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The Class of 2019: Are we graduating enough Utah workers for Utah jobs?

Some companies say Utah does not have enough people trained for jobs like engineering. Photo: Getty Images

Editorial note: the following is the second in a three-part series on the opportunities available to the Class of 2019. Part one is available here.

SALT LAKE CITY — The job market in Utah is one of the hottest in the nation. But are Utah companies hiring Utah grads?

Yes and no.

Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce CEO Derek Miller says our education system is doing things right. But so many companies have moved into the state, there may not physically be enough people to fill all the positions, especially in the tech sector.

“I wouldn’t call it a mismatch. But we have to go outside of Utah, outside of our market to get more engineers,” Miller said.

There are also not enough coders.

At least 6,500, mostly high paying manufacturing jobs are also going unfilled in the state, including up and coming fields like 3D printing.

“Right or wrong, we have pushed higher education degrees to the point where it has now jeopardized our technical training. For the technically trained folks, we need to do a better job of helping them understand what is a pathway to a job and what does that job look like?” said Utah Manufacturers’ Association President Todd Bingham.

Miller thinks a big benefit of Utah’s hot job market is that employers are willing to take a chance on almost anyone, whether they have a degree or not.

“If you were to ask a business two years ago what their greatest challenge is, every single business that I’ve talked to would say, ‘We need a qualified, trained workforce.’ Today, you ask them what their challenge is they say, ‘Workforce,'” Miller said.

Coming up in part three: paying off student loans.