Colorado manufacturers add to the payroll but recruiting questions linger

Oil and gas manufacturers in Colorado have seen strong job growth.

Manufacturers often face an uphill battle trying to find the best employee for a distinct role. Even when a specific region is experiencing a manufacturing renaissance, there's no guarantee that a company will find workers with the necessary talents quickly and efficiently. Colorado is a state that has seen a manufacturing boom of late, demonstrating strong job growth and renewed activity.

A Rocky-Mountain rebound
Manufacturers' News indicated Colorado has seen four straight years of job growth. In fact, there are now more than 6,300 manufacturers in the state, a number that reflects more than 213,000 jobs.

"The state's educated labor pool and flourishing energy sector as well as its focus on technology and innovation continue to draw investment and support industrial growth," explained Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News.

Much of the gains are thanks to the oil and gas industry, specifically those specializing in extraction. In fact, there's been more than a 17 percent rise in employment in the past year. Over six years, that number jumps to 75 percent. As a result, oil and gas extraction is the fourth-leading sector in overall manufacturing employment.

In the meantime, manufacturers in each region of the state have had varying degrees of success in adding to their payrolls. The Northeast section is up 2.3 percent during the past year, while the Southeast shot up 6.1 percent. The Northwest, however, is down 1.5. percent.

Although manufacturing employment is up in the state, broader, nationwide trends tend to suggest there are still problems in sourcing the right talent.

Is manufacturing facing a job seeker crisis?
A study recently conducted by the Manufacturing Institute with the research firm Accenture underlined the difficulties manufacturers are having finding the right candidates to fill open positions. In fact, the report found 60 percent of roughly 300 executives at manufacturing facilities in the U.S. said they had trouble finding employees with the right skill set, Industry Week wrote.

Much of the influence comes from the growth in digital technologies and advanced machinery that integrate computer components. These are relatively new talents that require manufacturers to seek out candidates with post-graduate degrees in applied sciences or invest in on-the-job training, which can be a heavy financial investment.

Manufacturing recruiters have the resources to that give companies within the industry access to the most qualified applicants. This helps areas with rapid job growth adjust to the demands of increased economic activity.

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