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Shortage of skilled workers gets nationwide attention

Reported by: Sam King
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Updated: 2/19 9:20 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame visited the Tulsa Welding School Tuesday to discuss the nationwide shortage of skilled workers.

"He came here to see what we are doing, how we do business here, and talk to the students and tell them there is a bunch of jobs out there," said Jack Dulls, training director for the Tulsa Welding School in Jacksonville. "The demand is very high."

CareerSource Northeast Florida told Action News demand for those type of positions continues to grow in our region.

"For awhile, the construction industry has almost zero job creation and many of the skilled workers actually left our area to go onto other places where jobs were," said Candace Moody, vice-president of communications for CareerSource Northeast Florida.

The jobs can be high-paying, $25 per hour or more in some cases. But a variety of factors are leading to the shortage in the trades. "Ship-fitting and all those industries with the blue collar, they're all depleting and we need to restock them," Dulls said.

Rowe is trying to address the issue with his mikeroweWORKS Foundation, by offering scholarships to high school students interested in welding and other trades. The Tulsa Welding School told Action News that 19 of those scholarships will be offered to high school seniors interested in attending classes at its Jacksonville location.

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