How do wages, education and age contribute to Utah's workforce skills gap?

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  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2015 6:12 p.m.

    What is not being said is that there is a lack of qualified workers willing to work for 70 cents on the dollar for what they could get in other states. The other part of the story is as Howard pointed out, you starve your public education system financially and then complain about the lack of a well trained work force? Most people could see the disconnect in that concept, but not our Utah business leaders and Utah legislature.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 18, 2015 5:28 p.m.

    I think in time the state's lack of attention in funding public education will drag the economy down in Utah and keep many companies away.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 18, 2015 8:40 a.m.

    Re: "It used to be that companies participated in tuition reimbursement programs that cultivated skills from within their current workforce. That practice has all but disappeared."

    And, no wonder. The "higher" Ed industry has priced itself out of the market.

    On-the-job training, supplemented by short, certificate-granting courses, is the unfortunate wave of the future, caused by the Left's destruction of American education.

  • Faith + Virtue + Knowledge Utah County, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 6:33 p.m.

    Not enough on the job training!

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 5:37 p.m.

    In utah, and especially in tech, it's all about perks and not good wages. I don't care whether you can play ping pong or have free soda. Give me a good salary. the rest is a smokescreen.

  • DVD Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 2:38 p.m.

    Outsourcing or abusing H1Bs to bring in near-slave labor isn't a good answer to a tight labor market, but if we don't have good federal oversight on all this, it's the answer many will use. We've got some labor treaties with Vietnam, Malaysia and others, but we really need a stronger international labor treaty network to stop the slave abuse. Getting Mexico onboard with real enforced minimum wages and working condition regulations would help too.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 12:52 p.m.

    In any labor market, as the available pool of labor shrinks, wages rise. This is simple supply and demand capitalism. For years, Utah's supply of labor has been high, which has kept wages low. But now, especially in the technology-related fields, supply cannot keep up with demand. This has caused and will continue to cause wages to rise in those fields.

    This is why so much emphasis is being placed by state leaders on STEM jobs and STEM education. Companies will only want to locate here if they think that there is an available pool of labor, so it is important to keep the pipeline full. In this case, success brings more success.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 12:19 p.m.

    "Utah has traditionally had below-average operating costs for businesses, which is partly driven by wages for young workers on a lower stage of salary progression, according to Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah."

    And it also reflects Utah's anti-union policies and attitudes. In Utah capital is boss, and labor hadn't better give it any backtalk.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 17, 2015 9:52 a.m.

    So big companies are having a tough time finding people who want to work for 70% of the market rate?

    Imagine that! How could that be?

  • CMO Beaver Beaver, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 9:42 a.m.

    the Utah pay scale is low... there are many parts of the country where the cost of living is similar and the pay is higher and there are jobs to be had... especially the large Texas cities, Atlanta, etc etc

    it is a big world and Utah is certainly not the only game in town

  • KGD West Jordan / Sa;t Lake, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 9:38 a.m.

    I have been out of full time employment since 2009. I have applied for well over 200 jobs since then. I have not been hired for any of them. I am finding a massive amount of age discrimination in the Utah job market. Companies are not willing to hire older workers because they have "too much experience" or they "can not afford" you (and this is before you even have a chance to discuss compensation.) Companies seem to want to hire only younger people whom they will pay a lower wage. They get exactly what they pay for - young and inexperienced employees. Employers need to be more open minded in their hiring practices.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 8:54 a.m.

    People are finding out that living outside of Utah is OK. If Utah employers would pay more they would be able to hire and fill their needs. Most people are lured by the pay to other areas of the world.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 8:40 a.m.

    "Utah has traditionally had below-average operating costs for businesses, which is partly driven by wages for young workers on a lower stage of salary progression, according to Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah"
    Put more simply and accurately, Utah has traditionally paid far less for the same skill level than other neighboring states.
    What corporations want is to pay the least for the most skill they can get and you can't fault them for that in these competitive times. What they fail to realize is an early investment in an intern or entry-level position will pay dividends over the length of the career of that individual.
    It used to be that companies participated in tuition reimbursement programs that cultivated skills from within their current workforce. That practice has all but disappeared. Where technology is moving so rapidly, perhaps the need for a return to that practice will begin to be recognized.

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Dec. 17, 2015 8:26 a.m.

    Higher wages are needed. H1B visas are not the answer here. Higher wages will cause the cream to rise to the top.