The Treasure State is facing a severe worker shortage. While baby boomers are rapidly retiring, there's a serious lack of skilled young workers to fill their shoes. The situation is spelling trouble for the Montana work force.
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry is anticipating the labor force is going to need about 4,500 jobs per year, but the employment gains are going to be about 7,300 jobs per year. That means we will not have enough bodies to meet the demand of workers we need.
"The way the work force shortage is playing itself out is we don't have time for people to go to four or six years of college. We need people right now,” said Jake Troyer, Communications Director for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
To combat this, the state has started a variety programs to help individuals increase training and build employment skills.
They've found particular success with the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program where young people can learn a variety of skills ranging from phlebotomy to childcare.
Luckily, Montana’s economy is still strong with a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, which is better than the national average, so there are jobs out there for people who want them.