JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. – A new jobs report says for the first time on record, American job openings exceed job seekers.
“I think if you talk to any business, especially those that employ people in the trade, they are going to tell you they have a shortage of qualified applicants,” said Johnson County Community College Interim Dean Richard Fort.
Companies are growing in Missouri. There are new technology and trade jobs popping up every day. Employers say they have the jobs, but the workforce doesn’t have the skills.
“These are skills that you can learn and you've got that for life and not everyone can do it. Not everyone is skilled to walk onto a job site and be certified to do jobs that people like me can do,” said JCCC student Mathew Deitchman.
He just finished his first year at JCCC.
“I have been framing houses for two years, and I don't want to do that my whole life,” Deitchman said. “I found that I like to work with my hands.”
He’s learning a trade; something many his age aren’t doing.
“We've added a lot more programs. We have more people coming for training and we basically needed more space,” said Fort.
Fort said trade jobs have good pay and benefits.
“There is a huge shortage across every one of my programs, and we can't produce enough people to fill all of those openings," Fort said.
The field is in such demand JCCC is building a more than $30 million career in technology building.
“It is going to be totally transformational for our programs. Right now you can't see these programs anywhere," said Fort. "The new building will be totally transparent. You will be able to walk through the building and see exactly what is going on. You will be able to drive by the building and know exactly what is going on in that building.”
A recent report from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce shows in June 2017, there were more than 2.7 million total jobs in the state.
The last time the job total was that high was in June 2008.
Deitchman said college isn’t for everyone. At the end of the day, he can look at what he’s created and feel proud.
“I love it because I get to step back and see what I have done with my own hands. People get a kick out of it and think it’s cool. I say, yeah I did that myself, I can do whatever I want,” Deitchman.