Survey Shows Small Businesses Having Trouble Finding Qualified Workers
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The National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) latest small business survey shows they may be encountering a skills gap. According to the survey, “37% reported few or no qualified applicants for positions…. The percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings rose 3 points to 20%, the highest reading since June, 2008.” This struggle to fill skilled positions was also displayed at a May National Chamber Foundation Business Horizon Series event.
Businesses are being creative in getting skilled workers. Bloomberg reported on businesses hunting for talent early in students’ college careers and working with universities on coursework, while the Manufacturing Institute runs a manufacturing skills certification program.
Those are short-term solutions. In the longer term, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) works to improve the workforce by helping businesses make local school boards more effective and launching the Business Education Network to coordinate business action for educational improvement. Also, next week, ICW releases will release their Leaders & Laggards report card on public postsecondary education. These efforts can shrink the skills gap and better align workers’ skills with the needs of businesses.