A look at top industries hiring, skills needed for jobs amid the pandemic in the Tampa Bay area

Posted at 12:39 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 18:36:47-04

TAMPA, Fla. — As the country continues to rebound from the pandemic, some people may find themselves looking for a new or better-paying job. Local businesses in the Tampa Bay area are on the hunt to hire and fill jobs right now in a wide range of industries.

“Our goal is to hire Floridians,” said Rob Willis, an electrical superintendent with Dematic. “We’re also willing to educate both millwrights and electricians, but also give you guys an opportunity to seek a great career.”

Dematic is a global material handling group. Willis says he’s trying to fill dozens of positions for a local project, looking primarily for people in the skilled trades.

“To be honest, we’ve never had any issues about actually laying anybody off. We just can’t find enough people,” said Willis. “We as baby boomers, I’m on the tail end of it, there’s a lot of people who are retiring, but we’re not seeing the true amount of new talent coming into the game.”

Skilled trades aren’t the only jobs needing to fill right now. CareerSource Tampa Bay provided ABC Action News with the most recent data on specifics of jobs posted in Hillsborough County, with more than 85,000 unique postings.

According to their data, here are the top six industries looking to hire in Hillsborough County:

  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Retail Trade
  • Manufacturing

John Flanagan, the CEO of CareerSource Tampa Bay, says even tourism and hospitality are starting to pick up, too.

“Just top common skills that are in job postings: it’s communications, management, customer service, sales experience, operations, leadership, detail-oriented, problem-solving. So that talks about soft skills,” said Flanagan.

The CareerSource report also shows the top hard skills listed include auditing, accounting and selling techniques. If you’re not sure if you have the right skills, Flanagan says to have an open mind and be confident.

“Everybody brings their own unique set of skills to the workplace, and really when you’re talking to potential employers, talk about what makes you unique and why you would be an asset to the organization,” said Flanagan.

PGT Innovations, based in Venice, Florida, manufactures and supplies premium windows and doors. Scott Gordy with PGT says they’ve hired over 500 people last year and more than 100 people this year already.

Gordy explained while there are some positions that require technical schooling or certification, for others, it may come down to a good fit.

“We want someone that has a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. We’ll teach all the technical skills, how to build and how to manufacture our products,” said Gordy.

For the skilled trades, CareerSource says there’s a huge need to fill. Willis says Dematic even offers apprenticeships to get people the right training.

“There’s a lot of reasons for people wanting a second chance in life. This is one of those second-chance opportunities. All you have to do is to be able to apply yourself, be open-minded, and just be studious,” said Willis. “Every person has their own key in life to hold. You have to open it up and walk through that door.”

CareerSource Tampa Bay has numerous resources available to help you prepare and search for the right job. CareerSource can help guide you through the process with its career training and development opportunities.

The agency often holds job and resource fairs, and it has lists of apprenticeship programs as well.