Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Council addressing worker shortage

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- A big challenge facing manufacturers in Northwest Florida has been finding qualified local workers. To address the issue, manufacturers across 12 counties formed the Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council. It estimates that 3,400 new skilled workers will be needed in the next five years, but regional education and workforce development programs forecast producing only 860 in that time. Greg Britton, CEO of Fort Walton Machining and chairman of the new council's board of directors, said manufacturing isn't like it was 20 years ago. Higher skills are needed today to run today's complex equipment. The council is working with school districts, technical centers and state colleges to help develop curricula focused on providing students the skills they need to work at a high-tech manufacturer. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 08/26/13, Florida's Great Northwest, 08/27/13)