I hear my clients continually discuss the need for more skilled workers to fill the number of job openings they have. That problem is accentuated with the unemployment rate hovering around 4 percent. There are other reasons for a troubled job market as well.
Depending on the type of business it is, location may be the primary reason a company can’t find or retain qualified workers. If the company is located in a high cost-of-living area, like some
suburbs in North Texas, a lower- to middle-income worker may not be able to afford nearby housing thus forcing a commute issue. Before relocating, companies must look into the surrounding areas, the ease of commuting, the local economics and the possiblity to increase compensation to attract the workforce.
Another concern is just not being able to find enough skilled, qualified workers. Unfortunately,I’ve seen companies get starry-eyed at building new facilities in some of our most northern areas but finding out too late that the cost-of-living is much too high for their skilled labor force; thus, there’s just not enough potential candidates to fill the jobs/needs.
In addition, think of the competition from other employers who also occupy space in the area. They need similar skilled employees where there’s already a shortage.
Although trade workers do not necessarily need to attend a four-year college, they should haveeither attended a trade school or have the years of experience in the position to be considered a qualified worker. Many discussions are taking place on this very issue: how do we get our younger people to go into the trade industry? Should companies develop their own training centers? And if so, where will the training be located?
Maybe companies could sponsor more outreach from trade schools to extend into our high schools and recruit more students into their programs. The shortage will continue to grow until companies find a way to assist higher-learning institutions to get more young people interested.
Along with the issue of location and candidate shortages comes the new distribution centers, or last-mile facilities, finding their way into the areas where more skilled labor exists: the Amazon factor. When an Amazon facility or something similar locates near a company, the local skilled workforce becomes an even shorter supply.
These items will continue affecting business and many factors must be considered when looking for a new location. Contact us at Lester & Lester, and we can help alleviate these worries.