Calling All Mid-Level Skilled Workers

I’ve talked about the many advantages a small business atmosphere offers to professionals in every industry (See Small Businesses – The Millennial Job Cure). An intimate career setting allows you to gain valuable experience and develop new skills at light-year speed compared to most entry-level corporate jobs. But there’s more to it than stretching talent muscles and taking on more leadership responsibilities. Most job seekers are unaware that small businesses are leading the country in job creation.



The proof is in the facts. Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, reported that small businesses have accounted for more than half of the new jobs created. The latest data from the Department of Labor says that since it began growing in 2010, employment has been generated by companies with less than 250 employees while most of that amount is accounted by firms with fewer than 50 employees.

I’ve blogged a great deal on the soft skills required to survive in an entrepreneurial environment. But it’s also important to understand the hard skills you need to land a job in the manufacturing industry. As an executive recruiter, I can affirm the difficulty and frustration employers are experiencing in their efforts to find skilled workers. In order to understand the workforce deficits and the best options for displaced job seekers, check out these manufacturing stats (courtesy of Monroe Community College, Center for Governmental Research, and Rochester Business Journal). I’ve seen this same information reiterated across the country in the research I do for my clients.


  • 19 percent of the workforce is made up of lower-level people.
  • 50 percent have more than a high school diploma but less than a 4-year degree.
  • 31 percent are highly skilled laborers.

Economic experts forecasted that mid-level skilled jobs will grow at a steady pace, which has prompted Monroe Community College to focus on building mid-level talent, an area employers are having a difficult time filling. New York faces a shortage of 350,000 mid-level skilled workers, and the Capital Region is especially vulnerable because its technology sector is growing so quickly, according to Albany Business Review.

The average income is about 45k and the reality is low-skilled workers, regardless of industry, are becoming more and more dispensable. A career in manufacturing can leverage a variety of skills and disciplines, such as military or mechanical backgrounds. There are great opportunities out there, but in order to become a top candidate for consideration, you need to enhance your skills. Continued skill development is the reality of our ever-changing job climate.

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