Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

My Turn: Technical education needed to fill high-demand jobs of tomorrow

By
From page A4 | April 23, 2014 |

Many complex problems are holding back the California economy. And one of the biggest reasons is the state’s shortage of high-skilled workers.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers predicts that, given the rates of retirement of current high-skill workers and the rebound of the manufacturing sector, the shortfall of skilled workers nationwide could increase to nearly three million jobs by 2015.

In California and nationwide, there are far too many young adults in the 18- to 24-year-old age bracket that possess no post-high school education that might help forge a career path. Many of these individuals are employed in low wage jobs that offer limited career paths and economic opportunity.

How are we going to fill this sizable gap in available workers? Traditional, college-educated young people aren’t the only answer. One of our most urgent educational needs right now is high-level, high-quality, technical education.

We need welders, electricians, machinists, industrial engineers, industrial machinery mechanics, collision repair, automotive and diesel technicians. These trained workers will help strengthen the backbone of our economy’s infrastructure and could be part of the solution in powering our economy back to global leadership.

But the lingering question remains: Where will we get these much needed, well-trained technical workers?

We have traditionally relied on our community college system as the primary source of tradesmen and women. Despite a strong system of community colleges in California, there still are not enough well-trained workers.

A recent forum convened by NextEd, the region’s premier employer-education partnership, highlighted this skills gap, with employers urging educators to focus on the skills needed to fuel our region’s economy.

In the past, these technical jobs were widely available to people without postsecondary education. But times have changed. With computer-based technologies at the heart of modern industry, employers are seeking workers with more advanced training.

For example, in today’s job market, auto technicians need more than mechanical ability in their skills toolbox. From working on internal combustion engines to running computer-controlled diagnostic tests, science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills (often referred to as STEM) are at the core of what these workers do.

Not only does a skills-based education prepare students for immediate entry into a career, a credentialed school also leverages its manufacturer relationships to assist students in their job search.

With many lamenting the shrinking American middle class, it’s critical to address the realities of the 21st century workforce.

But let’s also recognize that degrees come in different packages. Students should explore all options for succeeding in the high-demand jobs of tomorrow. In some cases, that means looking at nontraditional education options.

Roger Speer is the president of the Northern California campus of Universal Technical Institute in Sacramento. For more information, visit uti.edu/sacramento.

Comments

comments

Special to the Democrat

.

News

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
.

Sports

Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

 
Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

 
Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17