Closing the skill gap key to solving job crisis in state

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 26, 2011 - 10:58 AM

At a daylong session on jobs, speakers told of ample openings in certain vocational disciplines.

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joedenaborOct. 25, 11 7:04 PM

Good thing Obama spent hundreds of millions on Green Jobs Training! Yep, those are the jobs that are in demand, aren't they. Oh, they aren't. Well, never mind.

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ranger78Oct. 25, 11 7:04 PM

Further proof that public education has completely failed in its mission.

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Loon03Oct. 25, 11 7:05 PM

One of our groups in this state has a 50% drop out rate from high school in the Twin Cities. How will they ever be productive workers? And why are we going to give any money for any reason to any student who quits high school. Drop outs should be 100% ineligible for any public assistance of type forever. If they do not care about dying in the gutter, we should not care.

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Loon03Oct. 25, 11 7:08 PM

Sorry ranger78, there are a lot of kids who would rather just collect welfare for the rest of their lives. Blacks drop out of Twin City schools at a rate of 50%. If we are going to pay people not to work some will take the check and chill out.

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mplspgOct. 25, 11 7:10 PM

I know! Lets keep paying people not to work!

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swmnguyOct. 25, 11 7:11 PM

Many employers have no idea what a job is worth on the open market; particularly a skilled job. The last job I had was over 7 years ago. It paid about $50,000, and my boss was hinting I was overpaid, and I was certainly "at the top of the salary band" for my position. I told him if I didn't get $75,000, I was leaving. He nearly laughed.

Within a year of leaving for self-employment, I was making $100,000. There have been fluctuations over the years, but that $75,000 I offered to take was a screaming bargain, and I thank my lucky stars he didn't know his business well enough to take me up on it. Since I left, he's never been able to hire a replacement. He has to hire free-lancers, at about double the cost of what he paid me.

I know another guy in a skilled trade who makes around $70,000. He recently was recruited hard for a full-time job. They really talked him up, talked up the position; got him all excited about the direction they wanted to go and the role they wanted him to play. Then they offered him $38,000. They obviously had no idea what a guy with his skills and experience pulls down in the market.

Things cost what they cost. Materials have costs, equipment has costs, facilities have costs, and labor has costs. You get what you pay for. If employers can't afford the skilled people they need, then they can't really afford to be in business. In America you have the right to go into business, but there is no guaranteed right to succeed.

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thehoffersOct. 25, 11 7:13 PM

An employer who places a position way out in Stacy for $36k isn't trying to do anything more than get by on the cheap. The recruiter they used to "pluck" an existing worker from a competitor didn't find anyone who would jump to another job for the same or less money than they're already making, and it was more than $36k.

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kopendorfOct. 25, 11 7:16 PM

It's absolutely amazing that they felt the need to bring politics into this article and they really had to stretch to do it. It's actually a very interesting article otherwise and highlights well the what is a developing labor problem in the manufacturing industry. There's certainly not enough information to draw any hard and fast conclusions, however, there are definitely some nuggets that bear further research that could identify the need for change to long standing education policy. Have we become a nation where everyone wants to be the top dog and no one wants to be a worker? That absolutely bears further research and if it's an obvious trend nationally, needs to be addressed from an education policy perspective, both k-12 and higher education.

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pitythefoolsOct. 25, 11 7:19 PM

In the late 1990's there was a shortage of software engineers. Businesses started offering very high salaries, and big referral bonuses. Everyone who wanted to work could spend 6 to 12 months getting certified in software development and get a high paying job. The problem is, businesses no longer want to pay enough to convince people to switch. Every free marketer should agree, since this is the fundamental meaning of the "invisible hand." Labor will migrate to where there are shortages. If they can get paid well enough.

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lolobean88Oct. 25, 11 7:21 PM

What about older workers who have experience and similar or applicable skills? My 40something husband has been out of work for months and has tried various different career options. He has an excellent work history, management experience, etc. He cannot find anyone willing to give him a chance. He's been told flat out they are unwilling to train. We aren't talking about someone trying to jump from ditch digging to brain surgery. Employers need to think outside the box if they want viable candidates. And sorry waiting on spoiled kids who haven't worked a hard day in their lives is not the solution.

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