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Advanced Search Report Provides Skilled Labor Outlook
March 17, 2009

As we all feel the struggles of these tough economic times, it is good to know that employment within our industry holds steady for the time being. The skilled labor professional is a particular employee in the agricultural workforce who is a valued commodity for employers. These are members of the workforce who have extensive and specialized training in their field and rely on a high degree of manual skill to perform their job. These workers include: electricians, mechanics, millwrights, technicians, production supervisors, operators, welders, applicators, etc. These are all occupations that drive our industry, as well as other industries. 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80 percent of the new jobs created between 2002 and 2012, will require an Associate’s degree, applied technology training, or other college experience less than a Bachelor’s degree, essentially describing what we’ve identified as the Skilled Labor workforce. In the last six months, has partnered with AgrowKnowledge, the National Resource Center for AgriScience and Technology Education, to administer the 2009 Skilled Labor Outlook Report. Both and AgrowKnowledge recognize the growing need for this group of individuals requiring us work to build a pipeline of job seekers to feel that need. 
The purpose of the report is to gauge the awareness, availability, and perceptions of careers within the skilled labor profession in agribusiness. Information was gathered from surveys distributed to three different audiences; faculty at primarily two-year institutions who offer agricultural programs, agribusiness employers of individuals within this demographic, and employees who work in skilled professions. The report examines the current state of skilled professionals with regard to employer need, available graduates, and motivators for the current workforce.   The report also provides information regarding the outlook of future career opportunities and educational growth for this demographic. In addition, it contains information regarding how employers and faculty should approach recruitment to ensure that we are building this pipeline as an industry. 
Highlights from the 2009 Skilled Labor Outlook Report:
·         40 percent of employers responded that 51 to 75 percent of their workforce is comprised of skilled professionals, followed by 23 percent who say 76 to 100 percent of their workforce is comprised of skilled professionals.
·         Faculty report that the majority (82 percent) of their students studying to fill skilled professional positions are between the ages of 18 and 25. Showing that a young workforce is in training! 
·         Over 60 percent of skilled professionals who responded to the survey said that job stability, compensation, and benefits are the three most important criteria for job satisfaction. 
·         Seventy-nine percent of s

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