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COVID highlights issues in Utah's workforce

Posted at 8:04 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 10:04:30-05

SALT LAKE CITY — COVID has highlighted issues within Utah’s workforce.

Many employers say they can’t find qualified candidates to fill all the open positions they have right now.

However, the state is working on a solution.

The Department of Workforce Services is hosting a statewide, virtual job fair Thursday November 18.

This time, they’re highlighting Utah’s apprenticeships.

From automotive to IT to healthcare, they say there are over 500 apprenticeship opportunities right now.

It’s a program that helps both people who are unemployed or underemployed, and those businesses looking to hire.

“We have this chicken and the egg thing that we see a lot, where an employer may want someone with a degree, but they get the degree, and they say you don’t have any experience. Or you have someone that has experience, they say oh but you don’t have a degree. Well, this really helps employers think differently about their recruitment process and puts them in the driver’s seat of becoming a producer of talent instead of just a consumer of talent,” said Melisa Stark, commissioner of Apprenticeship Programs for Utah.

Workforce Services says there are state and federal funds available to help offset the costs of training and provide people with tools they need for the job.

And at the end of the day, many apprentices come out ahead of their peers who went into debt paying for school.

The job fair kicks off at 10 a-m.

Then this afternoon, you can learn about apprenticeship opportunities specifically for high school students in a webinar.