Local employers have tough time attracting skilled workers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local employers have tough time attracting skilled workers

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YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.-- Yakima County's Development Association is working with the valley's human resources group to find out how local companies are doing when it comes to attracting and hiring skilled workers.

It's a big challenge for businesses around our region and that's why New Vision teamed up with the Yakima Valley HR Association to get an idea of just how tough it can be.

"Whether it's finding the doctor, or aerospace machinist, or somebody that can run specialized equipment at a local manufacturing plant, those positions are tough to fill," said David McFadden, president of New Vision.

It's something that companies across the valley deal with all the time. How to find and recruit talented people to do difficult jobs here in Yakima County?

According to a recent online survey of over 50 local businesses, the majority have a hard time finding people, and when they do they're usually not from around here.

"When it comes to degreed positions. So, positions that are highly technical and highly professional, we don't typically find the candidates we're searching for here in the area," said Tina Powers, workforce development manager for Tree Top.

Powers says that while the valley has a lot to offer people, like great weather and outdoor recreation, it can be tough to get past what many see as the biggest problem in the area.

"When people take a look at things like the crime rate or the gangs in the area, it tends to scare them off," said Powers.

And she says that's created a lot of problems for Tree Top and many other employers who are looking to hire.

"We've had a couple of different recruitments and it has taken us a good year to find somebody," said Powers.

The survey also looked at employers needs over the next five years, and the results clearly show a need for some type of higher education. Whether it be a university or technical college, more and more jobs now require continued schooling.

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