Teaching Manufacturing at High Schools is Becoming Popular

“With this class, I have the motivation ... It’s a way out, I don’t want to be working at McDonald’s.”

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Miles Free.

Titled “More High Schools Teach Manufacturing Skills,” the article confirms that ”U.S. high schools that have launched or revived manufacturing programs in recent years to guide students toward good-paying jobs and help fill a critical shortage of skilled machinists, welders and maintenance technicians.”

Here are a couple of points the article makes that are worth sharing:

  • There is a glaring imbalance in the labor market. Despite high unemployment since the recession, manufacturers still struggle to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings.
  • Manufacturing is dogged by an outdated image
  • Because you’re working with computers and robots that are doing what you used to do by hand, it requires a skill set (in math and science) above what was required a generation ago.
  • Community colleges also are turning out more prospective employees, but not keeping up with demand. Nationwide, community colleges awarded 1,557 associate degrees or certificates in manufacturing last year, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. That’s up from 616 in 2005, but below the almost 1,600 doled out in 2000.

In addition, the "USA Today" piece has some informative graphics and video clips.

But the best takeaway from this piece is a quote from a student whose engagement with the manufacturing class has improved his grade performance and motivation:“With this class, I have the motivation … It’s a way out, I don’t want to be working at McDonald’s.”

Thank you, "USA Today," for this positive story.

Originally posted on PMPAspeakingofprecision.com blog.