With the U.S. labor market at its tightest in three decades, the demand for talented engineers is at an all-time high, and as a result, more and more companies are turning to temporary workers to serve both short- and long-term needs. This trend has also been fueled by a growing number of engineers who consider themselves "free agents." Free-agent workers define themselves by their skills, and are more likely than other professionals to switch employers. This trend has impacted a variety of industries, including shipbuilding.
To meet these new needs of employers and employees, Kelly Services, who has provided engineering staffing to companies for more than 30 years, recently consolidated its engineering staffing services into a new division called Kelly Engineering Resources
(KER). KER is a specialized division that provides highly qualified and talented engineers to many Fortune 500 companies and also offers opportunities for engineers who are seeking more flexibility and control over their careers. This division provides expertise in many areas and supports a wide range of industries, including shipbuilding.
Kelly Services has supported the shipbuilding industry in Tidewater, Va., since 1996. During that time, it has placed more than 750 professional and technical employees in the shipbuilding industry. It is important to note that employment opportunities for engineers entering the shipbuilding industry are expected to increase significantly over the next several years as the result of many new developments and facility expansions in the Tidewater area. In the city of Newport News, for example, two office complexes for engineers have recently been constructed and two more were announced. One of the most exciting developments is the Virginia Advanced
Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center (VASCIC) - scheduled to open in mid-2001. This state-financed center is expected to serve as a major research-hub and is certain to generate opportunities for engineering professionals. These developments are transforming the Tidewater area and increasing the demand for highly-skilled engineers.
As the demand for talented engineers increases, the need for temporary workers will continue to grow. Whether a seasoned professional who prefers a free-agent work-style or a recent college graduate, KER can help map careers in today's shipbuilding industry. For more information, contact Newport News Technical at 2904 West Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607. Tel: (757) 245-8055.
Interested employees can also visit the Kelly Career Network at www.kellyservices.com to learn more about career opportunities. - (Joseph Tori, Vice President, Kelly Engineering Resources; and William Airey, Technical Manager, Newport News Technical)