The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is hosting a Manufacturing Expo and Job Fair on Thursday, February 13, as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the regional climate for manufacturing and build a better workforce to meet employers’ growing needs.
The free event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax. It is open to the public, although the first 90 minutes of the job fair is reserved for veterans only, with other job-seekers welcome after noon.
“Nationwide, 67% of manufacturers report a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers, and this growing ‘skills gap’ between what companies need and what they can recruit is very troubling for the industry’s future,” said Paul Washington, OED executive director. “The fact that as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs go unfilled today in our country simply because employers cannot find people with the right skills must be addressed, particularly in light of the unemployment rates of young adults.”
In Denver, OED has formed an Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Council to address these workforce deficits as well as pursue collaborative projects with partners such as the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, the Colorado Association of Manufacturing and Technology, and the Rocky Mountain Tooling and Machining Association. Among other initiatives, the council is developing outreach to educate teens and young adults about the opportunities for careers in manufacturing.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are currently 379 manufacturing establishments in the City and County of Denver that employ nearly 8,000 workers. The average annual earnings per manufacturing job in Colorado is $74,786.
Employers in the manufacturing industry and other training/education providers who are interested in booth space at the Expo are encouraged to contact Tony Anderson, Business Services supervisor, at 720-865-5572 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Job seekers interested in attending the Expo must create a profile at ConnectingColorado.com and pre-register at ManufacturingPublic.Eventbrite.com.
OED’s other industries of strategic focus in workforce development include information technology and health care.