The reason the pool of skilled labor has dried up in my opinion is because the shop owners are too greedy to train anybody. They want skilled people, but they want someone else to pay for their training. If you want trained people, start a National Tooling and Machining Association chapter in your area with some of your competitors and set up a state sanctioned apprenticeship program. Why should someone else have to pay to train your people? Greed, that is why.
I was lucky enough to get into one of the last traditional apprenticeship prorgams in my area. That is not an option for new people trying to learn machining today in this area. Many people point to the programs offered by technical colleges in machine technology. It isn't the same as working one on one with a Journeyman machinist looking over your shoulder telling you what you need to do coupled with classes at night.. They are training people to be operators, not machinists. The people in the machine technology programs will graduate then be put on a CNC mill or lathe to languish. They will not have the opportunity to work in all disciplines completing a required curriculum of widely varied experience to go with the theory they learn. Programming the colleges CNC to carve your name isn't the same as running a tool and cutter grinder with a very mean old man griping at you.
I have no sympathy for production managers and shop owners who complain about the lack of skilled labor but who are willing to do nothing to remedy the problem because it will cost them a few bucks. Well guess what, it is going to cost them a lot more if they don't. It will cost them their whole enterprise. Oh, and by the way, the competition across the pond is training their people.