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NEWS on the skills gap and youth development efforts

Unfilled manufacturing jobs push students toward trade schools


January 19, 2019

Op Ed from


welder working in manufacturing

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- 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."

Middle school key to college, career pipeline


July 2014

Op Ed from



OAKLAND, Ca ( -- “Before (the apprenticeships), I didn’t realize that all the classes I had were that important or beneficial to anything I wanted to do,” [middle schooler student] Kalin said. “What does math have to do with anything? But I realized I had to put my best foot forward to do what I want to do.”

As California focuses on education reforms intended to ensure that students graduate from high school with the skills to succeed in college and careers, Kalin is a case study in closing what some educators say is a crucial gap in the pipeline – middle school matters, and it matters a lot.

Career Coaching Your Teens: Exploring Possibilities

Op Ed from


mfg adult student sample1.jpg

You can help your child learn about the road ahead. 

As a parent, you are THE guide and career coach for your teens as they move through the career-planning process.


You can help them daily by being curious, observant and generous with your praise, paying attention, acknowledging your teens’ fears and expressing confidence in their abilities.


Listen to them, help them know who they are by sharing with them what you notice they seem to enjoy and where they seem to shine.


Simple language and ample listening will help keep you their number one advocate. 

Quick Facts: Construction Laborers and Helpers


August 2018

Statistical Article from US Bureau of Labor & Statistics


tradeskill in demand nationally.png

WASHINGTON DC ( -- Overall employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Laborers work in all fields of construction, and demand for laborers should mirror the level of overall construction activity. Repairing and replacing the nation’s infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and water lines, may result in steady demand for laborers.

Although employment growth of specific types of helpers is expected to vary, overall demand for helpers is expected to be driven by the construction of homes, schools, office buildings, factories, and power plants.

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