University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Employment Imperative: Tackling Workforce Challenges


If you’ve noticed challenges with hiring employees in the last few years, you are not alone. Businesses across the state of Wisconsin have struggled with recruitment and hiring in a wide range of industries, and a variety of environmental, historical, and economic factors have lead us to these challenges.

In this session, we’ll translate regional data into your day-to-day by understanding how long-term trends are impacting the current labor market and how local businesses are responding.

As part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development, Matt Kures specializes in researching regional economic analysis, labor force, socioeconomic impact analysis, and industry sector competitiveness. For this presentation, Matt will focus on precipitating factors and impacts, such as: labor-force participation, employment by industry, population demographics and migration, automation/computerization, and more.

From there, we’ll hear from a panel of local business owners/managers to hear how they are experiencing and coping with hiring challenges across a variety of industries.


Schedule & location: 1:30-3:30 pm CST live virtual event via Zoom

Date: March 10, 2022

Fee: This $99 course is being offered at no cost thanks to the generous support of our presenters.

Register Online Here

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations or to ask general questions about the SBDC, classes and consulting.


Matt Kures, Distinguished Community Development Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension

Matt carries out the Wisconsin Idea by assisting communities and organizations through economic development policy evaluation, labor force research and regional competitiveness analysis. Matt has worked at the University of Wisconsin since 2001.  During this time he has authored numerous studies on Wisconsin’s economy and has made frequent presentations to local, regional and national audiences. Matt was a regular contributor to the Capitol Region Business Journal and his work is featured in numerous other business and economic development publications.  Matt was named to “Madison’s 40 Under 40” by In Business magazine.  In 2016, he received the Outstanding Specialist Award from UW-Extension’s Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development program.  Matt has a B.S. and an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Brenda Fritz, Academy of Little VikingsaBrenda Moore Fritz, Owner & Founder, Academy of Little Vikings 4k & Childcare

From Brenda: I found my life’s purpose by working for free as a stay at home mother of two and a volunteer for a non-profit preschool cooperative.

I was raised on a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, which gave me a strong foundation of how to be an entrepreneur as well. My husband, Todd and I built a whimsical big red barn in Mt Horeb that serves to provide childcare and early childhood education to approximately 170 children daily. We could not do the work we do without the help of a large staff which is required for our heavily regulated industry. Some classrooms require 1 teacher for every 4 children.

Managing and supporting teams is a vital part of our ability to succeed and provide high-quality care and education. Working with a diverse population of high school education through master degree professionals, it took me the first 3 years to figure out our number one asset was our staff. We worked hard on culture and the importance of adding value to our teams. Once we started focusing on meeting our team’s needs we accomplished things like NAEYC Accreditation and a happy culture.

Prioritizing teams allowed for all areas of the business to succeed. Happy teachers lead to happy parents and most importantly – happy littles!

Sarah Artz, Founder, Good Day Shop

Sarah Artz is an entrepreneur and sometimes marketing consultant. She’s an experience-creator, conversation-seeker and why-asker. She founded One-OneThousand, a creative business that built a local economy around handcrafted goods. And now, she’s the proprietor of Good Day Shop, a boutique destination for mindfully-made home and lifestyle goods. In her spare time, you can find her making rounds at the dog park, catching a good flick, or laughing over a margarita-on-the-rocks-with-salt (please).

Kevin Maes, Vice President of Engineering at Millennium Geospatial

For the past 25 years, Kevin has spent his career designing and engineering networks on a national footprint. He has been building Fiber to the Home for over 20 years across Rural America. He is well known for teaching seminars and leading panel discussions throughout the telecommunications industry in which his innovative, forward-thinking and trendsetting ideas spark many conversations and interest with network owners. Kevin is currently leading Millennium Geospatial’s strategic initiatives that are resulting in data-driven solutions throughout the country. His passion and guidance are helping clients stay competitive and on the cutting edge with the  technology that’s available and forthcoming in the industry.

After High School, Kevin spent time in the US Army (Infantry). He has a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Minnesota. Kevin also earned his Executive Leadership Certificate from the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development. He is an avid fly fisherman. He is married and has a son.