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Job Fair Hopes to Attract Skilled Workers

IOWA CITY (CBS 2/ FOX 28)--Liz Ortiz is a hands on kind of girl.
Whether its a jackhammer or any other power tool, shes not afraid of a little sweat.
I might be little, said the 17-year old. But, Im strong.
Shes the kind of worker that recruiters in construction and building trades say is in short supply.
Were looking for people with good work ethic, said Chip Davis, training coordinator for Local 125 Plumbing and Pipe Fitting.
From painters to welders and electricians, more than 15 recruiters at Iowa Citys construction and building job expo Friday showed students the tricks of their trades, hoping to find future employees to fill what they say is a big hole in their industry.
There are over 3,000 construction jobs that need to be filled in the very near future, Davis said.
A 2012 study by Iowa Workforce Development says 50 percent of Iowa jobs require middle skills, like technical training or a two year degree.
But only 33 percent of job seekers qualify.
Kirkwood Community College focuses half of their programs on industrial arts and technical training. The school just won a grant worth more than $233,333 to help give students better access to hands on type of work. 
A lot of them are emerging fields, advanced manufacturing wasnt as strong as it is now, said Kristie Fisher, Vice President of student services at Kirkwood. Its something people dont know about.
But if theyre like Liz, theyd be willing to learn.
I like to do hard work so its awesome, Ortiz said.

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