Wednesday’s Missourian had 78 ads seeking workers. Many of the companies seeking workers can’t find people with the skills needed. The answer to this education-social-economic problem is training.
Some training is going on now in vocational schools, which can educate students for local industries. There is a partnership between East Central College, the Washington School District and companies in this area. The training in the Four Rivers Career Center in Washington is helping to train workers, but there still is a shortage of people with the skills that are needed. The relationship between the school and area industries is good, but it must be expanded.
The Career Center can tailor training to meet specific requirements of companies. Vo-tech schools are flexible. An example is Linn Technical College which offers a large number of courses that train people in many fields. The need for specialized training in many fields is great today.
There was a story Thursday in The Wall Street Journal that told of Germany’s export of training programs to the U.S. Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tenn., will graduate its first class of apprentices next year. It is one of a number of companies introducing training that combine German-style apprenticeships and vocational schooling.
The Journal said an estimated 600,000 skilled, middle-class manufacturing jobs remain unfilled nationwide, even as millions of Americans seek jobs.
The need for training workers was alluded to by Washington’s former economic development director, Dick Oldenburg, right before he retired at the end of May. He should know. In his career, he was in touch with hundreds of industries whose officials told of their need for trained workers. It’s a computer-driven work culture today.
Not every high school graduate is college material. Vocational-technical training may fit their profile. That training can open the job door quickly.