Skilled Worker Shortage

Skills Shortages Remain Big Problem For Small Manufacturers

Manufacturing's troubling skills shortage is not going away.

Nearly half -- 46.3%-- of 467 small- and medium-size manufacturers surveyed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) this past summer said they had trouble finding qualified workers to fill highly skilled positions. And when the Washington, D.C.-based association's large-company members are added to the small-company survey skills data, the share of U.S. manufacturers having trouble finding enough workers rises to 80%, indicates John Engler, NAM's president.

"While the Baby Boomers are retiring out the back door, we aren't seeing enough young, qualified Americans coming through the front door to fill these jobs," Engler observes.

Companies were surveyed beginning in June 2006, and results were released on September 8.

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