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Friday, January 24, 2014

Some Jobs Are Available, But Workforce Lacks Skills

Some Jobs Are Available, But Workforce Lacks Skills

snelickSome perspective on the recent economic/employment profile of Potter and five other counties was provided by a local economic development professional. Susan Snelick, executive director of the North Central Workforce Investment Board, said the jobs are out there, but it’s the workforce that is lagging. 

She quotes employers frustrated with the lack of qualified applicants and those willing to show up on time and stay drug-free. Employee turnover is a chronic problem. Some qualified workers do not apply because they’re getting by on unemployment compensation benefits.

“From conversations we have had with employers, they have jobs vacant, but are not able to fill them,” Snelick said. “They are having a hard time finding people with the work-ready skills they need.” Snelick played a key role in development of the 100-page Workforce Investment Area Five-Year Plan, covering McKean, Potter, Elk, Cameron, Jefferson and Clearfield counties. 

It contains some positive signs, but also a number of concerns – including a shrinking and aging population. Purpose of the study is to better direct government resources to address the economic and social challenges. Here are some of the findings:
  • Manufacturing jobs have been declining and are expected to fall even more. Decreases are also expected in the information sector, company management, government, retail, agriculture and utilities. Employment opportunities will grow in the oil and gas industries finance, administrative support, waste management, real estate, tourism, health care and social assistance.
  • Highest population growth will be seen in the two population groups (ages 0-19 and 65-plus) who create the greatest demand on services.
  • Some 8.7 percent of Potter County adults hold bachelor degrees, compared to 16.1 percent statewide. It’s estimated that 63 percent of jobs will require at least some college education by 2018.
Among the strategies contained in the plan is expanded use of Pennsylvania CareerLink offices to help employers and deliver and/or pay for training to bridge the skills gap. (Source: Endeavor News)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting and very troubling. This part says it all:
"She quotes employers frustrated with the lack of qualified applicants and those willing to show up on time and stay drug-free. Employee turnover is a chronic problem. Some qualified workers do not apply because they’re getting by on unemployment compensation benefits."
I would like to compliment Susan this woman for telling it like it is. People -- you need to get your lives together and start taking some personal responsibility!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I interview 9 out 10 can not read a tape measure. How do they graduate from high school without this basic skill. Our schools have stepped away from the basics.

Anonymous said...

I also believe that the local town council and school board play a big role in this. I know where i live neither will do anything to attract new people or especially new business. They have been driving people and business away for quite some time now. So sad!

Anonymous said...

Your article neglected to focus on an important aspect... SALARY

Did you ask these employers what they are willing to pay to have qualified, college-educated candidates work for them?

The fact is that these employers want to hire the most intelligent, skilled, and experienced individuals, but they want to pay them entry level salaries.

That is why so many unemployed people who do possess a college degree simply stay home and collect unemployment benefits.

You make it sound as though these college-educated professionals want to sit home and collect benefits... This is false.. They do apply for jobs, but once they find out that the employer wants to pay the lowest salary, they know they can collect more on unemployment benefits.

This is also a reason why these employers have such a high turn over rate. Companies expect skilled employees to take on a huge workload, but do not want to compensate them for their knowledge, skills, and experience.


Perhaps if they pay employees what they are worth... based on their skills, experienced, knowledge and education, then these employers would not have such a high turn over rate.

It is simple logic... These companies get what they pay for!

That is why "they are having a hard time finding people with the work-ready skills they need".

Instead of devising a plan for "Pennsylvania CareerLink offices to help employers and deliver and/or pay for training to bridge the skills gap" perhaps employers should be trained to pay their employees based on the employee's skills, experience, knowledge, and level of education.

My suggestion to you is the next time you decide to do a study that you include more factors that do impact the actual hiring process...which includes SALARY..

In addition, why didn't you include the issue of HEALTH BENEFITS? This is a factor that perspective employees look at too on whether they accept or decline a job.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The need for a community college/trades school for this 5 county area should be obvious to our state legislators. We need to start lobbying our state legislators for this common sense solution.

Anonymous said...

How about posting a link to this 100 page report so that us tax payers can read it. I am sure we paid for it one way or another.

Anonymous said...

