A painful truth of the current employment situation in the U.S. is that they are plenty of jobs out there going unfilled because employers can't find workers with the right skills.
That's particularly true in manufacturing. Companies across the nation are looking to fill about 600,000 manufacturing jobs, according to a survey released this week by the consultancy Deloitte, even as the nation's unemployment rate appears stuck at 9.1 percent.
The survey of 1,123 manufacturing executives shows that two-thirds of them have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. Further, those polled anticipate the shortage to increase in the next three to five years.
Most of the nation's unfilled manufacturing jobs are mainly in skilled production, including machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors and technicians, says Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute, an industry think tank.
"Unfortunately, these jobs require the most training and are traditionally among the hardest manufacturing jobs to find existing talent to fill," she says.
Though Deloitte's survey shows that the need for manufacturing workers appears acute nationwide, Midwest cities such as Cleveland and Milwaukee have a particularly strong need for qualified workers, as the graphic below shows.
One company that just announced plans to grow is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which intends to add 400 jobs in the next year as it expands facilities across Vermont, its home state.
Packaging operations are being enlarged in the towns of Williston and in Essex, and a new 240,000-square-foot space will increase capacity for roasting, grinding and packaging, WCAX-TV reports.
"A lot of it will be the manufacturing of the K-cup portion packs and the material handling, the production planning and all the support activity that goes with that, the quality assurance," says Green Mountain executive Scott McCreary.
It isn't just manufacturers aching to find qualified workers, of course. Fields such as health care, technology and accounting also face shortages -- particularly in some cities -- for the same reason: a lack of qualified applicants.
Picking up and relocating to another city for the sake of a job involves risk. But for workers with the proper education and experience, in this economy, it might be just the right move.