Skilled Workers In Short Supply In US

For those of us who have been paying attention the past decade or so, none of this comes as a surprise to us: Factories are having trouble finding skilled workers to fill open positions.

Some of this can probably be blamed on the higher education bubble, where for years kids were told the only way to get ahead was to get a college degree. Some can be attributed to us Baby Boomers making our kids lives far too easy and making them think that actually working for a living doing manual labor (even highly specialized and lucrative manual labor) is something other people do. And some blame can be laid upon laid off workers, looking to get training or work in areas other than the ones from which they were laid off.

You might think that it would be easier for manufacturers to find new employees. After all, the number of workers employed in factories is still more than 2 million lower than pre-recession levels due to layoffs or plant closings.

"The perception out there is that we're losing manufacturing jobs to China and India. So if they've already been displaced and they're going to go back to school, they're going for something not manufacturing-related," said Rob Clark, vice president of operations at Clark Metal Products, a company outside of Pittsburgh started by his grandfather and now run by his uncle.

The trades are also suffering, as evidenced in the first comment made to this post at Lucianne about the subject:

I know the guy in charge of the local VoTech school here. He says they are probably gonna close the Heating/AC class because nobody is interested in becoming a heating/ac technician, even though he says local companies have standing offers to hire graduates direct from school for $18-20 an hour.

To many young adults think life is an episode of MTV Cribs, where money just falls outta the sky for them...

That kind of money is darned good for starting right out of school with no experience. And of those who go to college, far too many are coming out with degrees with little practical application in the real world. (I don't know of too many companies looking for people with BA degrees in Native American Transgender Studies. And those with Philosophy degrees are purely out of luck because the big Philosophy companies just aren't hiring these days.)

Is it any wonder more companies have to move operations overseas? If they can't find employees here, they have to look elsewhere in order to stay in business.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)