T.B. Scott Free Library Adult Department announces the continuation of the Building Merrill Together Program Series with a different look at today’s economy as it relates to the development of new business in the area.
The program will be held Feb. 6 from 6–8 p.m. in the T.B. Scott Free Library Community Room.
More than ever, people feel left behind in the new economy which is based in part on a re-definition of work. We have seen a big shift in our nation from the thought that you could get a good job and work there for 40 years. Today’s work environment demands that we be ready to work at a variety of different jobs – and even short-term projects – over the course of our careers. In this new model, employers increasingly cut costs by classifying workers as contractors who are independent, with all the freedom that it implies. Contractors, however, lack the legal status of an employee, including the promise of minimum wages, overtime benefits, health insurance, pension options, worker’s compensation, if hurt on the job, or unemployment benefits for those who are laid off.
Dr. Jon Shelton, a professor from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, will chart the historical origins and the political conditions that have led to our modern economy. We will examine some recent examples — permatemps, adjunct faculty, Uber drivers, free agent athletes — that have precipitated the erosion of the traditional workplace and the growth of a much more precarious generation of workers. How can we, as a society, prosper in an entrepreneurial economy and what is that economy’s relationship to our social safety-net programs? Will people take less risks being an entrepreneur if they are afraid of losing their initial business investment, while at the same time, facing the challenges of health care costs, saving for retirement, and providing college tuition for their children? How can community members, businesses and governmental agencies in the north-central area of Wisconsin foster an environment that promotes this type of entrepreneurial growth? The evening’s presentation and discussion are sure to address these concerns.
Dr. Shelton is assistant professor of democracy and justices studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Trained as an historian, he teaches courses on labor, education, and politics. The author of “Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order” (University of Illinois Press, 2017), he is at work on a new book about the historical connection between jobs, education, and economic opportunity in the United States in the 20th Century. Dr. Shelton is available to our community as a speaker through the Wisconsin Humanities Council Working Lives Project. At a time when the future of work is being debated, the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s Working Lives Project, and ShopTalk events, are opportunities for people to come together for informed, thoughtful discussion that encourages everyone to participate and learn from others’ perspectives. To find out more about the WHC and the Working Lives Project, go to their website at www.wisconsinhumanities.org.
Please join us in the Community Room at the T. B. Scott Free Library for this presentation, which is hosted by the Wisconsin Humanities Council and their Working Lives Project and the T.B. Scott Free Library’s Building Merrill Together Program Series. For further information, please contact Laurie Ollhoff at 715-536-7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org or John Greenwood at 715-218-0284 or email@example.com.
Refreshments will be provided courtesy of The Checkered Churn and First Street Coffee Station.