Today, more than ever, Washington state needs a workforce pipeline filled with candidates who have the necessary skills to help their businesses grow in a globally competitive economy.
Sadly, finding those skilled workers, even in the midst of record unemployment, remains a challenge. This is true for businesses of all sizes and industries statewide. In Southwest Washington, where the unemployment rate hovers at 11%, longtime AWB member Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging says the skills gap is its biggest obstacle in trying to fill jobs at its Longview facility. Regrettably, most of the applicants lack the necessary mathematics, language or computer skills to work at the company’s paper mill.
Thousands of other Washington employers face this same hiring challenge daily.
That’s why the Association of Washington Business, the AWB Institute and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges are collaborating to address this workforce dilemma. This effort extends to helping businesses and organizations in every corner of the state, across all industries, find the right workers to succeed and fuel our economy.