Taken from http://www.shiptalk.com - 06 July 2009
Despite the climbing unemployment rate, some employers are practically begging for qualified applicants for certain occupations.
The maritime industry is just one of those desperately seeking new workers. At Crowley Marine Services, for example there are almost always job openings for skilled workers.
"We have openings both on the marine side and on board our vessels and we have openings shore side," said Christopher Peterson with Crowley.
It's becoming more difficult to fill maritime positions because there aren't enough workers with the right skills to be able to, say, drive a boat while managing security and environmental issues.
Gaining the skills to become a maritime professional can be both costly and time consuming. At Crowley Marine Services, the average age of their workers is 51, so it's crucial to start replacing workers lost through attrition.
At Crowley Marine Services, there are almost always job openings for skilled workers.
"That's probably my biggest concern," said Peterson, "that we have the time and ability to transfer that skillset to the younger generation."
The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County says there is always a skills gap for certain professions; meaning there are more jobs than skilled workers to fill them. Other professions battling a constant shortage include health care and interactive media.
"Also known as video gaming," said Marlena Sessions with the WDC of Seattle-King County. "This is another, sort of, hidden gold mine in our region and it's really very active, very vibrant," she said.
The WDC is working with employers and colleges to get more workers up to speed with training funded, in part, by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. But training will take time.
"Although it's so urgent right now in terms of the need that 3-12 months, 3-18 moths sounds too long. But that's how long it takes to become a licensed practical nurse, for example," said Sessions.
As of July 1st, the WDC of Seattle-King County has $15.1 million dollars to pump into the community for employment services and job training.
According to a state survey, the occupational groups with the highest number of job vacancies in Seattle-King County are management, health care, computer and mathematical. Healthcare is always at or near the top of the list of in-demand occupations no matter where you live.