The skills gap: Myth or reality?

  • Article by: ADAM BELZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 5, 2012 - 11:44 AM

Manufacturers and other employers say they can't find enough skilled workers. Yet in many fields, such as welding, wages aren't rising with demand.

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pitythefoolsAug. 4, 12 6:47 PM

I can't tell you how many times my employer has complained that they can't find enough IT people. While at the same time saying that they won't raise wages and keep cutting benefits, and they won't pay headhunter fees because "in this economy plenty of people should be available. HR can do it." Sorry to say, but the "invisible hand" only works if the employer faces reality and pays a competitive wage.

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flossy2012Aug. 4, 12 7:49 PM

#1: Companies are no longer willing to train workers anymore. Even if the candidate is highly skilled and needs just a little more training to do the job, the employer won't go for it. #2: Companies are ridiculously rigid on the so-called qualifications. If the job listing demands 5 years of experience, 4 years and 5 months experience isn't enough to make the cut. #3: Smart businesses are moving overseas to escape the Democratic Party's never-ending demand for tax increases and inevitable bankrupting of America. Are you going to stick around so everything you've worked for can be stolen and given to those on public assistance???

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nasethAug. 4, 12 7:53 PM

Somthen train them like you used to. One of the losses of the reduced union reserve in our workforce is the disapearrance of so many apprenticeship programs, and companies aren't willing to train anymore.

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cheiron55402Aug. 4, 12 8:58 PM

Business leaders had to see this coming. When you ship jobs overseas, skills on the homefront weaken. If something were to happen and jobs came back to the US, would employers be able to fill those positions?

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jeffportAug. 4, 12 9:15 PM

Reads like companies are not willing to pay decent wages and potential employees do not want the small wages. Time to compromise folks, meet in the middle.

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oldmotorheadAug. 4, 12 9:34 PM

When most high schools in this country closed their shop classes and started pushing kids into college prep courses, we should have seen that we would be experiencing a shortage in our skilled labor workforce. Let's face it , you don't need a 4 year college degree to make decent money in this country, and not all kids are cut out for 4 years of college!

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truthtimeAug. 4, 12 9:35 PM

While wages are rising in China and other third-world countries, thus pushing some jobs back to our shores, many CEOs here are trying to push wages down toward the Chinese and wonder why American workers are buying it. Too many companies are paying management level employees way too much while those making the product get the shaft.

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jcinmnAug. 5, 12 7:38 AM

pitythefools "I can't tell you how many times my employer has complained that they can't find enough IT people. While at the same time saying that they won't raise wages and keep cutting benefits, and they won't pay headhunter fees because "in this economy plenty of people should be available. HR can do it." Sorry to say, but the "invisible hand" only works if the employer faces reality and pays a competitive wage." Welcome to the 20th Century. This is what working America experienced 100 years ago! This is why unions were formed, to force corporate America to pay their employees a LIVING wage! Yet, when unions got "too powerful" Ronnie Reagan reigned them in by firing the air traffic controllers and telling corporate america to bust the unions. Then the propaganda machine with the "union bosses" and the "jack boot thugs" and the "wasting your dues on expensive cars and high living". Now you're back 100 years and have to start from scratch. I wish you all the best but have the urge to say "I told you so" every time I heard the "Union Bosses" line. My father devoted 30+ years to local 1028 of the United Steelworkers. His monthly union meetings were sparsely attended unless there were contract negotiations. Then the members wanted to know "what are you going to do for us?". Never any input, always requests.

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jcinmnAug. 5, 12 7:42 AM

The State of MInnesota represents all Minnesotans, not just corporate Minnesota. The DEED should refuse to list any job openings that do not pay a Living Wage. Every job listed in the article "Hourly Wages For Minnesota" paid at or below poverty level. If DEED continues to list these jobs at these wages they are enabling Corporate Minnesota and penalizing Working Minnesota

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eastsider45Aug. 5, 12 8:12 AM

I got news for you. Union welders make a lot more than $17.00 per hour.

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