The only shortage of skilled workers that this article highlights is the lack of trained journalists and editors at the AP. The title of this article should have been, “Employers unwilling to raise wages to attract employees find business growth stunted”.
This isn't a real news article. What it is is a puff piece piece probably placed by the PR flacks of one or all the congress persons who are so prominently mentioned. The so called "skills gap" is a creation of the US Chamber of Commerce and their shills. They place these articles regularly as part of their continuing campaign to get more indentured foreign workers (H1-B, etc), to get the government to pay for the training of their workers and to justify their age discrimination against older, skilled workers.
If the journalist had done there job they would consulted with an economist(s) who would have debunked the entire premise.
If there is a shortage of workers wages will go up. But wages aren't going up. Business needing skilled workers could also hire workers from similar fields and train them. But they aren't. Why? Because they can get the government to pay them to train people. This is sadly illustrated in the example of the girl who went to some stupid training program so she could get an $8/hr job. (A service writer is a clerk who translates the customers needs, hopefully, into a work order for a mechanic.) I'm assuming she got some sort of taxpayer grant for her alleged training as if she spent her own money, or borrowed it,wage that would have left her unable to pay her loans. If there is such a demand for these “vocational” programs how com the graduates of for profit colleges are graduating and yet not finding jobs that enable them to pay back their debts.
Lastly as to Ultra Scientific. Ultra Scientific's business is growing because Thermo Fischer Scientific is closing their plant in East Providence and laying off 66 workers who do all the things that Ultra does. They are moving production to Virginia and Texas. Neither of them is exactly a hotbed of trained workers. Here's what Thermo Fischer Scientific's Spokesman, Ronald O'Brien, said last August, “At least two or three employees will be asked to relocate, some to other positions, O’Brien said. The bulk of the workers, mainly technicians who produce the test kits to detect diseases, will be laid off and offered a severance package”. So they were able to hire one of the three PhDs who chose not to move. But you don't need a PhD to run an HPLC. A lab tech with a high school education can do that. But one thing that is certain is that a PhD in Chemistry will never make enough to pay back the costs of their education at a lab techs salary. Ultra Scientific is within 50 miles of the largest concentration of chemistry education in the world and he can't find anyone to work for him? The reason why Russo can't get people is because he is not paying enough!