By Ron Dewey

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – It’s not a lack of jobs that’s the problem, but a lack of qualified workers to fill positions.

That’s according to a survey, commissioned by Oakland County, that found the job market is severely lacking candidates in advanced manufacturing and other skilled trades.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson told WWJ’s Ron Dewey that kids coming out of high school and college are not flocking to positions in those fields.

“We’ve been adding workforce positions here in the skilled area,” Patterson said.  “But we have, I think, 43,000 positions that were created — but not near enough young people to go around and fill those jobs.  So we have a shortage here in Oakland County which is going to become, I think, critical.”

Patterson said that not having a means of training people for manufacturing jobs is a detriment as well.

“We don’t have a farm club in training and preparation,” Patterson said.  “Somehow those jobs are not … they’re not looked down on, but they’re not really in the eye of the young high school kid anymore.”

David Banchiu, who works with the Michigan survey firm EdEn, said companies are not so much hiring workers as much as they are replacing them.

Banchiu also said putting out a “help wanted” sign is not enough. He said companies need to do a better job at recruiting and attracting workers.


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