Report finds challenges to filling manufacturing jobs

Apr 29, 2019

Manufacturers have plenty of jobs to fill, but a new report finds there is a number of challenges in hiring qualified workers.

A new report by the Jobs With Justice Education Fund finds that local manufacturers will need to fill 17,000 jobs in the coming years due to attrition and retirement. But researchers say young people lack interest because manufacturing has a poor image.

Another challenge is people who can't afford a car can't access jobs in the suburbs. Coalition for Economic Justice Executive Director Kirk Laubenstein says 58% of jobs in the Buffalo area are not accessible by Metro Bus.    
"Our take is the people that are closest to the problems are closest to the solution. The people that are riding the bus and the rail everyday are the ones that should be involved with places within the NFTA, and across Upstate New York, making decisions about how that service is actually deployed," Laubenstein said. 
Laubenstein says a push is underway for a new state law requiring  riders be appointed to serve on transit authority boards.

Other challenges filling manufacturing jobs include a large number of applicants failing drug tests and a lack of employer investment in training and apprenticeship programs.