OSU Tech Program Puts Skilled Workers On The Job

Thursday, August 12th 2010, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6


UNDATED – There is one sector of the economy that has an over-abundance of job openings right now.

All across the country, employers are having a hard time filling manufacturing positions.  And one area school is capitalizing on the demand for skilled workers.

The company that runs a factory in Illinois wants to produce more and hire more people, but there simply aren't enough qualified applicants.

The knock on America is that we no longer build anything, but there are now plenty of opportunities for those who want to. The government says there are 227,000 open manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

So faculty at Oklahoma State Institute of Technology say it's not tough for their graduates to find work.

"Most machinists are never out of work unless they want to be," Ken Milliman said. "Got a machinist and wheels on a toolbox, you can get a job anywhere."

The two-year program boasts a 100 percent placement rate. Instructors say enrollment has gone up during the recession, as the unemployed return to school to learn new skills.

Still, despite the available jobs, most students want nothing to do with manufacturing.

"Most of the kids these days want to sit on the couch, play Game boy, video games and make $50,000 a year," Milliman said. "Doesn't happen that way. There aren't jobs out there like that."

Daniel Hull, 20, doesn't fall into that category. His friends chose college, he chose OSU Tech.

"Jobs opening up for people such as myself that are doing work like this," Hull said.

It's a trend that's likely to continue as manufacturing emerges as one of the lone bright spots in the American economy.

Experts have estimated that the U.S. could be short three-million skilled workers by 2012.