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‘Help Wanted’ Common Request for Colorado Manufacturing Companies in 2011

Joost J. Bakker Ijmuiden/via Creative Commons

The manufacturing sector was a major contributor in 2011 to job postings across Colorado--although many of the job descriptions aren't what you'd expect.

According to the nonprofit Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, manufacturing companies posted more than 41,000 job openings last year, the majority of which were in sales, software development, and operations management.

“We typically think of traditional production jobs as requiring a high school diploma and some technical training in high school,” says Lauren Gilchrist, a research analyst with the Center. “But I think we’re seeing an increase in the formal skills required by manufacturing companies.”

Out of all the job postings that were related to manufacturing, 37 percent required a bachelor’s degree, while 21 percent required a high school diploma.

The news comes after an announcement from President Barack Obama last month about plans to inject $8 billion into the “Community College to Career Fund," which would train more workers for advanced manufacturing. According to estimates, this part of the sector is expected to see 2 million job openings over the next six years as baby boomers retire.

According to the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, aerospace companies like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman posted the largest percentage of job openings. IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Raytheon were also major contributors.

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