by Charlie Harte

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Proficient Sourcing finds sources for primarily OEM’s seeking suppliers for some manufacturing requirement.  To do this we feature a very large and diversified network of proven suppliers with a history of happy customers.

But nearly all of these companies are looking for employees, a situation evidently pretty widespread these days.  What’s going on with employment and employees?

According to current news, the economy is great/awful, and employment is problematic/great.  So what’s the real story?  Why are so many businesses looking for employees?  Is the non-working population so well off when the overall economy suffers from supply chain issues, inflation, diversity and ESG concerns, as well as the sluggish global economy?

Currently the unemployment rate is about 3.5%, which measures the number of people actively seeking work divided by the sum of working people plus those seeking work.  People NOT seeking work in the working age population are not counted.

Then there’s the labor participation rate.  The formula is the number of people ages 16 and older who are employed or actively seeking employment, divided by the total non-institutionalized, civilian working-age population.  Currently this is 62.4% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More stats—the all-time high participation rate was 67.3 in the year 2000, and it’s been declining steadily ever since.  With a BLS labor force of about 165 million, this 5% decline in participation means about 8 million people have left the work force and are not seeking employment.

In addition, the growth rate in population is below replacement.  Currently our birth rate is about 1.65 child per woman, with 2.1 being the replacement rate needed.  This is justification for lots of immigration, and a system that encourages desired skills would seem a good idea to pursue.  At present we have lots of immigrants, but does anyone know what skills are available with all the migrants in the news these days?

In Ohio the recent news about Intel’s plan to invest billions into a vast chip facility in the Columbus area is truly exciting economic news.  This also means a major jump in employment, so where are all these people going to come from if existing businesses are having difficulty filling available jobs?

The employers we know want people interested in showing up and not distracted by drugs and other substances.  Where do such people exist?  Apparently, some effort will be required to fill available slots, and we have found a few sources that might work for manufacturing openings.

Most political entities have people involved with people of limited skills.  Hearing impaired and even the blind could fill some jobs and organizations working with people like this are easy to find.   For starters, contacting these organizations might be a good start: and

Unfortunately, it seems most high schools focus on those college bound, and “shop” classes have largely disappeared.  Where, then, so kids go if they are not interested in either the military or college?

Fortunately, there are several options available, and companies seeking employees might find some success by contacting organizations like the following:

The Enzweiler Building Institute in Erlanger, KY, offers a variety of courses in miscellaneous trades (mostly construction related) including welding.  Most of the metalworking shops we know are usually short of welding capacity, so here’s one place that might be helpful.

Butler Tech’s Middletown campus offers programs in CAD, welding, and industrial maintenance.

Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center offers a variety of potentially useful courses: “The Workforce Development Center (WDC) at Cincinnati State provides short term industry-relevant training for individuals and organizations. The WDC builds and delivers the training that’s custom-designed to help you and your organization get ahead.”

Great Oaks offers CNC training in their advanced manufacturing technologies offerings.

Organizations like these are created to help students become prepared for some employment.  If your company struggles to find employees for your operations, it might be worth a little effort to contact organizations like those above.  All of them would be pleased to work with you to fill gaps in your work force; success is important to them as well as for you.

About the author 

Charlie Harte

I’ve built this business based upon my 30+ years in manufacturing sourcing and productivity improvements, where I’ve developed strong relationships with a network of local and global suppliers who’ve demonstrated on-time delivery, parts built to spec, excellent service and value. This means HAPPY CUSTOMERS!