James R. Hagerty reports in the May 9, 2011 Wall Street Journal that U.S. manufacturing companies, long known for layoffs and shipping jobs overseas, now find themselves in a very different position: scrambling for scarce talent at home.
Hagerty says large and small manufacturers of everything from machine tools to chemicals are scouring for potential hires in high schools, community colleges and the military. They are poaching from one another, retraining people who used to have white-collar jobs, and in some cases even hiring former prisoners who learned machinist skills behind bars.
He notes that even with unemployment near 9 percent, manufacturers are struggling to find enough skilled workers because of a confluence of three trends.
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