Region’s Manufacturers Struggle to Find Qualified Workers

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Photo of a student welding during class at Edison High School in Philadelphia courtesy of Jessica Griffin, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Manufacturers in the Philadelphia area and around the entire country are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified workers, leaving many employers scrambling to find ways to entice people into the profession, writes Jane Von Bergen for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The nonprofit Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia currently has 40 open requests for welders, shipping and receiving workers, machinists, industrial painters, and machine operators, as well as people experienced in computer-controlled cutting machines and computer-assisted design.

According to Charles Marcantonio, director of employment and training at the nonprofit, 40 requests means that there are probably between 300 and 400 openings in the city for these positions. Among them are ones for maintenance repair people who are experienced in older machines dating as far back as the 1960s.

“It’s a hard job to fill,” Marcantonio said, adding that minimum pay for that position varies from $21 to $30 an hour.

Some positions are getting filled by newcomers as more students opt for the vocational programs being added by schools around the region. The opportunity is not limited to young workers, though. Adults interested in a career in manufacturing can also get training at either area community colleges or for-profit vocational schools.

Read more about the area’s shortage of a manufacturing workforce in the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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