Also Holding Back the Recovery, the Lack of Skilled Employees

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products and an NAM board member, talked about the economy, competitiveness, and the need for skilled employees in a segment Friday on the PBS Show, Nightly Business Report. From the transcript:

DARREN GERSH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: After what you just heard, you are going to find this hard to believe. There are employers out there who say they are having trouble finding good people to hire even in this economy. Employers like Drew Greenblatt at Marlin Steel Wire. How can you have high unemployment and you got good jobs going unfilled?

DREW GREENBLATT, PRESIDENT, MARLIN STEEL WIRE: We have a mismatch. We have people out there that are skilled and trained, let`s say, to work in a retail showroom or to work in a MacDonalds or a restaurant. They are not necessarily trained to be able to know what a radius is or to know how to read a tape measure or to know how to read a blueprint or know how to change a bearing, or a die set in a robot.

GERSH: You can see Marlin Steel Wire`s challenge right here — 51 minutes. That`s how much longer this machine will run before it shuts down and has to be set up again. Now the operator who set up this machine has already gone home for the night. His shift is over. If they could find somebody else to come in and set up this machine, it could run all night long. Greenblatt says he is even having some trouble finding a bookkeeper. After getting more than 250 resumes, he found just four candidates who know manufacturing and job costing. One toured the floor while we visited. And, yes, Greenblatt is offering more money — 20 percent more — to find the right person.

GREENBLATT: So we thought it was going to be really easy to fill this position. So we`re actually surprised about how much of a challenge it`s been for us.

Also discussing workplace skills in the segment was Jerry Jasinowski, former president of the National Association of Manufacturers and current member of the Manufacturing Institute’s board of trustees.

Video of the program is here, and kudos to PBS and the Nightly Business Report for its speedy transcriptions.

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