With an ever-increasing demand for skilled labor in America, to the tune of 7 million open jobs, it is evident we lack the talent supply to meet current hiring needs across most sectors. In fact, I have spent the past 25 years working in the employment industry and I cannot recall a time when there has been higher demand for skilled labor at all levels and in all industries. With only 62.9% of people participating in the workforce today, employers will likely fall short of meeting their labor needs.
I think it’s time we reverse that trend. Collectively, businesses, academia and local, state and federal governments all need to find ways to encourage and engage the able workforce to participate in learning new skills, find ways to remain relevant in today’s workplace and improve their work and personal lives. Employers, in particular, must begin to play a greater role in solving the talent crisis. Not only do we stand to gain (or lose) in solving this challenge, but we are well positioned to provide more education and on-the-job training to our current workforces.
How did we get here?
Over the past few decades our country rapidly grew into a service-based economy and most young adults are now encouraged to pursue a college education, especially in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Even though STEM jobs continue to grow, they are not for everyone. There needs to be a change in the perception of skilled trade careers and a renewed focus on preparing workers for these vital yet underappreciated roles.
NPR recently reported that good jobs in the skilled trades are plentiful however, students are almost universally being steered toward bachelor’s degrees. As a result, 76% of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers. The same crisis can be found in other sectors, such as manufacturing and infrastructure-related fields. Continue reading here…
Origin: The Staffing Stream