18 April 2014

Economics Says that You Should Throw Money at the Problem

It appears that the shale/fracking boom had created a wee labor shortage:
How high is demand for welders to work in the shale boom on the U.S. Gulf Coast?

So high that “you can take every citizen in the region of Lake Charles between the ages of 5 and 85 and teach them all how to weld and you’re not going to have enough welders,” said Peter Huntsman, chief executive officer of chemical maker Huntsman Corp.

So high that San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, offers a four-hour welding class in the middle of the night.

So high that local employers say they’re worried there won’t be adequate supply of workers of all kinds. Just for construction, Gulf Coast oil, gas and chemical companies will have to find 36,000 new qualified workers by 2016, according to Industrial Info Resources Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas. Regional estimates call for even more new hires once those projects are built.

The processing and refining industries need so many workers to build new facilities in Texas and Louisiana because of the unprecedented rise over the last three years in U.S. oil and gas production, much of it due to shale. Labor shortages, causing delays in construction, threaten to slow the boom and push back the date when the country can meet its own energy needs, estimated by BP Plc to be in 2035.
So, in the next two years, you need 36,000 welders.

It's pretty simple if you want to frack your world:
  • Pay to train your welders.
  • Pay your welders more.
  • Treat your employees better than the other guy.
This sh%$ ain't rocket science.

The problem is that the "processing and refining industries" want workers who are well trained on someone else's dollar that are cheap, and readily disposable.

What they want fails economics 101.


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