Skilled worker shortage hitting Siouxland

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As the job market has continued to rise, many employers in Siouxland are struggling to fill positions.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more job opportunities in the U.S. than there are jobs seekers to fill them. At Western Iowa Tech Community College, they are working closely with local Siouxland companies to help fill some much-needed positions.

“The difficulty is getting these students into these programs and helping them see the advantages that they can have,” said Darin Moeller, the executive dean of instruction Western Iowa Tech.

Technical colleges and employers in the Siouxland community are all feeling the impact of the lack of skilled workers.

“We do have a shortage. Contractors are asking for more workers and not being able to supply those workers is where the shortage starts,” said Ernie Colt with the North Central States Carpenters Union

“But it has to be a real partnership between the education institutions, the employers in the area and the overall community to recognize this as a major issue in Siouxland,” said Moeller.

The college is working to build partnerships with local employers to help guide students to fields currently seeing the highest demand for workers.

“We have created an articulation agreement which gives our students the option to complete our apprenticeship and Western Iowa Tech will recognize our apprenticeship and give us 52 credits towards 63 needed for associates,” said Colt.

They’re also trying to reach students earlier, recruiting skilled workers as soon as they enter high school.

“We actually have created a curriculum for the high school students to begin their careers while still in high school. Once they complete our program, they get direct indenturement into the apprentice program,” said Colt.

Western Iowa Tech Community College and local employers are constantly working to recruit more people to the Siouxland area but they also hope to help the students who are already here to stay here and add to the skilled labor force.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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