* My buddy Rob, the farmer in Madison County, posted this on his Twitter feed not long ago…
If you click the link you’ll see some interesting stuff, including…
That push away from skilled trades is now haunting manufacturing. Not only are welders older with few younger apprentices, key sectors like oil and gas, which require extensive pipe welding, is booming. Adding to the shortage in welders is reshoring—or the return of lost manufacturing to the U.S. that may require welding.
The average American welder is 54-years-old, and about 45 percent of the workforce is in their 50s or older, said Monica Parr, corporate director of workforce development at the Miami-based American Welding Society.
The U.S. economy includes more than 388,000 welding jobs. The welding society projects the need for 111,000 new welders in five years as industry needs grow and some workers retire.
Welders make good bucks and we’re not training nearly enough of them to meet demand.
* Rob and I had a long talk about the story and the subject of tech careers. Rob isn’t just a farmer. He’s the president of the Illinois Career and Technical Administrators group and runs Madison County’s CTE system. He’s also a former CTE teacher, and a darned good one.
He eventually asked me if he could start a conversation on the blog, so I told him to send me an e-mail. He did…
I would like to take a moment to ask a small favor of you and your readers. As a loyal reader myself, I have come to respect the numerous and varied viewpoints that fill the comment pages of your blog. I would like to ask them some questions pertaining to Career and Technical Education
As we are currently fighting a battle against unemployment, it makes sense to look at what jobs are readily available and what jobs will be looking for workers in the future. A four year college degree, while perfect for some, is not the right fit for everyone. When talking with business leaders, unions, and folks outside of education who are employers, I find some common threads. They all want someone who will show up every day, on time and ready to work. They all want somone who can solve problems, can think on their feet, and can get along well with others. These are all skills learned in CTE classes.
1) Should we be guiding our children and students into courses that better prepare them for what employers are needing now and in the future?
2) What is your opinion of CTE (career and technical education-formerly known as vocational education) and its potential impact on preparing students for employment?
3) Do you and/or your readers have any lasting memories from taking a CTE Course (Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Occupations, and Technology Engineering or Industrial Arts) while in high school?
I have included a graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows the education requirements for future jobs through 2018. [Click here.]
The above is titled “Percent distribution of job openings due to growth and replacement needs by education or training level, projected 2008-18″
Please thank your readers for me and thank you for your time and consideration.
My high schools had shop class, which was mainly a blow-off class for most of us. Rob is attempting to push the state’s tech educational training into the 21st Century. That means forgetting about making ash trays out of a block of wood.
Rob is at the Statehouse today for “CTE Day.” So, how about we talk about what you think the state ought to do to help foster better tech educational training?