A U.S. survey of 300 CEOs, presidents, and other top managers in the manufacturing, high-tech, financial, and management consulting industries indicates that 73% of manufacturing companies have an unmet need for skilled workers. The survey, conducted by Select Appointments North America (SANA), Woburn, Mass., found that executives in all industries cite rapidly changing technology and the need to increase productivity as the key factors contributing to the skills gap. When asked which skill was most lacking in their workforce, 33% of respondents cited foreign language skills, followed equally by technical, creative, and management (all 18%). "Finding workers who combine sharp technical skills with the ability to think creatively is becoming increasingly difficult," says Karen DeMichele, president of New Boston Select Staffing, a division of SANA. Forty-two percent of respondents said that to help close the skills gap, they are hiring temporary or contract workers with specialized skills. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they are outsourcing projects.