Porcelli: The Other Side of Education (9/29)

CTE Shop Class: Now It’s High-Tech

By Mike Porcelli

In my continuing mission to advocate for the availability of career training best suited to students, I constantly encounter groups dedicated to helping them discover their best career paths. Every school and family of young students should take advantage of the career exploration counseling services offered by these organizations. They represent many industries; most are widely available, and many are free to use.

This week, I introduce you to: https://techforce.org/ – a nonprofit committed to career exploration and workforce development for students and professional technicians in automotive, aviation, collision, diesel, marine and other mechanical technologies. It is composed of students, working technicians, instructors and industry professionals committed to empowering the industry workforce.

TechForce inspires young people to explore the technician profession, supports students obtaining the technical training to become workforce-ready and connects techs with resources, mentors and employers to advance their careers. They champion students through their technical education and into the trades by offering career exploration tools to middle and high school students and guiding future techs through their education, career development and job placement. 

It is a hub for career exploration, workforce development and job placement of professional technicians, and is the largest nonprofit scholarship provider for those entering the industry. Since 2007, they’ve awarded over $17,000,000 in scholarships and grants to more than 40,000 aspiring technicians.

In order to better reach the students who can most benefit from their services, TechForce has built the first-ever social network dedicated to aspiring and professional technicians. The network is free to join and allows techs and students to connect with industry events, scholarships, and jobs, all while having fun. Explore TechForce’s social network at: http://techforce.org/Network/

TechForce and other such career development organizations recognize that students are all wired differently, that many can be better off not incurring the debt of a 4-year college degree, and there are many different paths to career success. It’s time for our schools to acknowledge these facts and restore respect for technical education, the skilled trades and the essential workers who keep America moving by expanding CTE programs nationwide.

In order to accomplish their goal to be the champion for all technicians, TechForce collaborates with every willing school, company, association and nonprofit across all industry sectors to identify solutions that help current and future techs successfully navigate their career paths, from entry to placement. They currently have working relationships with over 300 Partner Schools in the TechForce Network.

Readers should participate in local school board meetings to demand that school systems join with TechForce and similar services to maximize the development of every student’s natural abilities and talents so they can have successful careers.

For our economy and society to continue to prosper: schools must develop each student’s individual natural abilities and talents – whatever they are.

Academic & Trade Education are Two Sides of a Coin. This column explores the impact of CTE programs on students, society, and the economy.

Mike Porcelli: life-long mechanic, adjunct professor, and host of Autolab Radio, is committed to restoring trade education in schools before it’s too late. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-porcelli-master-mechanic-allasecerts/ 

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