Thursday, August 21, 2008
"Skilled Trades Seek Workers"
A story by Anton Troianovski in The Wall Street Journal of August 19 (B1, 4) reported on the shortage of welders, pipe fitters, electricians and similar workers needed in the energy and manufacturing industries. Also in demand are project managers, construction managers and schedulers for heavy industrial jobs. "Such shortfalls are forcing some employers to delay projects and others to pay their workers higher wages or offer more overtime. . . . Skilled-labor shortages are likely to intensify in coming years as more workers retire and the economy picks up again." One construction-industry consulting firm projects that demand for electricians, masons and pipe fitters will exceed supply by 5% nationwide four years from now. A number of unions, community colleges and other schools are developing training and apprenticeship programs to meet the growing need. See, for example, YouTube videos Aaron, Brian Couch, and West_Side_3, created for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association.