A sizable gap is occurring in Bexar County between employers who need a certain skill set for a job and people qualified for the open positions.
In January, Workforce Solutions Alamo reported that there were nearly 1,700 help wanted ads for registered nurses, nearly 600 for retail sales managers and nearly 400 for computer support specialists, but Eva Esquivel, works for Workforce, said people looking for jobs don't have the skills needed for these fields.
"You can see the mismatch that exists right now," said Esquivel, who provided a report to the city council's Economic and Community Development Committee. She said the top jobs to be filled aren't getting nearly enough applicants.
"If you look at all the new accounts created over the last month in Texas, the top license and certification being held right now is for bartender. Obviously that's a mismatch," she said.
The profile report outlines the ages and skills of people in the market for work, and Esquivel said there is hope by taking those people and moving them into the career paths that exist.
People can visit career centers and talk with counselors to help them through the system and place them where the jobs are. Esquivel said that job seekers don't have to be in a low-income category to get the help they need.
Workforce Solutions Alamo teamed with the Alamo Colleges and the San Antonio Manufacturing Association for the Just In Time manufacturing program that will see the first graduating class in March.
Instead of a two year training program, Just in Time cuts the training down to 12 weeks to meet immediate needs of employers and employees.
"Two year certificates are needed, but I think for probably 80 percent of today's jobs, we can't wait two years, and they can't wait two years to employ these people. We need to look at working smarter and working with our institutions to fast track these people through training,” said Patrick Newman, Executive Director at Workforce Solutions Alamo.
18 students will graduate in March, with the remaining 43 students in the first wave of the program to receive their certificates in May.