Nightly News | August 18, 2011
>>> and then there's the story of the company we found, in this current economic climate, with so many people out there looking for jobs, this company has a lot of jobs but no one to fill them. and if something called the skills gap that's being blamed for it, we get the story from nbc's lisa myers .
>>> even with 14 million americans out of work, the industrial giant siemens is having so much trouble finding qualified workers that for the first time it's had to hire recruiters. ceo eric spiegel argues that unemployment remains painfully high not solely because of a lack of jobs.
>> there are jobs out there, it's just that we don't have people that have some of the skills that are required.
>> reporter: it's known ooze the skills gap. siemens alone has more than 3,400 jobs open in the u.s. engineers, sales, production, that includes hundreds of jobs here in charlotte, north carolina making turbines and generators.
>> the key things that we're looking at is people who have programming skills for the automated equipment we use.
>> reporter: siemens put people through a battery of tests, reading math, mechanical aptitude. only 10% pass and are deemed to have enough skilled to be trained for these jobs. it's a nationwide problem, a recent manpower survey found that 52% of employers are having trouble filling key jobs. in west virginia , an environmental cleanup company desperately needs certified drivers to drive heavy equipment . worker with construction experience and safety training . larry dawson says a lack of qualified workers is hurting his ability to expand.
>> you can buy all the equipment in the world, but you still have to have the trained employees to operate that equipment.
>> what's the answer? experts say more math and science at all levels of education. and the right training to match workers with the jobs that are out there now. a mismatch that hurts both employer and workers hungry to find jobs. lisa myers , nbc news, charlotte, north carolina .