Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Richmond Fed president: Charlotte manufacturers struggle to find workers

Charlotte and North Carolina are seeing a resurgence in advanced manufacturing, but such companies are having difficulty in finding skilled workers, the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank said Tuesday during a visit to Charlotte.

Unlike manufacturing jobs of the past, the new jobs require more skills and "significant" post-secondary education, Jeffrey Lacker said in a presentation to business leaders at the Federal Reserve branch in uptown. 

"We hear a lot of manufacturing companies have trouble finding workers," he said. "Machinists are in short supply, welders."

Many policymakers have focused on increasing college enrollment, he said. But for some students, "pursuing a bachelor's degree might never be their preferred path," he said, adding that only a little more than half of college students get their bachelor's degree in six years.

A better job could be done of making sure high school students are informed about different career opportunities, he said, "including options that don't involve traditional four-year colleges." He cited Apprenticeship 2000, a four-year program that seeks to train workers for skilled jobs in the Charlotte area, as an example of initiatives worth emulating.

Lacker said he saw how Apprenticeship 2000 has helped Siemens Energy during a tour of the company's Charlotte operation Monday.


Garth Vader said...

It's absolutely laughable to think that a Fed president would know anything about the employment situation in particular specialized fields. The Fed system works with primary dealer banks; it doesn't work directly with employers.

Shame on the Observer for reprinting this fool's claptrap verbatim and not doing any actual reporting.

Anonymous said...

The Fed polls a sampling of employers on a monthly basis asking for their current status of resources available and pricing. I participate in this sampling.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Siemens is doing what far to many companies are unwilling to do now days. Take a intelligent person that seems to have the ability to do a job and actually train them to be a productive worker. In the US we used to hire people and then give them on the job training creating a life long worker that enjoyed their job. Now it seems I see to many places expecting someone to know the unique skills the job requires and then call them entry level while wanting them to have 3-4 years experience.