Addressing workforce shortages

With thousands and thousands of jobs open in the state the University of Mary is trying to help address the shortage. They've been working for months to figure out exactly what the needs are and how they can help tackle those issues.

Governor Doug Burgum estimates there's about 30,000 open jobs in the state. Some of the problems are well documented, but university officials say they've identified other issues employers are seeing.

The University of Mary says they are a step closer to helping solve the workforce shortage. The school announced in January they would put together a report on how schools in the state could help with the issue.

“So many employers identified skill gaps that weren't on our radar things like soft skills and professional skills things that sometimes seemed really simple,” workforce strategist Brian Opp said.

Opp says that includes skills like communication, work ethic, leadership, problem solving, project management and others. Another big issue is recruitment and retention.

“Everybody was working hard to address this issue and so many of these employers were open, very open to the idea of training opportunities tailored and delivered by higher education,” Opp said.

Opp says higher education brings a lot of young people into the state, which is why they need to work with businesses to make sure those people stay in the state.

The results of the survey were shared with all the universities across the state.