Doubts about qualifed workers in PA

Pennsylvania employers are concerned about the availability of qualified workers in the state, according to a survey conducted in early May by Dauphin County-based Susquehanna Polling & Research.  500 businesses were surveyed.

Employers also are skeptical of whether a high school diploma is a guarantee a young person is prepared to successfully enter the workforce, according to the poll. Four out of five business owners and senior managers agree statewide education standards and uniform final exams would help improve the state's workforce, the poll found.

More than 60 percent of respondents rate the quality of the state's workforce as good or excellent, but very few think it has improved in recent years. One-third of respondents believe it has worsened, the poll found. About half of the managers surveyed reported their companies lose productivity by having to train or retrain workers on basic skills.

Read more about firms struggling to fill jobs.



Ira S Wolfe


  1. Malcolm June 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm -

    an exam doesn’t always bring out a person’s true ability. Some people are poor test takers but out standing decision makers.

  2. Ira Wolfe June 3, 2009 at 9:25 pm -

    Josh – there are several factors. One is geographic. There are certainly regions of the country struggling more than others. But due to an inability to sell homes, qualified workers are not able to relocate to where the jobs are.
    A second factor is that many displaced workers just don’t have the skills to do other jobs (a steel worker can’t fill an opening in an ICU.)
    Finally there is a real shortage of highly skilled and niche employees. Despite the high unemployment, these hiring challenges are as good as it gets for the next few decades.

  3. Josh June 3, 2009 at 8:55 pm -

    I read the suggested article in the Charlotte Business Herald, and I am curious about what you think on this. Do you suppose part of this problem is a result of shorter shelf lives for employees, and lack of retention?