Workforce study projects shortage of area industrial employees by 2025

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 1:41 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new report finds that by 2025, there won’t be enough industrial workers in our area to meet employer demand.

That’s according to the results of a workforce development study unveiled Tuesday.

Officials with the Savannah Economic Development Authority say the area has a lot of jobs to fill in a short period of time.

This all comes amid a slew of recent announcements from manufacturing companies that they’ll be opening industrial facilities in the Coastal Empire, most notably Hyundai and its suppliers.

One goal of the workforce study was to figure out how big the shortage of workers is in the Savannah region.

The study estimates that in 2025 the region will be short more than 1,400 industrial workers, with that number peaking in 2027 at a deficit of just over 2,200 employees.

One of the study’s key findings is that area job needs are expected to ramp up over the next nine years.

SEDA president Trip Tollison said that the projected shortage was the most alarming study result, but officials are already working to address any potential pitfalls.

“It’s no different than recruiting Hyundai and other companies to be here. It’s something we’ve got to do, and we’ll be successful at because we don’t have a choice. It’s going to involve a lot of effort from, not just one organization, but 30 or 40. It’s going to be a big lift, but it will happen,” Tollison said.

Some of the ways economic officials believe they can find industrial employees are by hiring more people who are exiting the military, drawing more high school graduates into the manufacturing industry, and recruiting from out of state, in areas like Illinois and Tennessee.

SEDA staff say they’ll next work to develop a workforce strategy to meet industrial employer needs.