Blue collar city, meet green collar jobs. Are you ready?
Ed Weston spends his days working with companies that make wind turbine parts, an industry that he says is bringing jobs to Northeast Ohio, but as he meets with companies across the region, he’s vexed by one question: Why do they have trouble finding workers?
“I’m talking about good jobs that pay fifteen dollars or more per hour,” says Weston. “You walk into a foundry, the same old foundry that’s been there forever, and the lines are jammed. They’re making castings and parts for wind turbines. But they’re always looking for people.”
Part of the issue, he says, is lack of training. Ohio companies supply a large portion of the wind turbine parts built in the U.S., his research shows. Yet while the state’s 7.4% unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country, the companies that supply parts to this growing industry are often hiring.
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Published in Cool Cleveland on Oct. 15th, 2008.