A man works with a robot at Procter & Gamble’s factory in Tabler Station, West Virginia, on May 28, 2021.
Timothy Apple | Reuters
with double the number job vacancies Good help is really hard because there are workers to fill them. More and more companies are putting the workforce at the top of their checklists as they select locations to set up shop, and states are fighting like never before to attract and develop skilled talent.
“Everyone is looking for an edge,” said Kara Christopher, senior vice president of business development at labor market consulting firm Lightcast.
Some states are trying to gain that edge by essentially buying talent. West Virginia is offering $20,000 in cash and incentives to anyone who wants to move to the state and live there for two years. In its first two years, the public-private partnership is known as west virginia climbing says it has accepted 86 new employees from thousands of applicants, many of whom are relocating with spouses and family members. The program aims to attract over 1,000 workers to the state in five years.
Other states, such as Mississippi, are focusing on domestic talent. The state has streamlined, rebranded its workforce development programs quick ms, and coordinating more closely with employers. According to data compiled by the US Department of Labor, the state is now in the top ten participating in the workforce.
“The people who are doing it right are looking at both the attraction efforts and the development efforts,” Christopher said.
Community colleges and technical schools are a particular focus as the nation seeks to rebuild the domestic supply chain. While overall enrollment at two-year institutions has declined sharply since the start of the pandemic, enrollment in career-focused programs is increasing. National Student Clearing House Research Center,
Enrollment this spring in transportation-related programs is up about 29% from last year, the construction business is up 19%, and precision production, including advanced manufacturing, is up about 17%.
“There is a dire need of people who have the ability to not only do the work with their hands, and then troubleshoot that technology back,” said Tom Stringer, managing director of site selection exercises at BDO in New York.
The need is so great that companies are taking the lead in working with schools to create a workforce tailored to their needs. The states are eager to oblige.
“There’s a really integrated approach by government and the community college system to create programs that every business needs on an individual basis,” Stringer said.
in South Carolina, bmw BMW is working with the state and schools to expand its scholarly program, building a pipeline of workers for the German automaker’s plant in Spartanburg. After more than a decade of partnerships with local technical colleges, the program is expanding to high schools.
“We constantly need these people and the industry needs more around the world,” said Sherry McCraw, BMW’s vice president for human resources in Spartanburg.
A worker checks out a BMW on the line at the BMW Manufacturing Company plant on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 in Spartanburg SC.
Ariana Lindquist | Bloomberg Getty Images
In the college program, participants receive tuition assistance and part-time employment at the plant while they are in school, and a full-time job opportunity after graduation.
Michael Mikota, president of Spartanburg Community College, said, “This is a great incentive for those looking to advance on the career path, providing not only free tuition, but also investment from the company they work for. Doing it. Getting it too.” , one of the three partner institutions.
Dorian Thomas said, “I never thought I was smart enough to go to college or graduate from it. And then, a few years later, I’m here as the valedictorian of the program.” june. “The industry itself is growing so fast that we don’t have enough to keep the industry going.”
The new high school program offers part-time jobs for seniors who can earn a certificate of apprenticeship. It also helps BMW further expand its talent pipeline.
“It’s a really cool move to get more young people involved in something that offers a really good career for them,” McCraw said.
Lightcast’s Christopher believes the war for workers will not end any time soon, and not just because of a renaissance of domestic manufacturing.
“We see that population growth is the lowest in history, and that is based on birth rates, not changes themselves,” she said.
For this year’s top states occupational rankings, The workforce bears most of the load of the ten major categories of the competition.
The US birth rate declined by 18% between 2010 and 2020 National Center for Health StatisticsAnd the decline accelerated during the pandemic.
This means that the labor shortage may worsen over the next decade as that part of the population reaches working age.
Accelerating the trend is great sacrifice, which shows little sign of giving up. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 4.3 million workers left their jobs in May, a level that has been stagnant for months. Those workers are more mobile than ever in the wake of the pandemic, and employers are following suit.
“You see a lot of people make lifestyle decisions like, ‘You know, if my job doesn’t allow me to work there, I’ll be able to find another job very quickly.'” There are those who are looking at this and saying, ‘Okay, these migration patterns are starting to emerge,'” Stringer said. “I think it’s both companies and individuals making important strategic decisions. Huh.”