While General Assembly Cuts Public Education, Report Shows NC Lacks Skilled Workers

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The Winston-Salem Journal has an article about a new report showing that North Carolina's jobless woes are in part due to a lack of skilled workers to fill the available positions. So while politicians in Raleigh are busy cutting education to pay for their massive tax giveaways, our economy will continue to fall behind. From their article,

The state report, the 2014 Employer Needs Survey, shows that hundreds of employers across the state want workers with training, experience, specific skills, even such “soft skills” as analytical thinking and plain, old enthusiasm.

If they’re out there.

Some employers don’t know how to work with community colleges to find workers or train their own.

Workers, likewise, don’t know how to find community college programs for specific companies.

Meanwhile, the skills gap widens.

The state report shows that 45 percent of all companies surveyed said they had difficult-to-fill positions. The number was equal for manufacturing and non-manufacturing companies.

Among major occupations, companies find it tough to get production workers, maintenance personnel and computer operators.

Even health care is not immune. Hospitals are being urged to hire more nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees, said Doug Allred, a spokesman for Cone Health.

“We are also helping existing nurses raise their education level to BSN,” Allred said, “but we hire BSN nurses when we can and there are limited numbers.”

State officials at the Department of Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division compiled the survey after hearing similar stories from companies across the state.

The problem is across the board — in small towns and large.

“The information we heard about hiring across urban and rural areas was not expected — the perception is it’s more difficult to hire in rural areas,” said Jackie Keener, acting director of the Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

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