Three million open jobs in U.S., but who's qualified?

Millions of jobs are waiting to be filled, but employers say they can't find qualified workers because of "the skills gap"

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Byron Pitts: Folks retiring.

Ryan Costella: And we have to replace those folks. And that's not even talking about growth.

Karl Hutter: We can't find enough students who are interested in pursuing these trades. Because it seems hard? I don't know. Because it seems like you have to do math? I don't know.

Byron Pitts: Do you think you've done an effective job looking for them?

Karl Hutter: I think we have. I think we really have.

Byron Pitts: How is that possible in this day and age when so many people are looking for work, need work, and you're telling me you can't find people who have the skills to do the job that you need done?

Karl Hutter: And that's the thing that seems like a stumper, right? Of all times, you should be able to find them now.

In the five years before the recession, Nevada had the fastest growing job market in the country. But when the bottom fell out of tourism, real estate and construction, it went from best to worst. In 2010, the unemployment rate here shot to 14.9 percent - highest in the country. And today, Nevada is still struggling with a jobless rate well above the national average.

Ryan Costella says, with so many people unemployed, manufacturers must play a larger role in training workers.

Ryan Costella: I think far too long we've had our heads in the sand, you know. We make our parts. We just hoped that the education system would produce what we need. And I think the recession, I think a lot of things have taught us, "No, you have to engage."

So last year, Costella convinced other manufacturers to design a training program with local community colleges. The plan was straightforward: take unemployed people, test them for aptitude, interview them for attitude, and then train them for open jobs.

[Instructor: Grab the tool, hit the button, to release the tool.]

The 20 handpicked students have different ages, backgrounds and work experience. For them, the training is free and they can still collect unemployment. Ryan Vre Non gets to school an hour early for a study group.

[Ryan Vre Non: So you've got three to the five right here, so it's point oh-two.]

He's been working in warehouses and fast food, but mostly not working at all.

Byron Pitts: How many jobs have you applied for in the past four years?

Ryan Vre Non: I would say in the last year that I've worked, I applied for over 200 jobs.

Byron Pitts: Really?

Ryan Vre Non: Two hundred jobs.

Byron Pitts: And how many callbacks did you get?

Ryan Vre Non: Two.

Jamie Pacheco is married with two young girls and a child on the way. He was a commercial painter, but those jobs dried up with the downturn in construction.

Jamie Pacheco: I like the fact that I have to put my brain to work to be able to apply myself to do this kind of stuff.

The program focuses on the machines found in today's factories. Students are taught to operate the computers, read blueprints, and learn trigonometry to make precise measurements. Almost a year's worth of training packed into 16 weeks.