With an unemployment rate that hasn’t dropped to 6% in nearly five years, why are companies struggling to fill key positions? Last week, Skills for America’s Future, a policy program of the Aspen Institute, and Grainger, a broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, hosted a roundtable discussion on workforce challenges in the skilled trades and why technical requirements can lead to scores of open jobs on a firm’s website.

“Finding people who know how to do the work that needs to be done in our industry is becoming an issue of growth and it’s becoming an issue of productivity,” said Jim Ryan, president, chairman and CEO of Grainger.

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