More jobs than qualified people in automotive, manufacturing
MINNEAPOLIS -- Having trouble finding a good mechanic? You're not alone, the auto repair shops are having trouble finding a few good men and women too. There seems to be a shortage of people going for those two-year tech college degrees. They're seeing it over at Dunwoody College of Technology.
"I mean, they're paying incentives to get these students to get to work for them. Everything from signing bonuses to paying for tuition, to paying for their loans after they graduate, relocation fees, tool allowances, I've never seen anything like it," says Jon Kukachka, Dean of Automotive Programs at Dunwoody.
Across the street in the school's Robotics and Manufacturing department they're seeing something very similar.
"We had 30 graduates this year from our Machine Tool Technology Program. We had over 400 requests to hire those 30 graduates," says Dean of the Department, E.J. Daigle.
Companies are offering scholarships to first year students to make sure they get the best qualified candidates before anyone else. Companies like EJ Ajax in Fridley.
"It's very difficult for us to recruit and find qualified individuals in the industry. We'll provide $10,000 scholarships to students and then a $15 an hour paid internship," says Co-Owner Erick Ajax.
His company makes fabricated sheet metal parts and sheet metal stamping. Seventy-percent of the hinges on appliances in North America are made in his shop and he needs more good people to help pump them out.
"People don't understand or know what a tremendous opportunity exists in advanced modern manufacturing, where we have state-of-the-art equipment," says Ajax.
He says his employees are able to double their entry-level salary within four to five year.
So, why aren't people choosing the tech fields? At Dunwoody they believe there has been a social push to earn four-year instead of two-year degrees. But, some are learning the hard way that may not be the best option after all.
"Just in the past year we had over 10 percent of our students coming back to Dunwoody with four-year degrees but they were unable to find jobs in the areas that they studied," says Daigle.