Workforce Shortages in the Mid-Atlantic Can Be Solved in East Kentucky

8 Apr 2019

Mid-Atlantic businesses often struggle to find skilled workers to fill key positions. In the 2018 Maryland Business Climate Survey, 250 executives were surveyed with 56 percent reporting that they faced workforce shortages (Milligan, 2018).

Maryland is not the only state facing workforce shortages. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Labor & Industry released a report titled, "Critical Shortages of Precision Machining and Industrial Maintenance Occupations in Pennsylvania's Manufacturing Sector," providing details about the manufacturing industry's growing need for a skilled workforce with estimations that an additional 15,000 to 17,000 skilled workers will be needed during the next decade. Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Dr. Robert Garraty said. "Today's employers need a workforce with the skills and specialized training necessary to operate and maintain increasingly complex, computer-controlled manufacturing systems" (Newswire, 2018).

Suffering from an even larger workforce shortage, the state of New Jersey has been working on plans to improve workforce training. "If you listen to manufacturers in this state there are 40,000 jobs going unfilled because we don't have the workers for them. We haven't trained them.” state New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (Gallo, 2018).

Workforce training initiatives can improve the future outlook for Mid-Atlantic states, but they cannot reach workers fast enough to fill these massive shortages. For that, businesses need to look outside the state and would do well to look to East Kentucky.

East Kentucky is home to the largest, available skilled workforce in the United States. Workers coming out of the mining industry are highly trained, technically savvy and willing to work. “Our skilled labor force is our number one advantage with nearly 12,000 available and technically skilled workers from the coal/energy sector. These workers are mechanically inclined, dependable and have work ethic that is second-to-none,” said Chuck Sexton, President and CEO, One East Kentucky.

Companies can relocate to East Kentucky and immediately hire the workforce they need to be successful. It is not uncommon for businesses to receive thousands of qualified applicants, creating the opportunity to hire workers who best fit with the company culture.

If a company has specific workforce training needs, One East Kentucky and other regional partners are available to assist. The state of Kentucky has a robust workforce training department and the regional workforce investment board and technical colleges will work with businesses to create customized training solutions. This type of public-private partnership has made Kentucky one of the best states to do business.

Learn more about Mid-Atlantic businesses facing growth obstacles and why East Kentucky is the solution.

Executives interested in learning more about the benefits of moving out of the Mid-Atlantic and into East Kentucky should contact Chuck Sexton, President and CEO of One East Kentucky.


Chuck Sexton

One East Kentucky

O: 606-886-7333

C: 270-832-5990


Gallo, B. (2018, March 28). There's a massive shortage of workers in N.J. These groups have a plan to fix it. Retrieved from

Milligan, C. (2018, September 18). Md. firms struggle to find workers, but remain optimistic in Q2 business climate survey . Retrieved from Baltimore Business Journal:

Newswire, R. (2018, December 1). Pennsylvania faces critical shortage of skilled manufacturing workers. Retrieved from Reliable Plant: