Even in a nation with 9.1 percent unemployment, German conglomerate Siemens says it is still having a hard time filling 3,000 jobs in the U.S.
Siemens, a provider of electrical, engineering and automation services, already employs 62,000 people in the U.S., but it can't find another 3,000 workers with the technical training to work in its American plants, general counsel Peter Solmssen told CNBC Friday .
So Siemens is going to train them.
"You can’t just come in and swing a hammer," Solmssen said. "You have to be able to operate sophisticated machinery. You’ve got to have an understanding of what’s going on in the manufacturing process. So what we’re going to do about it is train our own people the way they do in Germany."
This is not the first time Siemens has publicized its need for American workers, nor is it the only company in this situation.
Cummins Chief Executive Tom Solso told CNBC in June that the U.S. lacks a workforce with the technical skills he needs to staff his engine business.
Siemens is committed to working in the U.S., Solmssen said. It is expanding in North Carolina and opening three other plants, including one in Sacremento, Calif.
As the U.S. government spends money to upgrade its infrastructure, "the country’s going to need our technology, and we’ve got some big orders recently that need to be filled," Solmssen said.
But the U.S. needs to provide more training for manufacturing workers, he added.
"As a country we haven’t paid enough respect to great manufacturing jobs," Solmssen said. "We haven’t given people the training they need to be able to operate in a modern, competitive manufacturing environment. If you go to our factories in Germany, the guys on the floor can read engineering drawings. They’re highly respected. They’re well paid."
He added the "real issue [in the U.S.] is there’s a gap between who can start today and people who need a lot of training."