Tune in for a look at the skills gap question in Minnesota

UPDATE: Here’s the audio from the Daily Circuit Monday, April 1.

When the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development recently reported the results of a year-long study of job openings and why employers had a hard time filling them, a main conclusion was this: there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer to the problem.

Yes, there are skills gaps but there are also wage, location and other considerations. And some job sectors pose greater conundrums than others.

Those are the kind of issues we created Ground Level to look at — complicated community issues that are engaging local residents around Minnesota. So for the past month or two, Ground Level has been looking at this phenomenon, focusing on northern Minnesota and on the manufacturing industry.

The DEED report showed that while the reasons employers had difficulty filling jobs were similar between urban and rural Minnesota, outstate jobs were much more likely to be considered hard to fill.

MPR News reporter Tom Robertson, who is based in Bemidji, found no shortage of employers having a hard time filling jobs. He also found a variety of attempts at solutions — from paying more attention to high school students who aren’t college bound to re-organizing how higher education tries to help.

We’re broadcasting Robertson’s reports Wednesday and Thursday on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. And he’ll be on the Daily Circuit talking about his reporting on Monday morning.