Students looking at benefits of trade jobs over college educatio - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Students looking at benefits of trade jobs over college education

It's a question often asked to many high school student, "Where are you going to college?"

However, college isn't for everyone, and nationwide, skilled workers are in demand more and more each year.

"I just saw the benefits of not having to pay for college necessarily, and I really liked that," said Grant Will, a senior at Penta Career Center.

Grant Will is studying Advanced Manufacturing Technologies.

In a society, where going to college is emphasized, he went against that and instead found interest in trade.

"We are the backbone of America, nothing starts without us, from the molds that make your car parts to the tools to make your clothes. Nothing really starts without us and that always interested me," Grant said. 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, people with career and technical educations are more likely to be employed than those with academic credentials.

Not to mention, the demand for skilled trade workers is high.

"There is a major need. I've been to several shops, especially with job shadowing, you could see it, they're hurting for people," Grant said. 

The Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute reports that by 2025 about 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need filled, but due to the skills gap, 2 million of those are expected to remain empty.

In Ohio alone, there are more than 2,500 manufacturing job openings annually.

"I think there's a stigma out there that exists from the economic downturn that these jobs aren't stable. Or that manufacturing is still that dirty, dingy manufacturing of the 80's and 90's, and neither one of those are true anymore. The jobs that exist now are high skilled jobs," said Marshall Wolf, Penta Career Services Coordinator. 

This shortage is pushing wages higher in the skilled trades.

As reported by the Associated General Contractors of America, 90 percent of Ohio firms increased base pay rates in the last year for trade workers due to difficulty filling positions.

Manufacturing isn't the only trade facing challenges to fill positions.

Of construction companies nationwide, 80 percent are having trouble finding qualified workers, according to AGC of America.

"Everybody is going to college so eventually there's not going to be anybody in the trades and there's going to be more of a demand for that. So me also being a girl in this trade, I definitely have a leg up and more opportunities," said Marci Hogg, a Penta senior.

Marci's interest in construction and electrical work came from seeing family members in the trades and thinking about her own future.

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, construction, health care and personal care will account for one-third of all new jobs through 2022.

It's not just the ability to get a well-paying job out of high school, but being debt free.

"I think about it all the time because everybody's like, 'oh I don't know what I'm going to even do yet after high school,' and I'm like, I already have my plan and I won't be in debt," Marci said. 

According to Zippia, Ohio ranks as the fourth-highest state in the country for student debt after college. 

Knowing this, along with seeing the estimated starting salary in manufacturing positions is about $60,000, is something that factored strongly into Grant's decision.

"It's nice to know that I'm going to be able to make great money right out of high school without having to pay for all the extra college and all the extra work," he said.

Like Penta is seeing here locally, and as is the case in various trade fields, the U.S. Department of Education reports that there will be 68 percent more job openings in infrastructure-related field in the next five years than there are people training to fill them.

“If we don’t get more people involved, absolutely, are we going to start to offshore things again? Could be that vicious cycle, hard to tell," Brad Morgan said. 

Morgan has been working in manufacturing for 34 years and has seen first-hand the challenges trade companies are having to fill positions.

“When I was going through the trade, there was an overabundance of people going through the trades," he said. "There were a lot of apprenticeship programs that companies were sponsoring, and today there are none.”

According to the Deloitte report, six out of 10 manufacturing positions remain unfilled due to the talent shortage.

Two major factors: An aging workforce and economic expansion.

“We have a lot of is small companies, 100 or less employees, who are thriving, they’re doing really well, they have a lot of work, they have an aging workforce that they need to replace, and they also have a lot of work that they could take on that they’re not taking on because they simply don’t have the skilled workers to do that work," Wolf said.

In Deloitte’s report, 2.7 million jobs are likely to be needed as a result of retirement, and another 700,000 jobs are likely to be created by natural business growth by 2025.

With baby boomers phasing out and an emphasis on college placement being at the forefront of high school discussions, companies like Kennametal are working with Penta and other schools to reach students earlier.

“I’ve offered students and their parents to come in," Morgan said. "So they can see it first hand, I think that’s really what it takes. And it has to be a little bit more than the student. I think we need to have the adult influencer in their life to understand as well.”

