LA CROSSE (WKOW) -- Manufacturing companies are looking for more women to fill their jobs.
Federal statistics show women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, but hold less than a third of the nation's 12 million manufacturing jobs.
Companies like Milwaukee's Harley Davidson are targeting women through job fairs, professional organizations and schools.
Welders, in particular, are in high demand in Wisconsin.
Some local colleges are preparing students for the field.
At Western Technical College in La Crosse, they have a hands-on approach and about 30 hours of labs and lectures a week.
Program chair Jeff Cermak says the demand for welders has grown the last three to four years.
"The big thing is what we're looking at retirements, which is causing a shortage. That's pretty much what's driving a lot of our extra classes, is simply the welding area of that group of people are getting ready to retire, and they're looking for new people."
He expects that trend to continue because there's an increase in manufacturing.
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