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The Type of Business a SME Conducts Determines the Importance of Skilled Labor
Question Originally Asked Here:
What is the importance of skilled labor in the growth of small and medium enterprises(SMEs)?
 

Dr. C. R. (Buzz) Canup, President, Canup & Associates, Inc.
The importance of skilled labor in SMEs varies directly with the type of business the SME conducts. There are many small and medium sized companies that require very high levels of specific skill sets and/or knowledge sets to conduct their business. Medical device manufacturers, for instance, fall into this category. These skill and knowledge sets, in some cases, can only be developed through educational or training programs offered at colleges or universities, and in some cases, only at the post-graduate level. SMEs can become very dependent on the individuals that have these skill sets. Availability of specialized skill or knowledge sets can be a limiting or enhancing factor for the growth of SMEs. Alternatively, there are other types of SMEs that can recruit "trainable" labor, and can actually grow their own skilled labor through on-the-job training or in-house training programs. In either case, the employer is definitely dependent on accessing or developing skilled labor in order to grow or diversify. A targeted "existing business visitation program" conducted by local or regional EDO's can be valuable in identifying these needs and developing strategies, methods, and processes to assist SMEs in addressing their skilled labor needs.
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