by Scott Braddock on Thu, 07/05/2012 - 1:48pm 1 comment
A great article in a small publication points out that employers around the Great State aren’t just anticipating a labor shortage, they’re already feeling it.
Community Impact Newspaper reports that employers are already having trouble finding people for jobs like plumbing, pipefitting, electricians and machinists. At a recent meeting of business leaders with Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, a man who manufactures furniture in San Marcos put it bluntly: “I couldn’t find an employee in this town if my life depended on it.”
In the article, Combs remarks on welding jobs in Texas: “Right now you can’t hire a welder. We’re about 500 to 1,000 [employees] short.”
The article also quotes Jane Hanna, president and executive director of the Construction Education Foundation of North Texas who states:
“The average age of a skilled craftsman is 49; the average age for a stone mason is 69. In the next four to six years, 20 percent of the skilled laborers in the construction industry will be retiring.”
As a result, vocational training classes at technical colleges are filling up fast, and in many cases they’re having to turn people away. The San Antonio Manufacturers Association says more than 1500 jobs in that area are unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers.
As we’ve pointed out previously on Construction Citizen, the head of the Texas Workforce Commission Tom Pauken says the state has neglected this problem by pushing all students toward four years of college, even if that’s not the right path for every Texan. “This one-size-fits-all approach is a big mistake,” Pauken said. “Texas needs two approaches—college-ready and career-ready.”
Thoughts? The comments section is all yours.