Three million open jobs in U.S., but who's qualified?

Pitts: The balance of power in washington didn't change this

Pitts: The balance of power in washington didn't change this

week as president obama and most members of congress kept

their jobs. They'll go back to work and face an

unemployment problem that also hasn't changed very much. Every month

since january 2009, more than 20 million americans have been

either out of work or underemployed. Yet despite that staggering

number, there are more than three million job openings in

the u.S. Just in manufacturing, there are as many as

500,000 jobs that aren't being filled because employers say they

can't find qualified workers. It's called "the skills gap." How

could that be, we wondered, at a time like this

with so many people out of work? No place is

the question more pressing than in nevada, the state with

the highest unemployment rate in the country, a place where

there are jobs waiting to be filled. Karl Hutter: Yeah

hear way too much about the united states manufacturing, "we

don't manufacture anything anymore." Not true. Not true. Pitts: Sure,

it's mexico, it's in china... Hutter: Yeah, yeah, that... That

all went to china, that all went to mexico. Not

true whatsoever. Pitts: Karl hutter is the new chief operating

officer of click bond in carson city, nevada, a company

his parents started in 1969. Hutter: We're still technically a

small business, but we're growing quickly. Pitts: So you're hiring?

Hutter: We are hiring. We're hiring and we need to

find good people. And that's really what the challenge is

these days. Pitts:325 people work at click bond, making fasteners

that hold cables, panels and pretty much everything else inside

today's planes, ships and trains. Their customers include the defense

department. The f-35 has 30,000 click bond fasteners. The workhorses

in this factory may look old, but they're computer-controlled machines

that make precision parts accurate to a thousandth of an

inch, the thickness of a piece of paper. Click bond

needs employees who can program the computers, operate the machines,

fix them, and then check to make sure the results

are up to spec. Ryan Costello: If you look at

the real significant human achievements in this country, a lot

of them have to do with manufacturing or making something.

Pitts: Ryan costello is head of strategic initiatives at click

bond. That's another way of saying he's looking ahead to

both opportunits and problems facing the company. Su so the...

The skill gap, is... Is it across the board? Is

it at all levels, or is it the entry level?

Costello: Honestly say it's probably an entry level problem. It's

those basic skill sets. Show up on time, you know,

read, write, do math, problem solve. I can't tell you

how many people even coming out of higher ed with

degrees who can't put a sentence together without a major

grammatical error. It's a problem. If you can't do the

resume properly to get the job, you can't come work

for us. We're in the business of making fasteners that

hold systems together that protect people in the air when

they're flying. We're in the business of perfection. Pitts: Costello

says click bond ran into trouble when it expanded production

and went to buy these machines from a factory in

watertown, connecticut. The company didn't have enough skilled labor back

home in nevada to run them, so it bought the

entire factory just to get the qualified employees, and kept

the plant running in connecticut. You just have to be

careful that you don't hit the side. Pitts: Nationwide, manufacturers

say the lack of skilled workers is the reason for

hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs, a number ryan costello

says is about to get bigger. Costello: You have a

massive wave of baby boomers who are leaving the workforce

very soon. Pitts: Folks retiring. Costello: And we have to

replace those folks. And that's not even talking about growth.

Hutter: We can't find enough students who are interested in

pursuing these trades. Because it seems hard? I don't know.

