Friday, February 20, 2015

Shortage of skilled workers

Tampa, FL - February 20, 2015. The shortage of skills workers has been reported for years. The specific shortages are tied to certain industries such as construction and manufacturing. In Florida, it is not surprising to hear about shortages in the construction industry. However, for some it is surprising to hear about shortages in the manufacturing industry in the greater Tampa bay area. In both cases though, the shortage of skilled workers appears to be a lingering issue in the Tampa bay area as reported by the Tampa Bay Times in two related stories noted below.

Upper Tampa Bay manufacturers in need of 'skilled labor'. By Karen Ring, Times Correspondent
Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:18pm. Town 'n Country. Help wanted. That's the message from the Upper Tampa Bay Manufacturers Association, with one caveat. Skilled help.

Roy Sweatman, president of Southern Manufacturing Technologies, a Town 'N Country-based manufacturer of components for aerospace and defense industries, serves on the association's board of directors and is hopeful the group can address the skills gap that is plaguing the industry.

"The lack of skilled labor is really what is keeping us from growing," he said.

Roy is not alone in his concern. A 2013 survey of 109 manufacturers in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties found that 40 percent were experiencing limited growth due to a lack of skilled labor.

Read the full story on the Tampa Bay Times: Upper Tampa Bay manufacturers in need of 'skilled labor'

Florida's surging construction industry faces worker shortage. Jeff Harrington, Times Staff Writer. Friday, February 20, 2015 3:00am. TAMPA — Since joining his father's construction crew when he was 16, Casey Ellison has ridden 21 years of Florida building booms and busts.

This time, though, the recovery is playing out a different way. As both commercial and residential development picks up, construction managers are having a hard time filling their crews, particularly subcontractors like electricians, plumbers, drywallers and carpenters.

"We don't seem to be bringing the workforce back in the market like we've typically seen in the past," Ellison said. The shortage "is a little more profound now."

Part of the problem is the loss of experienced workers, who fled Florida to pursue the fracking boom in states like North Dakota and Texas. Part is tied to a demographic squeeze: aging, experienced Baby Boomers are retiring and their younger comrades who have been shell-shocked by the recession aren't embracing building trades as a career.

Read the full story on the Tampa Bay Times: Florida's surging construction industry faces worker shortage