Senator Steve Smith wants to find out why thousands of highpaying jobs are going unfilled in Arizona and help Arizonans fill them.
There have been many recent reports about an Arizona real estate boom, but Smith is investigating why there is a labor scarcity in the construction industry, along with many other “blue collar” fields.
On Thursday, Smith discussed the situation and the work he is doing as chair of the Committee on Commerce and Public Safety on the James T. Harris radio show. According to Smith, the Committee is hoping to increase awareness of job areas with vast vacancies, and to find ways to connect job seekers with employers in need. To that end, Smith has scheduled a series of meetings “to discuss best practices and find solutions on how to get more workers into these high paying jobs.”
Recent data from the group Emsi indicates that Arizona job openings for electricians, plumbers, roofers, telecommunications installers and other similar trades have a shortage of around 9,000 positions, and that number is expected to grow. With the average salary around $45,000 a year, these are well paying jobs that are often attainable without a college degree, or in some cases, without a high school diploma.