1. What technology or trend are you most excited about for the future?
The realization among educators and young people that an education in the skilled trades is a key to a lifetime, family sustaining career that cannot be outsourced. It is no better or worse than any other career, just different. When I started in politics, a four year degree at one of Wisconsin’s state schools was a path to a comfortable middle class lifestyle. If that was ever true, it is not true now. Yes, for some, a bachelor’s degree or higher is good. I personally struggle with changing light bulbs, so the only way to keep me clothed and fed is a career that depends on an advanced degree. My son Jake had the ability at six years old to assemble IKEA furniture without relying on alcohol or profanity. Jake will complete his apprenticeship program with zero debt and a guaranteed job that starts in the mid five figures. Candidly, I think he has a brighter future than his average classmate that will go to college and deal with crushing debt. So, we got the kids and the teachers convinced. Now, we just need to convince mom and dad. In the abstract, parents agree in a career in the skilled trades. But, they need to know that it is the right move for their little Liam and little Charlotte.
2. Favorite Wisconsin beer?
I am so sick of IPAs and their bitter taste, and got turned onto sours when I recently visited a friend of mine in Seattle. Lakefront Brewery makes a great one for hot summer days – La Gose Rita. Tart, a little sweet, a little salty. What else do you need?
3. Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Maybe not advice, but I try to live by the words of raconteur Henry Rollins – My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.