Job Retraining Needed for Chief Executives of PA Manufacturing and Extractive Industries

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Everybody’s rightly piling on Tom Corbett for blaming his unemployment record on hippies and lazy unskilled workers, but let’s take a minute to lament the sad erosion of Pennsylvania CEOs’ job skills in this recession.

Many PA CEOs, particularly in the manufacturing and resource extraction sectors, have seen their job skills battered in this recession, in many cases totally forgetting how to attract qualified applicants.

In normal times, CEOs used to know that they have to offer wages high enough to fill their job openings with qualified candidates, and spend some resources training people who mostly but don’t quite fit their specifications.

The ongoing weakness in the economy, and the super low ratio of job openings to job seekers has hobbled many of PA’s CEOs with a crippling sense of entitlement to stinginess with wages and job training, which is preventing them from filling the positions they need.

The next Governor may need to launch a new CEO Retraining Program to retrain executives whose job skills have atrophied and teach them how to offer higher wages and train people when they can’t fill positions.

The complaint about failed drug tests is often repeated among employers in the “echo chamber” of the manufacturing sector, said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics. But “there isn’t good data” to support the claim, he said.

What’s true nowadays is that employers are “more picky,” Zandi said, unwilling to hire and train those who don’t “fit exactly what they’re looking for.”

He said one theory is that employers who laid off human-resources executives no longer have a strong structure for recruiting workers.

Georgetown University economist Harry Holzer pointed out that the nation faces a near-8-percent unemployment rate with a 2.8 percent job-vacancy rate – an extraordinarily high level.

Most vacancies can’t be explained by drug tests, Holzer said. “A lot of companies are posting job vacancies but not working hard to fill them, being very choosy about employees,” he said.

(Via Alfred Lubrano)

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

2 Responses to Job Retraining Needed for Chief Executives of PA Manufacturing and Extractive Industries

  1. Matt Thomas says:

    CEO Retraining Programs?
    I guess if one lives long enough nothing will be spared you.
    In only the past few years many millions of federal WIA (Workforce Investment Act) training monies were streamed into Pennsylvania and parceled out to private sector companies to fund the training of both their lower level and middle management employees.
    Apparently this corporate welfare is not enough to keep these losers competitive with the rest of the world for it now being suggested that the taxpayers should pay companies to train their CEOs as well.
    One becomes weary of the bellyaching from so-called resourceful business people and stockholders who should be expected to invest in their own workforce skills as is presently done by companies in every other developed nation in the world and as was done here in Pennsylvania and the U.S. for some 200 years.
    Moody’s Mark Zandi laments that employers are “more picky” that they are unwilling to hire and train those who don’t “fit exactly what they’re looking for.”
    What he failed to say is that these same employers are simply too cheap, too shortsighted and spoiled rotten by years of government hand-outs, while publicly-held companies are further hindered by the CFO bean-counters obsessed with the next quarter’s earnings over investments in new technologies and human skills.
    And all this time these same hapless taxpayers are focused on those single mothers out there trying to survive on food stamps and a few miserable dollars of public assistance.

  2. Jon Geeting says:

    I was snarking.