In our Opinion: Utah isn’t producing enough trained workers

May 11, 2017 (Deseret News)

News about Utah’s economy has been mostly positive in recent years, reflecting a steady rise from the 2008 recession with the expansion of new businesses and declining unemployment. But lurking in the data is a trend that threatens to derail that impressive trajectory. Utah is increasingly facing a shortage of qualified workers in fields requiring both high and low skill levels, with more than two-thirds of all employers saying they are currently having a hard time finding people to fill open positions.

A new research report by the non-profit Utah Foundation says the so-called “skills gap” is a particular problem in the technology sector, which has been responsible for a large percentage of recent job growth in Utah. The construction trades are also suffering, making it tough for contractors to keep up with a critical need for new housing units. The situation requires that business and educational institutions step up efforts to collaborate in training people for the specific kinds of jobs businesses need to fill.

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