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Employers lament worker shortage

Oklahoma City_Oklahoma employers say the state does not have enough skilled workers to bring their companies up to full employment.

Employers told members of the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee Tuesday that more needs to be done to recruit and retain skilled workers in the state.

Brian Hayden, vice president of Advance Food Co. of Enid, says the company has hired 700 new workers over the past two years and recruits workers from as far away as Puerto Rico. But the company still has 95 job openings that remain unfilled.

Phil Berkenbile, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, says 12,000 people are on a waiting list to enroll in career and technology courses in the state's Carreer Tech system. 

Berkenbile says students need more flexibility when choosing a career path.

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