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Growing Need for Workers to Fill Manufacturing Jobs

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Sen. Al Franken introduced a bill to help close the skillsgap—where jobs go unfilled because businesses can't find workers with the rightskill set.

Maria Borgmeier is a student at South Central College. Once she graduates she's interested in finding work with machines, drafting orprogramming.

Student at SCC, Maria Borgmeier says, "It's anopportunity where you can jump around and in that instance it help because youcan go from working on machines to programming and help work out the glitchesin between because you have experience."

Numbers from the 2011 Skills Gap Report by The ManufacturingInstitute, there are about 25,000 openings in Minnesota's manufacturingsector, including factories and technical firms.

Five percent of manufacturing jobs are going unfilledbecause they can't find people with the right set of skills. The report saysas many as 600,000 jobs are going unfilled. On top of that, there's also a highdemand for nurses.

President of South Central College, Annette Parker says,"We're talking about things like mechatronics, auto mutation systems, IT,networking, robots, just really high tech stuff. And as baby boomers get olderwe want to be sure we have enough nursing occupations that are filled to wehave good care."

Data also shows that manufacturing employers paid employeesan average of $78,900 in salary and benefits in 2011.

Employees at nonmanufacturing companies were paid an averageof $66,500.

Parker says, "Young people need to understand thatthese are well paying jobs, there is a great future in these jobs and moreawareness about what are the opportunities."

Maria says, "Being able to figure things out andknowing that you figured it out and process the whole problem and come up witha solution.

Having a strong interest in problem solving and math, Mariasays she knows she is in the right field and is excited to join the work forceafter she graduates.