04 September 2007

Manufacturing skills shortage means increased American visa potential

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Manufacturers in the US are facing serious skills shortages, according to a report by the National Association of Manufacturers, with the growing need for skilled workers resulting in new hope for American visa hopefuls.

The report states: "The vast majority of American manufacturers are experiencing a serious shortage of qualified employees, which, in turn, is causing significant impact to business and the ability of the country as a whole to compete in a global economy."

The next six years will see an estimated 800,000 manufacturing jobs vacated in the Midwest, according to the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network in Cleveland.

Michigan company Greer Steel is struggling to replace retiring skilled staff. George Whalen, vice president of administration, said: "One of the big areas is trying to hire general mechanics. There's definitely a shortage, and it's tough to find qualified mechanics because not a lot of people are going into that field."

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a consistent increase in unfilled manufacturing jobs over the past three years. The report also said new manufacturing jobs require fewer workers with higher skills, including maths, communications, experience with computers and team work.

America needs people with manufacturing skills: Anyone wanting to apply for an American visa should begin by taking the American Visa Bureau's online American visa assessment to see if they meet the legislative requirements.

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