Shortage of 'middle-skills' workers hinders S.L. economy

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 1:02 a.m.

    Well, here's a proposal which might lead to a solution of this problem and at the same time democratize labor. The state would setup a clearing house where large firms post their skill needs. The state would then provide a venue through which groups of people (labor) would form cooperatives to provide the needed labor. These cooperatives would be managed by the labor members themselves. They would contract with the large firms to provide the necessary labor for a period of months or years. What do you all think?

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Feb. 17, 2014 7:33 p.m.

    Funny how they say they can't find those skilled workers yet there is no list of skills needed ,just a broad list of industry segments.

    You may want to list what people need to be developing skills in.

    I didn't even go to achool for journalism. That's another segment we are looking for qualified workers in?

  • A Man's Perspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    This article is another way of saying, "We need massive increases in employer-based visas to bring in lots and lots and lots of super cheap immigrant workers as 'de facto' indentured servant laborers because we can't find enough Utahns with a long list of skills to work for super cheap."

    We read you like a 3rd grade book.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    I don't believe that greed is a disease. I believe that greed is a normal, natural part of the psyche of human beings that comes from the built in drive to survive that exists in all of life. The quest for "more" as a deterrent to death seems to be a favored strategy. It is our failure to recognize that greed exists in all of us that spoils our attempts at civilization.

    If you are allowed to live in America and have access to all of the things that matter to you, why do you need legal residency status?

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:52 a.m.

    "Our region faces a serious shortage of workers for so-called middle-skill jobs..."

    No, the real problem this region faces is a growing epidemic of Greed.

    When focus on Profit overwhelms basic considerations of right and wrong, then there is a problem.

    While such greed exists elsewhere in the country as well, arguably it is a special problem in Utah. After all, HB116 of 2011, and the Utah Compact propaganda statement before it which was formulated to prepare the way for HB116, are products of Utah. Their true objective is to reward, with legal residency status, persons who have shown disrespect for this nation's immigration laws, and to flood this state with still more foreign labor, so as to provide a means by which Utah businessmen may circumvent having to pay their fellow American a fair wage.

    Jesus foresaw that the moral disease of Greed would be a major problem in our day.

    "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matt. 19:24)

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:12 a.m.

    "In fact, employers are even resorting to hiring workers with occupational skills imported from out of state or from other countries such as China and India." That's an interesting twist on the old line, "they are doing the jobs Americans won't." I guess a rose by any other name, even today, still smells the same.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    The author of the article states: " positions that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree", and I am supposing that he means clerks, janitors, waitresses and waiters, etc. etc. But the advise he gives sounds more like what you would do when you hire high price help.

    Being a great place to do business, doesn't equate to it's a great place to be an employee. Business only exists because of people who have money to buy the products of business. As business becomes more and more selective and looking for cheap labor they are cutting their own throats. Sooner or later the whole system falls apart, the big guys simply pickup their money and move on, the little businessmen join the ranks of the unemployed. The employees join the long lines at the bread distribution center

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    Feb. 16, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    The "create your own workforce" comment is exactly right--and what many businesses who need those people used to do in years past. Huge companies often did it with even their college grads; my father-in-law who graduated in engineering from the U got his first job with GE and had to move out of state right away to take the first GE training courses.

    I don't know whether companies are now too lazy or too clueless, or whether K-12 schools claim their students have all the skills they need at graduation when they don't, or what--but I hire college grads in my business and always have to do a little training even with them. The idea that companies shouldn't have to do that flies in the face of decades of experience showing-- yes, they should and they used to.

    I wish the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would pull their heads out on this and start telling their members some of this training stuff is desperately needed again-instead of stupidly claiming that if they hire some immigrant to work cheaper that somehow, they won't have to do it after all.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    Thought provoking column.

    The employee tier in demand is above high school diploma, but short of a bachelors degree.

    Utah has historically produced a high percentage of college graduates, who often leave the state because of a lack of suitable opportunities (and sometimes come back after getting established in their careers elsewhere).

    The governor and others are pushing to have 2/3 of our youth get a bachelors degree, but insufficient jobs are being produced in Utah that require that level of education, nor provide the corresponding compensation to justify the investment in a college education.

    Our unemployment rate in Utah is very low - but businesses can't find the right level of workers they need (ie, not too educated / expensive).

    If the goal is to match educational achievement with the level of skill and compensation businesses are demanding, maybe issues with education in Utah aren't really that big of a problem. If you look at the test scores of kids in schools where less than 10% of the kids qualify for subsidized school lunch, the US is #1.

    A very sobering message.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    It is precisely mid-level jobs that have been hardest hit during the Great Recession. Both low-wage jobs and high-wage jobs have been growing. There are plenty of mid-skilled workers out there who have lost their jobs and need new ones. Usually when employers complain of a lack of workers with adequate skills, it means they want trained, experienced workers at manual labor wages, and they are astonished and disappointed that no one is willing to accept the wages they offer.