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There are lots of jobs out there. But are we helping students align their interests to their opportunities?

  • Danielle Stangler
  • March 7, 2019

Hundreds of job seekers participated in a construction trades job fair in West Virginia recently. Over in Michigan, more than 4,000 people swarmed a similar event. And in Ohio, one employer lamented than despite heavy interest from interested applicants “we’re dying for workers.”

There’s a construction boom happening. Employers across the country are trying to fill jobs that pay a very good wage.

Young Americans coming straight out of high school could be earning good money and getting vital job experience, but they’re not. That’s because many don’t start to consider construction as a career option during high school.

In no small part, that’s because most of the mentors around them — teachers, coaches, counselors and administrators — all took paths that included a four-year degree. It’s no wonder that the “university path” is heavily emphasized in high school. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that path, it’s not for everyone.

Meanwhile, jobs that high school graduates can do with a diploma and some basic training are going unfilled.

“We’re short on all the trades: carpenters, electricians, iron workers — we need them all,” Eric Doench, a senior project manager at Shook Construction, told The Dayton News.

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Are you a school leader who wants to help your students align their interests and aptitudes to regional job opportunities? Or are you an employer who wants to help high school students get the initial training they need to come to work for you upon graduation? Graduation Alliance can help.