Skilled Labor Shortage Impacts Southwest Minnesota
Written by Sawyer Drent, for The Globe
Published June 9, 2023
The U.S. is seeing a continued shortage of trade and skilled workers nationwide, and this is happening at the state and local level, in Worthington, MN.
Many businesses are looking for workers, many of which don’t require a college degree.
According to Minnesota State’s Careerwise website, among 50 of the high demand jobs projected to grow in the state between now and 2026 are landscaping, maintenance, carpentry, freight, mechanics and construction workers. Some of these will require some schooling, while others use skills that can be learned right on the job site.
A look at jobs locally on Indeed.com confirms there is a great need for workers in the area. In a one-day search, 61 jobs were listed in Worthington in fields including transportation, maintenance, repair, installation, manufacturing, utilities, construction and supply chain.
According to Jeff Drent, an industrial technology teacher at Heron Lake-Okabena High School, who teaches courses in automotive mechanics, auto body repair, construction, welding, woodworking and small engines, he frequently hears from employers.
“They are looking for workers who are responsible, stay off their phones, show up on time, are respectful and willing to work,” Drent said. “The employers have openings and will train hard working people for the specific skills needed on each job.”
There are jobs waiting for anyone who is willing to work hard. Cities near Worthington are experiencing the same high demand in these trade and skilled worker areas.
In a promotional video for his construction management program, Matthew Haynes, instructor at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, SD, said, “Students don’t have a hard time at all finding a job when they get done with their two-year associate’s degree, or with their one-year certificate degree.
“I’ve got employers calling me every day asking for who’s available,” Haynes said. “Landscape design, estimators for commercial construction companies, in the field being project managers. They might even go off on their own and be their general contractors and build residential houses or commercial.”
If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a trade and skill position to fill these jobs and reduce the trade and skilled worker shortage locally, consider contacting advisors at Minnesota West Community & Technical College to find out more about entering the fields of carpentry, automotive work, plumbing, electrical work, welding, mechatronics and dozens of options in high demand fields. Call 1-800-658-2330 or visit www.mnwest.edu today, and you will be on your way to helping on a local, statewide and national level to reduce job shortages in trade and skilled worker fields.
In the end, filling these high demand job positions will help better the community of Worthington and the surrounding areas.
Editor’s note: Students in Kent Dahlman’s basic media writing class at Minnesota West Community & Technical College were asked to write a news story as their final course assignment. The Globe is publishing some of the entries.