Employers: Workforce is not skilled - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Employers: Workforce is not skilled

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Congressman Steve Cohen says lawmakers must fight for funds, specifically in science, technology, engineering and math courses. Congressman Steve Cohen says lawmakers must fight for funds, specifically in science, technology, engineering and math courses.

 (WMC-TV) - New studies show at a time of high unemployment that key positions remain unfilled because employers across America say the workforce is not skilled.

"There are many unskilled workers, but there are many opportunities in technology schools and apprenticeship classes," said Alfredo Pena with Workers Interfaith Network Executive Director.

Pena says job training is attainable.

"Your baby boomers will be retiring soon and that workforce is going to have to be replaced," said Sheet Metal Workers Union president John Williams.

Williams says most builders unions have apprenticeships.

"It's where people can apply during the year and there's an interview process for skilled labor training," he said.

His union takes in a dozen or so apprentices each year for night school training twice per week.

"And then, they work during the day. So they're getting on-the-job training. It's a five-year program," said Williams.

Of the 50 states, Arkansas ranks right at the national unemployment average, which is a rate of 7.4 percent. But Mississippi and Tennessee are tying at 8.5 percent unemployment.

Congressman Steve Cohen says lawmakers must fight for funds, specifically in science, technology, engineering and math courses.

"LeMoyne Owen got a $1.7 million grant to help prepare students for graduate programs in STEM courses," said Cohen.

He says Memphis and the State of Tennessee also offer workforce development programs.

"They work with business people and get lottery scholarships to go to the technical centers that pays about 95 percent of their tuition and they can be trained for jobs," he said.

Find out how to win scholarships, sign up for apprenticeships, and find job openings then click one of the links below.

  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology lottery scholarships: http://www.ttcparis.edu/lottery-scholarships
  • Apprenticeships: http://www.mcsk12.net/schools/messickvotech.vt/apprenticeships.html
  • Workforce Investment Network: http://www.workforceinvestmentnetwork.com/job-seeker-services
  • Job openings: http://mplicjob.wordpress.com/
  • Workers Rights: http://www.workersinterfaithnetwork.org/default.aspx

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