While I can't comment on the willingness of people to find employment, I can talk about the skilled trades. At age 18 I became an apprentice in a trade which required 4 years of training with classes at a Penn State branch. No cost to me. That was a while ago. Today in the Potter County area one can earn 50K annually in this trade. Of course one must be willing to dependably work. A friend who employes the skilled trades promises 75-80K in Lebanon County.

Anonymous said...

Too many drop-outs in Potter County. Dumb is dumb but ignorant is to the core. The government will keep you in poverty if you depend on it.

Anonymous said...

Susan...

Apparently, you did not thoroughly do enough research before you conducted your study.

Instead of stating that
"employment will grow in the oil and gas industry", you should have stated "IF AND ONLY IF ACT 13 EXCLUDES SHALLOW OIL WELL PRODUCERS, THEN "employment will grow in the oil and gas industry"..

Do your homework! If Act 13 decides to include CONVENTIONAL oil well producers in it, the unemployment rate is going to sky rocket! Act 13 is going to put A LOT of conventional oil producers out a business. It will also greatly impact ALL businesses associated with shallow oil well producers.

Very disappointed in your study!

Easy to touch the SURFACE on topics... You needed to do an in-depth study on ALL the businesses that you commented on...

Anonymous said...

I think we should ship the Federal Government to Mexico!! We could get it done a ton cheaper and they couldn't possibly do a worse job. Not showing up would actually be a plus!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. But these so called employers would rather hire and maintain a drunken alcoholic that misses work frequently, than a marijuana smoker who shows up everyday with no hangover. Alcohol is "legal" so that makes it alright. Alcohol affects the brain in worse ways than marijuana. Employees that do not use on the job and are not under the influence on the job are more important than having NO employees. Times are changing people ... Do you want to send the jobs to a foreign country with little or no control, or do you want to accept marijuana as a safer alternative to ALCOHOL ABUSE !!!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry. John "Union Boss" Hanger will make everything better with his anti right to work stance.

Anonymous said...

I have worked with stoners and alcoholics both should stay home! And besides it's easier to collect a government check to stay drunk or high at home!

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that Shell has recently let people go. That big oil boom that was coming isn't as big as they thought! As far as the need for employers to pay people more and that's why you stay on unemployment..... Get a life! Start from the bottom and work your way up honestly!! Save unemployment for people who need it!! If you can get a job you should take it! People like you ruin it for others. Doesn't that bother you when you know you can work? I'd rather work at Mcdonalds than sit on my ass doing nothing!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100% 8:37:00 AM

As for you 11:11 AM today, perhaps YOU should get a life. Many of us unemployed or under employed worked for places like Adelphia for a LONG time and have not been able to obtain similar employment in this region. There isn't even any group here remotely trying to fix that issue. Everyone simply says you should learn to drive truck and get a job with Shell.... whatever.

Anonymous said...

I never said get a job for Shell or learn to drive truck! If you look hard enough you can find a job. It just might not be the job you want! I have a life and a good one at that. I fend for myself and do whatever I have to do get by. Without hurting anyone else in the process.!!!

Anonymous said...

6:36. Yes they make more in Lebanon but have you checked the cost of living??? Try to get an apartment for what you pay here. Why does everone think they have to start at the TOP of the ladder??? You must start at the bottom and work your way up. Show up for work and not drunk or high and do your job well. I know at alot of places people shove their responsablity on to their coworkers and do not do their share I do hire and I like to hire the older person because I do not hear the whinning from them like I do the younger ones. She didn't do this and she didn't do that. Why should I do it It's her job If she was paying attention to her job she wouldn't have time to be a tattletale. McDonalds pay benefits.Most of the young ones try to hide so they can be on their cell phones that the working people bought for them Policy NO CELL PHONES ON JOB. I have had to let some go because they were always on their phones and not working. GROW UP maybe you could find a job

Anonymous said...

I have an education and work here and make over $10.00/hr less than people in the same profession in other areas of the state, they don't pay any more for gas rent milk or anything else than we do.It definetly is a wage issue for some I choose to stay to be near my family but most of our young educated people are leaving for this reason.

Anonymous said...

Use to be you could be a male or female "escort" and make a decent living "under the table". But not any more, too many giving it away for free here in Coudersport now.

Anonymous said...

Same here in Austin bars are boomin!