With an estimated shortage of 600,000 industrial workers nationwide, a movement has begun to build a larger, highly skilled manufacturing workforce. Trade unions, businesses, and colleges in Minnesota and across the country are investing millions to train workers in manufacturing, construction and industrial machinery.
The growing demand for workers coincides with the rebound in construction and manufacturing. Across the Twin Cities, for example, more than $1.7 billion in building projects are scheduled to begin within the next few years, including stadiums, highways, light rail, and mall and factory expansions. Those jobs alone call for more than 20,000 workers by 2015, and analysts wonder if there will be enough to go around.