Perhaps construction and manufacturing companies struggle the most with a shortage of skilled workers.  Advanced Concrete Tools is very passionate about workforce development because we are a manufacturer of products for the construction industry.

How America got here is debatable and a necessary debate.  Let’s table that and applaud these industry employers who are committed to finding how to best support the movement of talent through the educational pipeline.

Construction and manufacturing remain unattractive career paths for most students graduating from high school.  “For a long time, parents didn’t want their son or daughter to become a pipe fitter or welder, but now, the demand for graduates with vocational skills is huge,” Jim Hanna, Flour Corp.

CEO of the Institute of Workplace Skills and Innovation Nicholas Wyman, “The reality is that today, there is a bevy of respectable, well-compensated, upwardly mobile careers that don’t require a traditional four-year education. Unfortunately, vocational study has a history of being seen as less respectable than attending university.

Finding a job with a college education is not so easy and graduating high school without a skill almost guarantees an entry-level position at or only slightly above minimum wage.  However, skilled training is proving to be quickest path to earning a livable wage and providing hope for long-term employment.

Job readiness by way of technical education is indeed re-energized.  Educators, business leaders and government officials are finding create ways to overcome the stigma associated with the trades.  Communities are hearing this message through guest speakers at schools, civic clubs and political forums.  Companies are offering student internships, plant/job site visits and other workforce relevant settings.

Advanced Concrete is located in the Florida Panhandle where post-secondary educators are developing programs that will provide construction firms and manufacturing plants with a pipeline of talent.  Highly technical non-traditional programs are costly but colleges like Chipola in Marianna, Florida are “committed to training students to their highest potential,” Darwin Gilmore Dean of Workforce and Economic Development.  In 2015, he has added both a Civil Engineering Tech and a Manufacturing Engineering Tech degree.  View Chipola College Civil Engineering program.

Workers can no longer be defined as just ‘white-collar’ or ‘blue-color.’  “Come and learn the Gold Collar credentials (because you are worth your weight in gold if the process/system shuts down) such as hydraulics, pneumatics, PLC’s and motors. A basic Millwright profile of expertise, the Engineering Technology AS Degree covers industrial/plant maintenance training, as well as a robust set of skill building aimed at advanced manufacturing and operations… The Civil Engineering Technology offers a multi-craft approach including AutoCAD, Surveying, Materials & Methods of Construction, GIS/GPS Applications, Hydrology, and an understanding of road, bridge, and structure related developments are included. Whether you are interested in an engineering related career in design, engineering services, surveying, contracting, materials, or testing, this dynamic track will equip you with the baseline knowledge to go to work in several different segments and become a true construction pro ready to compete anywhere.” Gilmore declares.