Cleo Krejci covers workforce development and manufacturing in Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She developed her love for accountability reporting after uncovering dangerous building code violations at a student housing complex as a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. She continued working for her student paper, the Minnesota Daily, until graduation in May 2020, including as editor-in-chief of the 70-person newsroom during senior year. That summer Krejci left her hometown of Minneapolis to spend 10 weeks covering national politics for the Arizona Republic via the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship. From Arizona she moved to Iowa, where she spent two years covering K-12 and higher education for the Iowa City Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register. In summer 2022 she got a full-time job as an unskilled caregiver in a memory care unit, trusting it would serve as fodder for a later project about U.S. elder care.
Beat: Higher education, vocational training and retraining
This is a non-traditional higher education beat focusing on technical colleges and training for displaced/underemployed workers. Wisconsin per capita is tops in the nation in percentage of manufacturing jobs in its workforce. Still, the pandemic and demographics have left thousands of high paying jobs unfilled. The beat will include coverage of high school counseling and apprenticeship programs, examining how schools are advising students and tracking students as they gain real world experience and make decisions about the workforce.