Getting adults to have this mindset is another challenge faced.

As Deloitte reports, only 37 percent of parents indicated they would encourage their child to pursue a trade career.

“It’s just the transition of things that have gone," Morgan said. "High schools have been pushed and measured about how many kids graduate and go to college. They’re not measured on how many kids graduate and have a good-paying job.”

In a poll conducted by the Foundation of Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, 52 percent of all teenagers say they have no interest in manufacturing. Of that, two-thirds perceived it as a “dirty, dangerous place that requires little thinking or skill from its workers and offers minimal opportunity for personal growth or career advancement".

Morgan said that’s not the case at all.

“It really fits well with the millennials when you think about their abilities with computers and programming. It’s a perfect fit and if they have any type of hands-on type of background that they like to make things, it’s a win-win," Morgan said.

Flipping the switch, however, is crucial.

In Deloitte’s report, nearly half of the U.S. manufacturing companies surveyed say they would consider reshoring by 2020, making the demand for skilled workers even higher.

While overturning the stigma and increasing interest will take time, Brad is determined to keep the trades going strong.

"Well we're certainly behind the 8-ball. You're just not going to turn that switch from college degrees to technical schools," he said. "But we work hard at finding our people. It's not easy, but it's a challenge, and when i got a good one, we bring them in and that's a success for me."
 

Copyright 2018 WTOL. All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Presidential text alert emergency test delayed until Oct. 3

    Presidential text alert emergency test delayed until Oct. 3

    Thursday, September 20 2018 4:13 PM EDT2018-09-20 20:13:10 GMT
    Oct. 3 is the new test date for the nationwide wireless emergency alert.Oct. 3 is the new test date for the nationwide wireless emergency alert.
    Oct. 3 is the new test date for the nationwide wireless emergency alert.Oct. 3 is the new test date for the nationwide wireless emergency alert.
    The expected nationwide test of the Presidential Integrated Public Alert and Warning System that was to have taken place Thursday has been postponed until Oct. 3.  The aftermath of Hurricane Florence and FEMA's response efforts in the affected regon prompted the delay.  The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Oct. 3 - delivered to cell phones nationwide - will take place at 2:18 p.m. Following that will be a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System at 2:20 p.m. Fo...More >>
    The expected nationwide test of the Presidential Integrated Public Alert and Warning System that was to have taken place Thursday has been postponed until Oct. 3.  The aftermath of Hurricane Florence and FEMA's response efforts in the affected regon prompted the delay.  The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Oct. 3 - delivered to cell phones nationwide - will take place at 2:18 p.m. Following that will be a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System at 2:20 p.m. Fo...More >>
  • Fremont Police ask for help IDing suspect from ice cream shop break-in

    Fremont Police ask for help IDing suspect from ice cream shop break-in

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:28 PM EDT2018-09-20 17:28:08 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    Fremont Police are seeking the public's assistance after a breaking and entering was reported at I Scream Sprinkles. Police need your help identifying a suspect who is wanted for questioning in regard to the ice cream shop incident.  Breaking and Entering If you have any information on the break-in, call Officer Huddleston at 419-332-6464.  

    More >>

    Fremont Police are seeking the public's assistance after a breaking and entering was reported at I Scream Sprinkles. Police need your help identifying a suspect who is wanted for questioning in regard to the ice cream shop incident.  Breaking and Entering If you have any information on the break-in, call Officer Huddleston at 419-332-6464.  

    More >>
  • U.S. Postal carrier accused of stealing packages from mail he believed had drugs in them

    U.S. Postal carrier accused of stealing packages from mail he believed had drugs in them

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:15 PM EDT2018-09-20 17:15:32 GMT
    Ramon Johnson (Source: Lucas County Jail)Ramon Johnson (Source: Lucas County Jail)

    According to a federal affidavit, the man admitted to stealing packages he believed contained marijuana since September of 2017, and then selling the drugs for profit.

    More >>

    According to a federal affidavit, the man admitted to stealing packages he believed contained marijuana since September of 2017, and then selling the drugs for profit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly