Can You Read a Blueprint? Are You Willing to Learn? You’re Hired!

Across America’s heartland and beyond, institutions that teach vocational and technical skills are seeing first hand just how heavy the demand is for skilled professionals ready to enter the labor force.

But the fact is that we still have over six million available jobs left unfilled.

As Ray Scherer writes at the News-Press Now:

Hillyard Technical Center remains entrenched in the battle to bring skilled workers badly needed by industry.

The center provides numerous programs — such as computer-aided drafting, auto mechanics and welding — that train students from a host of Northwest Missouri schools. It’s a process welcomed by companies that are suffering from the generational loss of skilled workers, leaving a void that must be filled to carry on production.

Dennis Merritt, who directs the center for the St. Joseph School District, senses the top trends occurring in 21st-century manufacturing.

“We are the hottest thing on earth. The demand is (in) industrial maintenance,” he said. “Anyone who can read blueprints and can understand mechanical applications … The boomers are retiring.”

Hillyard specializes in preparing junior and senior high school and adult students for entry-level positions.

“They’re in a critical need,” Merritt said, referring to manufacturers’ woes.

For the sake of our economy, we must challenge ourselves to do more to incentivize training and recruiting partnerships between private industry and educational institutions.

That’s why we need to pass the USA Workforce Tax Credit Act.

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