Sheldon Danziger quoted on Detroit's skilled worker problem

August 2, 2013

Even when jobs return to Detroit, the city may lack enough skilled workers to fill available positions.

A Reuters article quoted Sheldon Danziger on Detroit's skilled worker problem. "In the old days you could graduate on Friday, get hired at the Ford plant on Monday and they'd train you," Danziger said. "But in Detroit as in other manufacturing cities, employers are demanding that workers come to jobs with more skills than they used to have."

Multiple outlets, including Fox Business, and the Chicago Tribune, picked up the story.

Detroit's labor market woes are now widely known. The decline of manufacturing jobs dealt a heavy blow to the city; there are 350,000 fewer of these jobs than in 2000. The city workforce has also been cut by more than 2,700 workers since 2010, down to fewer than 10,000.

Even with $8 billion in infrastructure investments and new jobs on the horizon—a new bridge to Canada may generate as many as 25,000—the problem remains that many workers lack the necessary skills and will need to be trained, a task taken up by non-profits such as Goodwill Industries and Green Works.