A Shortage Of Workers

Friday, July 8, 2011 - 10:27am

Many companies say they want to hire, but can't find the skilled workers they need.

Manufacturing giant Siemens has a huge problem finding workers qualified to build the huge turbines at the core of the company's business.

Siemans CEO Eric Spiegel is working with community colleges and technical schools across the country to get workers specifically trained for what they need.

"We want to make sure going forward that we have the right skills so we're going to take it on ourselves to start developing those training programs," Spiegal says.

Other industries are also facing the same dilemma: A lack of skilled workers.

It's an interesting contrast to the country's continuing battle with high unemployment.

"It's the skills gap, there's no doubt about it," says Wells Fargo chief economist John Silvia. "Yes, you have workers, but the workers don't have the skills to be competitive in the workplace today."

Many economists are again saying the solution rests with the worker who has some tough decisions to make.

"It takes an awareness, that my skills aren't competitive anymore, I need to develop new skills, and I have to be willing to get the education, or willing to work at a new position for at least for sometime probably at a lower wage than they had in the past," Silvia says.

Silvia and others say a sustained effort to re-train workers may be the most effective way to reduce the ranks of the unemployed.

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