From United Press International:
Millions of unfilled U.S. manufacturing jobs are pushing high school seniors to consider forgoing traditional four-year universities and enrolling in trade schools instead.
“People are starting to understand that maybe a traditional four-year degree does not always translate into a career,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of education policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “There are great jobs that don’t require that traditional path.”
Many of those jobs are in manufacturing. They are skilled positions that require specialized training — and not a bachelor’s degree. Millions are opening around the country, and they’re going unfilled.
Some 2.4 million manufacturing positions will remain vacant in the next decade, according to estimates by the Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C.
Faced with a shortage of skilled workers, companies and organizations like the chamber are going on the offensive. They’re reaching out to young people, suggesting that they enroll in a trade school or apprenticeship program.
“It is very much a relevant conversation taking place across the country,” Oldham said. “If we have people without jobs, and there are open jobs, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What are we doing to help young people understand what the career opportunities are? And what are the skills they need?'”
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