Conventional wisdom states the attainment of a college degree is necessary to a successful and fulfilling career. With recent graduates unable to find jobs in their field and others struggling to complete degrees, reality tells another story. Despite this reality, many high-skill and high-demand industries face significant workforce shortages.
It may be hard to believe that construction firms around the country are having difficulty finding skilled craftspeople to hire. As baby boomers retire and experienced workers change careers, the construction industry will face a significant workforce shortage over the next five years. A renewed focus on career and technical education programs can help provide students and adults with the skills to establish a successful career.
Career and technical education prepares students of all ages for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities in the construction industry. The students in this area are fortunate to have the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology to assist them in varying levels of education — including industry-recognized credentials and post-secondary certificates. There are apprenticeships and two- and four-year degrees to consider as well. With apprenticeship, in many cases, students are actually paid to learn a skilled trade.
Our country’s competitive advantage has always been its human talent. Career and technical education align skill development, job opportunities and workforce needs to support and cultivate our greatest natural resource. Let’s work together to build America’s skilled workforce for tomorrow.
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David J. Remick
The writer is the president of Associated Builders and Contractors, Central Pennsylvania chapter.