AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A shortage of skilled laborers is having a negative impact across the country and here in Amarillo.
Local technicians said finding qualified employees continues to become more challenging.
"The baby boomer generation is trying to retire, and the technical trades are not something individuals have sought after for education," said Megan Eikner the Dean of technical Education at Amarillo College. "This is why the skill gap is there."
The skill gap is defined by two categories. Soft skills such as punctuality, professionalism, communication skills and other non-technical abilities. Then there are the mechanical skills which are either taught in trade schools or on the job.
The lack of skilled laborers is attributed to the growing assumption that four year colleges provide the best way to start a successful career.
Despite increasing tuition costs and a more competitive job market, people are still pushing the college route even though the demand for jobs in our area is in skilled technicians.
"People coming in are few and far between even though we are constantly advertising for jobs," said Frank Willburn of Frank's Plumbing. "If they are looking for a job, there is a job out there."
Nearly all of the Amarillo College Technical Students that graduated Friday will be employed full time on Monday.
Most of those students have already started working part time with their current employers. They have also started paying off their student debt which is considerably less than students earning four year degrees.