There are more manufacturing jobs available in southwest Michigan than there are qualified applicants to fill them, say some employers. Those businesses need machine operators and programmers.
And while a lot of unemployed workers say they have applied and can't get a job, employers say they want people who are trained.
It can be a vicious circle for those needing work and companies needing employers.
Tommy Sinkiewicz's old job was a casualty of the economy. His hours were cut, so he got a job here at Delta International Valves.
"They trained me on everything," says Sinkiewicz, "I have trained three or four people myself."
There are a lot of job seekers out there that would love to end up like Sinkiewicz ... and a lot of employers in southwest Michigan that would love to hire them.
"Oh, I could see us 15 to 20 people right now if they were here," says Keith Stelter, Delta Industrial Valves co-owner and president.
Delta Industrial Valves workers makes safety valves used in oil extraction and mining. And while they have all these job openings, Stelter says they can't find enough qualified workers to fill them. Employers are looking for machine operators and programmers.
"It is not that they (applicants) are not qualified, but we haven't really focused on qualifying the person that the industry is asking for. That is where we are trying to bridge the gap," says Corey Carolla, business/industry director at Michigan Works.
Michigan Works and other economic growth officials say if you want to break into the manufacturing business, you have to start by getting trained and you may have to start at the bottom.
"We hear from a lot of manufacturers that they would hire 10 to 15 more, 2nd shift and over the last few years a lot are reducing their expectations and are willing to do more training and are still having problems getting people to come in at an introductory level," says Shelley Klug, the Executive Director of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance, Inc.
According to Klug, there are about 20 to 30 employers in southwest Michigan who say they would hire 15 to 20 more employees each if they found qualified workers. The catch is, often they want hard working people who are willing to start out at entry level.
So what can you do to get these jobs?