Photo by OTC

The Springfield-area has some of the lowest unemployment in the country.

But that is creating problems for businesses in the skilled trades.

Matthew Simpson is the Springfield mayor pro-tem.

He’s also the chief research and governmental affairs officer at OTC.

He says low unemployment is good, but it can cause some problems.

“It also means that as we have companies trying to grow, (and) as we have companies trying to locate here, we need people to fill those positions. And those are quality good jobs that are available. So we need to make sure that people are having access to the training programs that get them the skills to fill those positions because it’s difficult to grow otherwise.”

Simpson says if you’re looking for a good paying job, this is a good time to consider the skilled trades.

“There’s a classroom education component, certainly. But a lot of the training program as you’re going through for these certificates or degrees is having that hands-on experience. So when you step into your job on the first day, you’re doing things that you’ve already done.”

The Springfield Chamber of Commerce says there’s a demand for skilled trade workers because older workers are retiring.

Simpson says there’s a demand for people in jobs like healthcare, construction, engineering and computers.

He says it’s rewarding to see people graduate with degrees that help them get a good job.

“Seeing the difference that makes, seeing how happy the family is, and knowing that this is something that not only impacts that individual, but also impacts their children and will probably have impacts for generations to come.”

The Springfield Chamber of Commerce says most skilled trade jobs don’t require a four-year degree.

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