Help wanted. But, where are the workers?
There is no shortage of jobs right now, as the unemployment rate is at its lowest in decades. While this is good news for job seekers, it presents a challenge for employers in certain industries. Many employers report having more job openings than qualified applicants. The Birmingham Business Alliance recently conducted a study, asking businesses in our seven county region their strongest workforce needs.
"CNC machinists would be one. Industrial maintenance would be another one. That's a lot of what we're hearing from employers," says Brittney Smith, manager of workforce development for the Birmingham Business Alliance. Smith says there's a strong need for more skilled trade workers, as technology continues to influence manufacturing.
"Advanced manufacturing is more technical now. They are high paying jobs and there's an increase in the Birmingham area," says Smith. "So you have companies such as Autocar, Kamtek, AllTech -- all looking for people like welders, electricians and production associates."
Those strong demands for specific jobs are leading to more targeted hiring fairs.
"Not only are they looking for people with experience; but also those without much experience, that are looking for a different career."
You can also add technology to the list, as more tech companies continue to find Birmingham an attractive location.
Smith says as companies labor to fill needed jobs, many are willing to train people who don't already have experience. Additionally, there are free training programs available from organizations like the Alabama Workforce Training Center.