Porcelli: The Other Side of Education (4/12)

CTE Shop Class: Now It’s High-Tech

CTE & Career Opportunities

Graduation season is right around the corner. Which graduates have the best employment opportunities? For decades to come, graduates of all levels of CTE programs will enjoy some of the greatest job choices, and wages, for their newly acquired skills.

As discussed here continuously, the reduction of trade education programs in most school districts has created a tremendous shortage of skilled workers in all trades, causing a classic problem of supply and demand. Employers in every industry cannot find enough workers to fill their needs. This nationwide shortage will likely continue for decades to come… Unless we act now!

Despite this commonly accepted truth, even schools that recognize the growing need for CTE programs, and are beginning to expand them, so far do not have enough available resources to keep up with the economy’s demand for workers.

The most experienced skilled workers are retiring from trade jobs at much higher rates than current training programs can replace them. In addition, more skilled workers than ever before will be needed to fill growing demand as the economy expands. The combined effect of growing job demand, shrinking numbers of entry level workers, and rapidly increasing levels of skilled worker retirements, has created a “perfect storm” of virtually unlimited career opportunities for graduates of all CTE programs from high schools, community colleges, and universities.

This phenomenon is again amply demonstrated this week at the New York International Auto Show, where every display is focused on the growing demand for, and availability of, electric vehicles. One point that’s stressed by every presenter is the growing need for workers qualified to build and maintain EV’s and the charging-station infrastructure that they will require. There is a growing realization that with the current shortage of electricians, and other trade workers, we do not have the available workforce needed to implement the transition to electrically powered transportation.

The Auto Show not only illustrates the need for workers in the electric auto industry, but visitors should recognize that the show is made possible through the work of hundreds of skilled workers in every trade.

From the workers who constructed the space, the carpenters who build the displays, the audio and video technicians who animate them, the artists who make everything enticing, the culinary specialists who feed the crowd, and the countless other skilled trade workers involved, such grand events could not be possible without the skills they acquired from CTE.

Perhaps the current mandate to promote zero-emission electric vehicles can be the force necessary to make the public, government, and education officials realize that we must devote more resources to career and technical education everywhere – and we must do it NOW!

Congratulations to all new CTE graduates. Be thankful you chose to learn skills that can provide you with almost unlimited opportunities for career success – with little or no debt!



CTE is Respectable Again!

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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