Workforce Central, on behalf of the Pierce County Workforce Development Council, commissioned a comprehensive study of skilled employment across Pierce County.

The results of the study were published in a report titled “Skilled Jobs in Pierce County: Gaps & Opportunities,” detailing the local occupations that require some kind of post-secondary certification, but do not require a four-year degree.

Key findings from the report include:

• A job candidate is significantly more likely to find work – and earn higher wages – once he or she attains any level of certification beyond a high-school diploma.

• While demand for workers varies greatly among skilled-job types, virtually every industry needs to plan ahead for a pipeline of skilled workers ready to hire when retirement vacancies occur, in addition to increased demand due to natural economic growth.

• The average starting wage for women in skilled jobs is 49 cents per hour lower than the average starting wage for men, amounting to a disparity of more than $1,000 per year — or $30,000-$35,000 over the course of a career.

The full report, including recommendations for action from Workforce Central, is available here.