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U.S. Manufacturing Sees Shortage of Skilled Factory Workers

Washington Post (02/20/12) Peter Whoriskey

Factories say they have plenty of jobs to offer U.S. workers, but skilled workers are in short supply. Many laid-off factory workers are able to operate old-fashioned presses and lathes, but don’t have the skills to operate newer factory equipment. Compounding the problem is a demographic shift. Many baby boomers are nearing retirement, and many younger workers have avoided the industrial sector due to its volatility and the view that U.S. manufacturing is a “dying industry.” As many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled, according to a recent survey by Deloitte for the Manufacturing Institute.