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Trucking, nursing most in-demand jobs in Clark, Champaign region

Nursing and truck driving are the most in demand jobs in the region that includes Clark and Champaign counties, with jobs in retail also near the top of the list, according to a state report.

The report from OhioMeansJobs provides a snapshot of online job ads posted in a one-month period for six different Ohio regions. It provides an indication of the most in-demand occupations and a list of regional employers doing most of the hiring in a given area.

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The results were not a surprise, said Amy Donahoe, director of hiring and employer services for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. She said many companies, both locally and nationally, continue to struggle to find and retain qualified truck drivers.

Clark State Community College has a program to train drivers for the industry, she said, and the chamber is working with partners to find better ways to promote in-demand jobs in the region.

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“We do recognize there is a need there and Clark State has a great program,” Donahoe said. “We also need to figure out how to engage the schools so they can help educate students about it becoming an option for them. If parents understand what kinds of opportunities there are and what kind of pay is involved, it’s a good place for some graduates to start.”

The report showed a total of 16,658 online job openings from Jan. 14 to Feb. 13 this year for a region that includes, Clark, Champaign, Montgomery, Greene and Miami counties.That’s an increase of about 700 job postings compared to the same time last year, and an increase of about 1,300 postings from the previous reporting period.

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Kettering Medical Center was the highest number of job ads in the region with just more than 1,000 ads, the report says. Mercy Health, the biggest employer in Springfield, was also near the top of the list with 131 postings.

The report shows a little less than half the ads posted, about 44 percent, require at least an Associate’s degree. About 30 percent required a high school diploma or GED only and about 23 percent required a Bachelor’s degree.

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In Champaign County, local officials have developed Community Job Connect, an online job site specifically for Champaign County businesses and residents. Many of the ads posted on that site include construction and manufacturing positions.

“Every employer is using every mechanism available to them to find employees,” said Marcia Bailey, economic development coordinator for the Champaign Economic Partnership.

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With a low unemployment rate, Donahoe said industries such as retail will likely continue to see a gap between the number of applicants and available jobs as workers look for higher-paying work.

“When other businesses are hiring, you see a lot of people from retail go into manufacturing for instance,” Donahoe said of entry-level positions. “The pay could be a little more at times and sometimes it’s just equal. But there are also greater opportunities for upward mobility.”

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