The U.S. needs to do a better job training its workers. Here’s how

If President Trump were to get his ambitious $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan through Congress, the country would need a lot more workers for all of the construction projects that would get underway.

That poses a problem: Builders are already having a hard time finding skilled workers, says Ahu Yildirmaz, head of the ADP Research Institute. The payroll company says wages for workers in the field rise 4.8% over the year, and 5.9% for those who switch jobs — a sign that bosses are poaching from one another, rather than hiring the unemployed.

“Firms are paying to retain their employees, but it’s not easy to find the skilled construction workers as it is in other industries,” says Yildirmaz.

But it’s not just construction that needs help. Industries from health care to manufacturing have also voiced a need for more skilled workers and there’s also mounting evidence that automation will fundamentally change or kill off many job categories entirely — creating even more need for programs that retrain America’s workforce.

Trump’s infrastructure plan includes some proposals for training more workers, such as allowing Pell Grants to be used for short-term certificate programs, and creating more opportunities for work-based learning in high school.

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