SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When it comes to job opportunities and talent, Massachusetts leads the nation. It’s why General Electric is moving to Boston, and why the Chinese rail company CRRC is moving to Springfield. However, high tech jobs are going unfilled.
The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s third annual “State of the Technology Economy” report found there are 17 job openings in the fields of computer science and technology for each recent computing or math graduate.
The report found the high tech industry is responsible in some way for 35% of jobs in Massachusetts and 46% of the state’s payroll.
“We do need to do a better job of then trying to retain that talent here for some of the jobs, and quite frankly, some of the cutting edge jobs, particularly in big data and cyber security and other sectors,” said Rick Sullivan, President of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts.
Just last year, the report found there were more than 123,000 tech job postings in Massachusetts. The job now is to fill those positions.
With projects like MGM Springfield and CRRC USA Rail Corporation coming to western Massachusetts, there’s also a need for highly skilled workers in the construction and manufacturing fields. Lucky for them, free apprenticeship programs are nearby.
Across the street from CRRC is the Sheet Metal Workers Union headquarters for the Greater Springfield area. The union collaborates with local vocational high schools and hiring agencies to help fill open positions. No experience is required.
Union business representative, John Scavotto told 22News he believes people get turned off when they hear they have to “take a test” to enter the program. However, he said, no one fails the test. “We offer them free training, it’s no cost to them, we’re a licensed trade, and they go for five years to school, we’re state registered, they have to have so many hours each year to advance.”
The tech report also encouraged the state to make an effort to hire more women and minority workers in these fields. Business leaders warn that if these positions aren’t filled, the jobs may move out of Massachusetts, and that could impact everyone’s wallet.