Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Problem is Probably With the Compensation

The New York Times informs us,
Although the economy is wobbling and nearly 14 million people are looking for work, some employers are still having a hard time finding skilled workers for certain positions. Manufacturers in particular complain that few applicants can operate computerized equipment, read blueprints and solve production problems. And with the baby boomers starting to retire, these and other employers worry there will be few young workers willing or able to replace them.
This reminds me of prior complaints by manufacturers, as reported in newspapers like the Times, that they're unable to find employees who are fully trained, highly skilled, experienced and willing to work for $8-$10/hour. It apparently doesn't occur to them that if they offer an entry-level wage, they should expect that the applications they receive will be from entry-level workers. There are plenty of potential employees out there who can "operate computerized equipment, read blueprints and solve production problems". If for some reason they aren't applying for work with your company, odds are they have better prospects elsewhere. While it's accurate to tell kids that, if trained in industrial robotics and able to solve manufacturing issues on the fly, they can find jobs "starting in the $40,000 range and moving up to six digits, including overtime", if such job openings were either typical or plentiful in our present economy we would be in a much different economic situation.

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