Nowadays there is a lot of rhetoric about the lack of enough skilled employees to sustain the recovery from the last recession. Some analysts claim there are over 600,000 available manufacturing jobs searching for people with adequate skills. Looking back, the plastics industry has always grown faster than the supply of technically competent employees. The only exceptions were the recession years of 1958-59, 1974-75, 1980-81, and 1989-91. A year or so following each of these recessions there was another shortage of skilled employees.
The country is just now recovering from an abnormally long recession. Once again there are not enough skilled employees to support the growing economy. This is no surprise. The plastics industry didn’t have enough competent employees at the start of the recession, and they have even fewer as the economy recovers. But why?...