“I think that’s the critical issue looking forward, is this ‘you don’t need college’ crowd,” Wegenke told WisPolitics.com President Jeff Mayers in a recent interview. “And what are we going to do about it? I think we can’t be tacit. I think we have to get out there and tell the story.”

He says that process starts in K-12 education, though he acknowledged high school guidance counselors are grappling with issues such as student drug use, bullying and limited staffing. Still, he said these advisors as well as faculty and leaders in education need to be communicating the value of post-secondary education to students.

Wegenke also expressed “great respect” for the trades, noting people like welders and bus drivers play an important role in the economy alongside engineers and teachers.

Click here to listen to the interview.