Siemens on U.S. Hiring Binge

Susan Hall
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German industrial group Siemens plans to hire 1,000 people in Charlotte, N.C., for a plant building more energy-efficient gas turbines. Financial Times calls this a challenge for the American work force to show that it can provide the necessary skills, described as "highly skilled machinists and engineers that are capable of designing and operating the most advanced computerized manufacturing equipment." It plans to hire 400 in 2011.


Even though the unemployment rate remains troubling in this country, companies worry that even in manufacturing, too few applicants have the necessary computer and math skills.


Siemens' plant is due to be up and running by the end of the year. To meet its employment goal, the company will have to hire 50 people a month. It received 6,000 applications right off the bat.


The story quotes Jane Oates, assistant secretary of labor for training and administration, saying:

I think that we still have the best skilled work force in the world. I think the problem that we're having is that the bar is rising at such a rapid rate. We used to have a generation in order to make huge improvements in the definition of "high skilled." Now we sometimes have just less than a year, technology is moving so rapidly.

As part of its hiring push, Siemens has partnered with area universities, including the engineering college at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The company has pledged to donate $4.3 million to its energy and infrastructure program.

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