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Help wanted: narrowing the skills gap

May, 2015

Help Wanted.  One sign of a growing economy is that we see that phrase more and more often—on storefronts, in newspapers, and online.  It reminds those who see it that there’s a job waiting to be filled.

At Great Oaks, we’re constantly hearing similar requests from our business partners.  They have current job openings—or plans for future expansion—and they’re looking for potential employees with the right training to fill those jobs.

We hear that in all job sectors, but in recent years we’ve heard about a particular gap between jobs and trained individuals in fields like manufacturing, welding, automotive technology, aviation maintenance, and construction trades like HVAC, electrical, plumbing, masonry, heavy equipment operations, and framing and finishing.  These are careers for skilled professionals.

The jobs are there, through employers across the tri-state region.  The training is available, at career-technical centers like Great Oaks Career Campuses as well as public and private colleges and universities in the area.  What seem to be missing are those who can and will take advantage of the opportunities. That may be your neighbor, your son or daughter, your friend, or even you.

Chambers of commerce, employers, economic development officials, and others have discussed and tried incentives, marketing campaigns, websites, open houses, and other avenues to spread the word.

But there’s no time to lose, and that’s where you come into the picture.  Your help is wanted.  If you know someone who is not benefiting from Ohio’s economic recovery, give them a nudge.  Tell them to check out training options in a field that interests them.  Chances are good that there’s a place to get that training nearby and a job that’s waiting when they’re done.  A great first step is to visit the website  You’ll find resources for employment and school information, and assistance to guide you in reaching your goals.

We all benefit when everyone works in satisfying and challenging careers that pay family-sustaining wages. Strengthen your community; tell a friend about training opportunities and in-demand careers.  Your help is wanted.