joined WCG in 1996 after serving as Public Liaison at the Pentagon and as Account Executive at two Washington, D.C. public affairs and strategic planning firms. He is currently President of Wood Communications Group.

Kennan has over 25 years of experience as an executive strategist in public affairs, public relations, crisis management, community relations, issue management, media relations and community impact. Issue experience has included working with senior management at medium to large size organizations and corporations around the country on issues related to economic development, early childhood development, education, energy, health care, land use, tourism, regulatory permitting, natural resources, workforce development, early childhood development, leadership growth and policy implementation. Crisis communications experience has included senior strategic management responsibilities related to major incidents including hurricane Katrina, terrorist threats, work-place related deaths, work-place embezzlement and major environmental incidents. Additional professional experience includes overall brand protection for companies, organizations and educational institutions; strategic counsel related to policy and political related issues; and strategy development and implementation on socially charged issues relating to the environment, race, and economic inequality. Leadership experience includes overall strategic plan development and implementation for multi-state corporate communications initiatives, corporate communications team integration, large team management, budget development and management, rapid response team identification and training, entrepreneurial practice inspiration, and broad exposure to multiple issues affecting both the corporate and social communities.

In addition to his experience working with clients across the country, Kennan has been active on a number of volunteer boards and committees including Glaciers Edge Boy Scout Council, Entrepreneurs Organization of Wisconsin (Board President), Phantom Lake YMCA Camp (Board Chair), One City Early Childhood Development Center (Board Co-Chair) and the Madison Regional Economic Partnership subcommittee on Regional Cooperation, Leadership and Diversity.