Manufacturers Looking For Workers

Wednesday, April 23rd 2008, 5:25 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa area manufacturers say they are having a hard time finding qualified workers.  News On 6 anchor Terry Hood reports business leaders are handing out scholarships and hope to entice more people to look for jobs in manufacturing.

The Tulsa Area Manufacturer's Association says it's a challenge to find good workers in Tulsa.  So much so, many companies have started bringing in new employees from across the country.

Amid the buzz on the production floor, workers are busy putting together machine parts for companies across the globe.   Outside you'll find a sign that's become commonplace for Tulsa manufacturers:  Now Hiring.

"Even though we've got a fairly low turnover rate here we always have a sign out in front of our place," said Britt Radford with OCV Control Valves.

It's become a problem, according to Tulsa manufacturers, to find talented workers able to handle the high-tech gadgets.

"We have plenty of orders, plenty of machines.  Just not enough folks," said Everett Treat with the Tulsa Area Manufacturer's Association.

 "After the fall of this year, I can apply for internships, which will help me get hands-on training and information for my degree," said Bill Eberle, scholarship winner.

Bill Eberle is looking to the manufacturing industry for a fresh start.  He's using a recently awarded scholarship from the manufacturer's association to finish his degree in hopes it leads to a career.

Over 100 businesses make up the manufacturing landscape in Tulsa.  A recent study shows people who work in manufacturing are paid nearly 30% more than the average worker in other industries.

Business owners in Tulsa say workers are needed in a variety of fields, from unskilled positions to the highly trained.

"That translates to machinists, welders, drafters, engineers, assembly folks," said Everett Treat with the Tulsa Area Manufacturer's Association.

It's the highly skilled worker who's in the most demand, Treat says.  He's hoping incentives, like the scholarship program, and knowledge that manufacturers are not afraid to pay qualified workers helps end the drought in Tulsa.

Bill Eberle agrees.  His advice for job seekers is to not be afraid to work in manufacturing.

"If you're tired of working minimum wage jobs, manufacturing is a great place to go," said Bill Eberle.