Facing a talent shortage, craft beer industry partners with colleges
- Radio IQ, an NPR affiliate, reports that between expansion and turnover, Virginia breweries will need hundreds of trained workers each year — and local colleges may be the solution.
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, The University of Richmond, and Piedmont Virginia Community College all have created onsite brewery programs that teach brewery technology.
- Breweries are partnering with these colleges to get a jump on this impending talent shortage, Radio IQ says. VCU, for example, has worked with local breweries to develop a curriculum covering various aspects of brewing, even through product marketing.
Breweries aren't alone in their increasing talent shortage — or in partnering with colleges to address it.
In West Virginia, educators are doubling down on vocational tech but shifting their focus, hoping to get students ready for higher-skilled jobs in areas such as equipment maintenance or environmental compliance. The University of Phoenix has taken similar steps, launching a program for employers in need of cybersecurity experts.
Employers looking to fill STEM jobs have adopted particularly creative measures in recent months. In addition to higher education partnerships, recent efforts to address skills gaps include rebranding, candidate poaching, automation and apprenticeships. As other industries begin to feel the effects of talent shortages, they may just turn to these efforts as well.
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