Employers Complain of Shortage of Skilled Labor

By Cronin, Mike | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 27, 2010 | Go to article overview

Employers Complain of Shortage of Skilled Labor


Cronin, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Before he graduated from Penn-Trafford High School, Maxx Biesuz heard from a lot of people that he was "too smart" to become a machinist.

But he said deciding to attend a technical school and learn that trade was the best choice he ever made.

"That jumpstarted my career before anyone else even had one," said Biesuz, 18, of Delmont, who graduated from high school this spring.

He is an apprentice machinist at Stellar Precision Components. On Tuesday nights, he takes classes at the Central Westmoreland Career & Technology Center in New Stanton, paid for by his employer. In four years, Biesuz said, he will qualify as a journeyman machinist and he expects his $20,000-a-year salary to jump to $30,000 or even $40,000.

Many employers say the United States has too few people like Biesuz. A shortage of skilled-trade workers -- such as machinists, electricians and welders -- could be hampering the country's economic recovery, they argue.

A survey published last month by Manpower Inc., a Milwaukee- based international job-placement company, showed that U.S. employers consider finding skilled-trade workers as their No. 1 hiring challenge.

"It's a problem that countries must address for the long term to foster economic health and fuel business," the report said.

At the same time, President Obama last month called on the United States to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, "because America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation."

Obama said ensuring American workers succeed in the 21st century hinges on providing them access to the best education the world has to offer.

Putting so much emphasis on college education worries Jeff Kelly, CEO and owner of Hamill Manufacturing in Westmoreland County. His precision-machine and fabricating company primarily contracts with the defense industry. He said his employees make between $25,000 and $70,000 a year.

"If you look at the macro level, there aren't going to be enough people to replace the workers we're going to lose.

"Who's going to do the work that needs to be done, like the linemen to keep the electricity on?" Kelly said.

John Hammang, spokesman for the Washington-based American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said the demand for many trade jobs has declined.

"An awful lot of manufacturing is now done outside the country," Hammang said, adding that he doesn't foresee that dynamic changing soon.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in installation, maintenance and repair occupations increased to 9.5 percent last month from 8.1 percent in August 2009.

"The main problem in the labor market right now, it seems to me, is one of weak demand and not so much a problem of mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the needs of employers," University of Pittsburgh labor economist Alexis Leon said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Employers Complain of Shortage of Skilled Labor
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.