Open jobs, but who's qualified? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

There are jobs available, but who's qualified?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The unemployment rate in North Carolina is still high.

"Nationwide there are over 600,000 job openings in manufacturing," said Walter Siegenthaler with the North Carolina Apprenticeship Council.

He is working to fill those manufacturing jobs.

Jobs like those at the Ameritech company in Mooresville which makes plastic injection molds.

And Ameritech is hiring.

"We are looking for college career tech students," said President of Ameritech Steve Rotman.

But the jobs aren't being filled quickly.

The problem, a lack of skills.

"There is new technology in there, there is equipment in there which is automated and it needs skills to operate that equipment but it also needs very high skills to maintain that equipment," said Walter.

A small group of companies in the Charlotte/Lake Norman area are helping teach needed skills.

The companies that make up Apprenticeship 2000 provide workforce training through an apprenticeship program.

"It appealed to me because it let me try something new before fully committing," said Eric Lindenderder a former graduate of the program.

"Typically they work four days a week in the shop and they go one day a week to school," said Walter.

"They are paid while they're going through the apprenticeship so they can graduate without having any debt and in the end we guarantee them a job."

The Apprenticeship 2000 is working to train as many workers as possible

And that's important, because employers tell me the manufacturing industry could stall if companies can't get enough workers to do the job.

They believe a long term approach like this is to constantly be training.

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