Learning Job Skills
Employers and educators agree many people entering the workforce are not ready to look for jobs when they start.
"If someone just had social skills, I'm currently looking for five people to make $50,000 to $60,000 a year and the only requirement is that they have social skills and mechanical aptitude," said Russ Duker, Master Tech General manager.
Employers said those simple needs are surprisingly hard to find.
"It's very minimal, you wouldn't even need a high school education to do what we do," said Duker. "But you'd have to want to, and have the social skills."
Duker shreds applications indicating someone qualified technically may just be lacking the proper attitude.
"Everyone just needs to communicate on even a higher level in order to address issues that employers have in finding a good workforce and that people have in finding good jobs," said Jim Dickerson with the Workforce Investment Board.
Dickerson estimates the Career Center in Columbia helps nearly 2,000 unemployed and underemployed Missourians every month.
Many of those future workers could help themselves by spending time developing social skills for the workforce.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says Columbia has the lowest unemployment rate among Missouri's metropolitan areas.
All of Missouri's metropolitan areas have seen declines in unemployment between November and December.