I was not aware that there was a clergy shortage in the US. Right now, the Antiochian Archdiocese has more graduating seminarians than available parishes. I fairly certain the OCA has a similar issue.
Our local GOA parish has a permanent deacon, a really fine man who serves full-time as pastoral assistant.
Why does the GOA have a shortage?
IMO, 3 reasons:
1. Greek people think it's ok to have 600, 800, 1,000 family parishes with 1 priest. (But they'll also say they don't think their parish does much for them. They don't see the irony in this.) In most conversations I've had with folks who know much more than I about being a good pastor/shepherd/priest, 250:1 is the max ratio that should be utilized (families:priests). This part of the conversation could easily dovetail into a talk about Stewardship, charity, and community outreach.
2. We had a "dry" spell where not too many went to or graduated from our seminary. Turmoil @ HC and in NY in the '90's.
3. Many parishes have become "addicted" to having a semi-retired, weekend-only priest serving them. If all the priests over the age of, say, 67 retired today, we wouldn't have enough priests to fill all the slots.
Back to the topic:
I'm personally in favor of changing the "altar boy" system we have in many parishes.
1. Kids should be trained to be readers first. As soon as possible, in fact.
2. Then they should become cantors/choir members.
3. Then, as teens and young adults, they should serve in the altar.
4. Each parish should have at least 1-2 married (or confirmed celibate) adults ordained as subdeacons. (None of this, "you can be a subdeacon and get married later" business used to justify making a 16-year-old a "subdeacon.")