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Illinois small businesses struggle to find qualified workers: report

Small-business owners in Illinois say they find it tough to hire qualified workers, according to a report out Tuesday.

An advocacy group that sponsored the survey found:

Forty percent of small employers in Illinois say they have hired new employees over the past three years; however, despite business growth, the vast majority of entrepreneurs struggle to find qualified employees. An overwhelming 93 percent of small-business owners say finding candidates with the right background is the biggest difficulty they face when hiring new employees.

Fifty-eight percent of entrepreneurs in Illinois say finding candidates with the right education, skills or training is the biggest hurdle they face when hiring new employees, and 48 percent say they struggle to find candidates with the right kind of experience.

Fifty-two percent of entrepreneurs say they are interested in employing and developing apprentices through a formal, structured training program. In fact, 66 percent of entrepreneurs say they are interested in hiring promising workers who may not yet have the required experience or certifications, but, with an employer’s assistance, could obtain them within a specific time frame.