Although Gov. Scott Walker has signed a mining bill aimed at encouraging construction of an iron mine in northern Wisconsin, there's still uncertainty about the future of mining in the state. And looking to neighboring states for perspective doesn't clear things up very much.
The mining industries in Minnesota and Michigan have had ups and downs over the past few years due to fluctuating demand and economic uncertainty. Some mining-related jobs have disappeared, and others require a surprising level of high-tech skills.
A Post-Crescent of Appleton report says that makes it hard to predict what will happen in Wisconsin. The job outlook, as well as the necessary skill set, remain to be seen.
And Wisconsin mining opponents have pledged a legal fight, further complicating the picture.