Because it seems like you have to do math? I

don't know. Pitts: Do you think you've done an effective

job looking for them? Hutter: I think we have. I

think we really have. Pitts: How is that possible in

this day and age, when so many people are looking

for work, need work, and... And you're telling me you

can't find people who have the skills to do the

job that you need done? Hutter: And that's the thing

that seems like a stumper, right? Of all times, you

should be able to find them now. Pitts: In the

five years before the recession, nevada had the fastest growing

job market in the country. But when the bottom fell

out of tourism, real estate and construction, it went from

best to worst. In 2010, the unemployment rate here shot

to 14.9%, highest in the country. And today, nevada is

still struggling with a jobless rate well above the national

average. Ryan costello says, with so many people unemployed, manufacturers

must play a larger role in training workers. Costello: I

think far too long we've had our heads in the

sand, you know. We make our parts. We just hoped

that the education system would produce what we need. And

I think the recession, i think a lot of things

have taught us, "no, you have to engage." Pitts: So

last year, costello convinced other manufacturers to design a training

program with local community colleges. The plan was straightforward-- take

unemployed people, test them for aptitude, interview them for attitude,

and then train them for open jobs. Grab the tool,

hit the button to release the tool. Pitts: The 20

handpd students have different ages, backgrounds and work experience. For

them, the training is free and they can still collect

unemployment. Ryan vrenon gets to school an hour early for

a study group. Ryan Vrenon: So you've got three to

the five right here, so it's .02. Pitts: He's been

working in warehouses and fast food, but mostly not working

at all. Pitts: How many jobs have you applied for

in the past four years? Vrenon: I would say, in

the last year, that I've worked... I applied for over

200 jobs. Pitts: Really? Vrenon:200 jobs. Pitts: And how many

callbacks did you get? Vrenon: Two. Pitts: Jamie pacheco is

married with two young girls and a child on the

way. He was a commercial painter, but those jobs dried

up with the downturn in construction. Jamie Pacheco: I like

the fact that I have to put my brain to

work to... To be able to apply myself to do

this kind of stuff. Pitts: The program focuses on the

machines found in today's factories. Students are taught to operate

the computers, read blueprints, and learn trigonometry to make precise

measurements-- almost a year's worth of training packed into 16

weeks. Most of the students here will start at jobs

paying $12 an hour. Skilled machinists can earn upwards of

$60,000 a year. For ryan vrenon, with a wife and

a newborn, it's exactly the kind of job he was

hoping for. Vrenon: To get the call to actually be

accepted into the class was... Right when I hung up

the phone, I was just like, "yes!" Pitts: What did

your wife say? Vrenon: "Oh, my god, baby," you know?

(Laughs) "you're going to go to college." It's just like,

wow! Pitts: Life-changing, it sounds like. Vrenon: Yeah, very. Very

life-changing. My... My whole day is going to be different

now. Pitts: Different how? Vrenon: I don't have to wake

up and go, "what am I going to do now?"

You know? "Okay, I fed everybody yesterday, but I don't

have enough money to feed people today." Or "i don't

know where to step next, you know. What's my next

move?" Pitts: Click bond is having trouble finding entry level

employees. For manufacturing giants like alcoa, the challenge is retraining

people already on the job to keep up with advances

in technology. Alcoa is one of the largest and oldest

companies in america. It's been hiring skilled workers since 1888,

and today has factories around the globe. At its aerospace

plant in whitehall, michigan, 2,100 employees are working three shifts

a day, seven days a week. German-born c.E.O. Klaus kleinfeld

says alcoa's competitive edge is innovation, backed up by a

skilled workforce. They're producing parts that make jet engines 50%

more fuel efficient. Klaus Kleinfeld: I would love to show

you how the air flow goes inside. But that's part

of probably the best-kept secret that this industry has. That's

the innovation I'm talking about. Pitts: And a person just

can't walk off the street and put that together for

you. Kleinfeld: Impossible. Pitts: Kari belanger came to alcoa with

an engineering degree. The company trained her to program rots

to do the work that, 50 years ago, was done

by hand. Alcoa also helped pay for rod coley to

go back to school and get his engineering degree. He

x-rays parts to make sure they're perfect before they leave

the factory. What do you say to friends and relatives

who may be looking for a job? Rod Coley: Well,

me... Me personally, I say, "get your education." Kleinfeld: The

environment is changing all the time. And if you don't

stay on top of things, you know, somebody will eat

your lunch. Pitts: Despite its efforts to retrain and recruit,

alcoa has 27 job openings at its michigan plant alone.

