CINCINNATI, OH - A national shortage of technically qualified employee candidates may be impacting the woodworking industry as well.

Ad-Ex International Inc., the 125-employee Cincinnati-based exhibition and retail display  manufacturer says it has had six positions open for months, but cannot fill them.

Mike Pierdiluca, co-owner of Ad-Ex, tells the Wall St. Journal he gets hundreds of applications for job openings, but most are unqualified. 

"Based on present economic conditions, we have to be cautious," Pierdiluca told the Journal. "It's expensive to train someone." Younger job seekers don't have carpentry and painting skills, and one spot has been open for more than a year, he says.

Among Ad-Ex clients is Clopay Garage Doors, in Mason, OH. The fast-growing garage remodeling arena has Clopay seeking to fill 32 positions, including a general manager for the Ohio manufacturing plant.

A July 2012 poll by Vistage International found almost a third of 811 small-business owners CEOs said they couldn't find applicants with the right skills. Vistage found 36 percent of firms expect to increase investment, and 62 expecft revenue to rise. Vistage reports 46 percent expect to hire and another 43 percent expect head counts to remain stable.

In answer to the question, "If you currently have unfilled jobs, do you believe those openings are holding back your company from growth or expansion?" 39 percent replied yes. Another 36 percent said they offer training to prospective employees.

Fortune Brands Home & Security, which reported a 5 percent sales rise last quarter, lists 13 job openings at its MasterBrand Cabinets business, including assembly line lead in Louisville, and production line supervisor in Grants Pass, OR.

American Woodmark lsits nine openings, including a finishing line supervisor in Gas City, IN.

Patrick Molzahn, director of the Cabinet Making & Millwork program at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin, says graduates of his program all were placed, and averaging three job offers each. Molzahn is also president of the WoodLINKS USA education organization, and a founding member of the Woodwork Career Alliance, which provides verified skills credentials for professional woodworkers.

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