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Skilled Labor Jobs Are in High Demand; Here's How we Can Fill Them

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    There's an interesting dichotomy in America--millions of people are working for sub-par wages and just getting by while at the same time skilled labor jobs are left unfilled throughout large swaths of our country. Not just that, but 71.6% of current skilled laborers are forty-five or older. That means we are about to enter a time where the number of people who need their plumbing fixed will dwarf the number of skilled laborers who are able to do it.

    So what can we do about this pending skilled laborer shortage? To me, it's actually quite simple.

    1) Bring back shop class. For whatever reason, high schools have been shedding this class like it is the plague. Schools give a variety of excuses--from budgets to lack of interest among students, but the end result is shop class is no longer available to millions of high school students. Many high schools have empty shop classrooms that could easily come back to life. They can co-op with different companies around town and have students learn the basics of a variety of skilled trades. And they can hopefully spark a light in a student who may be good with his hands, but not in Language Arts.

    2) Encourage people to enter a trade school instead of always suggesting college. College is not for everyone, but everyone needs their house wired for electricity. High school guidance counselors should encourage students who might be on the fence about college to consider entering a trade. These are high demand and high paying jobs that will always be needed. There's no need to dissuade a student from considering trade school.

    These two things--shop class and encouraging certain students to attend trade schools can go a long way. It will provide solid and sustainable middle-class jobs for millions of Americans and would be a huge boon for the overall economy.
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    Definitely agree. It would be awesome to see schools actually offer programs within the high school time frame, to where a student can be fully certified (possibly in conjunction with a trade school) to leave high school fully qualified to begin a trade. It's disappointing to me that so, so many jobs or careers require additional schooling outside of high school. Not to mention that they cost money. A 12 year schooling time frame should be more than adequate to fully prepare at least some students that are not interested in pursuing 'professional' careers that will require years and years of additional education, such as a lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc.

    And so many students just don't have the cash to pay for higher education of any kind. So they settle for fast food gigs, department store entry level positions, or whatever they can get. But if these same 18 year olds were qualified and ready to get to work straight out of high school, so many young lives wouldn't have to be a constant struggle, just to leave home.

    And these same young adults could still pursue higher education at any time. The great plus would be that they could be certified in a whatever trade prospect, and have a legitimate career path to jump into to help them pay for schooling, or to fall back on if they discover that college is not for them.

    Question is, how can we go about convincing the education system to implement such a change in priority of education? I don't rightly know, but I really hope that somehow, someway it will happen. If for no other reason than just out of necessity, like when we built the original and now outdated education system around the notion that math, science and literary skills were paramount due to the explosion of the industrial era.
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    J.K.Logic Wrote: Question is, how can we go about convincing the education system to implement such a change in priority of education? I don't rightly know, but I really hope that somehow, someway it will happen. If for no other reason than just out of necessity, like when we built the original and now outdated education system around the notion that math, science and literary skills were paramount due to the explosion of the industrial era.
    That's the million dollar question. I can't imagine that it would be that tough to reopen a lot of the shop rooms that are just rusting away in thousands of high schools. I liked the concept of cooperating with local businesses that perform skilled labor, as well. I think this is definitely something that would pay huge dividends if we committed to it. The looming shortage of skilled labor that's just past the horizon should worry us all. I hope we can tackle this before it gets too late.