Who do you blame for the skills gap in this

country? Kleinfeld: I don't blame anybody for that. Pitts: Who

bears responsibility for you? Kleinfeld: I think it's more an

educational aspect. It's... I think it's a sensitivity to understand

what makes a country and a business competitive. Pitts: I

would imagine if you had a parts gap, you'd close

it right away, right? Kleinfeld: If we had a parts

gap, we'd try to close it right away, yes. Pitts:

Then why can't that occur with the skills gap? Kleinfeld:

Don't get from this that we're sitting together here because

our... Because alcoa is complaining that we can't fill the

skills gap. That is absolutely not my message. We can

absolutely fill that, absolutely. I mean, the... For alcoa, we

can do it. We are doing it. And many of

my colleagues or OTHER C.E.O.s ARE DOING IT. Pitts: But

if manufacturing is doing all that it can to close

this skills gap, then why is there still a skills

gap? Kleinfeld: Well, this is not a society where you

can tell somebody what... Where to go work, or where

to... What education to get, right? Pitts: Do you think

if manufacturing paid more, could that be part of the

issue, part of the equation? Kleinfeld: I don't think that

manufacturing is not paying well. In fact, I think manufacturing...

Manufacturing is paying very, very well. Pitts: Peter cappelli disagrees.

Peter Cappelli: This is a market. And so, you know,

if you're not willing to pay more, don't expect to

get better quality people. Pitts: Cappelli teaches management at the

university of pennsylvania's wharton school. He says, with supply and

demand, a shortage of skilled workers should lead to rising

wages. Cappelli: One of the things we know now is

wages are not going up. In fact, they've been stagnant,

and some cases even declining over time. So where is

the shortage? Pitts: What's changed in the way that american

companies hire workers compared to a few decades ago? Cappelli:

I think there are big changes, and I think this

is the heart of what is new. What's new now

is that employers are not expecting to hire and train

people. If you turn the clock back a generation ago,

there really was none of this discussion about skill gaps

and skill problems. Pitts: Because companies provided the training. Cappelli:

Companies did it themselves. Companies are now saying, for all

kinds of reasons, "we're not going to do it anymore."

And maybe they're right, they can't do it. But what

they probably can't do is say, "we're not going to

do it and it's your problem. It's your problem to

provide us with what we need, mr. And mrs. Taxpayer.

You need to pay for this for us." Pitts: Taxpayers

are paying for training in nevada, where it costs about

$60,000 to prepare 20 students for jobs. Karl hutter from

click bond plans on hiring people from the program. If

there's something that you want, that you need for your

company, then why don't you pay for it? Hutter: I

can't afford to develop every worker that I need from

scratch. One, that's not my core competency. I'm... We're not

a school, we're a coy. We can't do that well.

Two, we can't afford to do that. If we actually

had to do that from scratch, even if we could,

the jobs would have to go somewhere else, because it's

simply not economically tenable to do that. Pitts: As part

of the training program, hutter and other manufacturers are willing

to pay students for two-day-a- week internships. Ryan vrenon and

jamie pacheco did theirs at click bond. Their training, says

ryan costello, is paying off. Has it saved money? Has

it saved time? Costello: Well, we have two machine operators

who have a ton of potential. They're not requiring major

training to make sure that they can do math or

problem solve. They came ready to work day one. Pitts:

If you'd hired them off the street, how long would

it have taken the company to get them up to

speed? Costello: That question was asked to one of our

folks on the plant floor and he said, "anywhere from

a year to two years. Pitts: For vrenon and pacheco,

it's more than the promise of a job or a

career. It means being of value and having a place

in society. Pacheco: It's expensive machinery and it needs to

be treated with respect. And you know, I myself would

feel very privileged to be sitting in that... In that

setting and be happy to be a part of what

they're doing. Pitts: You think you'll have a full-time job

when this is over? Vrenon: Yes. I'm almost 100% sure

on that. Just because I'm... I'm not going to stop.

I'm... I am going to keep going until I get

this. Pitts: And he did. At the end of the

16 weeks of training, click bond offered ryan vrenon and 244 00:13:00,499 --> aN:aN:aN,00 jamie pacheco full-time jobs at $12 an hour with benefits.


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