Via Scott Sumner
U.S. factories are creating many new jobs. But owners are hard pressed to find skilled American workers to fill them.
There is a “critical shortage of machinists,” a common and crucial position in factories, said Rob Akers, vice president at the National Tooling and Machining Association. “Enrollment in this field in technical schools has been down for a long time.”
The problem comes at a terrible time. Domestic contract manufacturers — known as “job shops” — are seeing a boom in business.
Scott has some good ideas on immigration but let me propose the tried and true method:
You stand outside your competitors shop at shift change. When a worker comes out with a machinist name tag you run after him. The you say, “Whatever this guys is paying you I’ll pay you 15% more”
You continue this process at various plants until you have all the machinist you need.
Now, two things will happen. One, the salary for machinists will go through the roof. Don’t blink when it triples – this is the way capitalism works – and that will cause lots of kids to say, man I should be come a machinist. That will increase supply.
The high prices will also cause some entrepreneurs to say: Man, couldn’t we really figure out a way to do this with unskilled labor. I mean I have a ton of kids sitting outside my door who want to work. There has got to be some way to use them
However, crying to the editors at Yahoo that you have no machinists is not helping anyone.