Porcelli: The Other Side of Education (10/13)

CTE Shop Class: Now It’s High-Tech

By Mike Porcelli

Last Friday, my quest to report on the latest in current career opportunities led me to Manufacturing Day at the Nassau County Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Manufacturing Day is held annually on the first Friday in October with events throughout the month.

It’s organized nationally by The Manufacturing Institute and features thousands of local events to introduce students, parents, teachers and community leaders to modern manufacturing careers by encouraging companies and educational institutions to open their doors to prospective students.

Manufacturers reach out to future workers all month, as they seek to fill over four million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade.

Friday’s event, billed as: Long Island manufacturers open their doors both virtually and in-person to welcome their future workforce to the exciting world of manufacturing. It was organized by Ron Loveland and the Hauppauge Industrial Association.

Loveland opened the afternoon by noting that the audience included over 60 manufacturers, more than 80 students and parents, with 300+ attendees and a virtual livestream audience.

He added that since its inception seven years ago, job connections between students and industry have continually increased.

The afternoon was keynoted by Derek Peterson, CEO of Soter Technologies, with an inspiring presentation about education and his rise from humble beginnings to the top of the manufacturing world.

He inspired all students to do what he did, by taking advantage of the incredible opportunities in the endless variety of jobs for college grads, and those with no degree requirements offering on-the-job training.

Several presenters spoke about their path into the industry, mostly without adequate guidance from their high schools.

Two recent engineering graduates relayed that they found their way into the field on their own without any school-provided career guidance, a sad fact of life for too many high school students that must come to an end.

Schools must begin to do more to assess students’ talents and provide them with appropriate career guidance.

Labor commissioners of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, representatives of seven local colleges, dozens of companies and panels of students, teachers and businesses continually stressed the wide array of available jobs.

A recurring theme of the day was that half of those high-paying jobs do not require college degrees.

I commend all the organizations and individuals who participated in Manufacturing Day, and strongly recommend that every high school student, their parents, teachers and school administrators view the video of the presentations on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL7HM7usd7U&t=986s

Take away from the event: Schools must learn the needs of industry to provide instruction and career guidance for all students entering college and/or the workforce.

Schools must deliver the training and career guidance students deserve. Insist that they do.

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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