Two More Reports on the Skills Front

By September 8, 2006General

The NAM today released its annual Small Manufacturers Operating Survey, providing another persuasive piece of evidence that the difficulties in recruiting skilled workers are hurting business and the nation’s economy. And at some point, persuasive turns to disturbing. (News release here.)

Of the 467 small- to medium-size manufacturers interviewed in June, 2006, 46.3 percent point to “finding qualified employees” as a serious problem for their company. Only health care — 86.9 percent — ranked higher. The full survey results are available in .pdf by clicking here.

Governor Christine Gregoire pointed to the very same issues in her comments at an education summit in Vancouver, Wash., yesterday. The Oregonian reported:

Gregoire stressed that Washington’s economic future hinges on competing with other countries for business, not other states. In addition to quality products, she said, the state would need to prove it has quality workers.

“We cannot afford to compare our state’s education to other states,” she said, adding that such an approach invited mediocrity. “We must compare ourselves in the world, on the globe,” she said.

In her overseas business recruiting trips, she is often asked about the quality of the state’s work force, she said. Prospects ask, “”Do you have a skilled, trained work force that is versatile and can change?'”

The Governor has pegged it. In a tough global economy, for employees to succeed, they’ll to be skilled and adaptable — and the very same is true for manufacturers in the United States.

That’s why NAM is so committed to seeing grassroots campaigns like Dream It. Do It. take off and succeed.

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