The shale oil and natural gas drilling boom and impending worker retirements have increased the demand for skilled workers in energy and chemicals, observers say. The need for employees extends beyond science and math professions. "We hire engineers, chemists, lawyers. But we also hire a tremendous amount of folks willing to work with their hands for a good salary. Welders are commanding over $40 an hour, and our industry can't find enough of them," says Hector Rivero, president of the Texas Chemical Council.