With unemployment cratering, the challenge now is to fill open jobs

Posted On June 21, 2018

People shouldn’t have much trouble finding a job right now. Unemployment in the U.S. was 3.8 percent in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics– an 18-year low.

That’s great, right? Of course, if you’re a worker.

If you’re an employer looking to hire, it presents a problem: Filling out a workforce. And filling it out with the right people.

Our guest in this episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” is Ed Castile, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Division, for the state of Alabama and Director of AIDT– Alabama Industrial Development Training. His job is to help locate and train the workforce needed by some of Alabama’s largest companies – and many of its smaller ones.

And business is booming right now, Castile says.

“We have projects right now in almost 40 counties – I think it’s 38,” he says. “We’re looking for 24,000 people today.”

Jobs are available for various skill levels, and if a worker doesn’t have the skills needed to get a particular job, there is training available at places like AIDT and elsewhere. Healthcare and welding jobs are particularly in demand, Castile says.

Job-seekers can look for opportunities on sites like alabamaworks.com, madeinalabama.com and aidt.edu. Successful candidates must be drug-free, of course, and must be willing to work hard, often in hot and uncomfortable environments.

Castile says that despite the stereotype of the entitled millennial, he finds that today’s young people are well-equipped for the workforce.

“What I know about the kids that are coming into the workforce – they’re crazy smart,” he says. “They’re brilliant. They already have the tech savvy to do about anything. They just need to be channeled into the areas that fit them best.”

But while the low unemployment rate is great news for job-seekers, is it creating a crisis for employers? Join us to hear Castile’s take on that question and to learn about a state education attainment initiative that is looking to get higher-level credentials for half a million people by 2025.

Categories: Podcast, Training Industry, Workplace