By Lisa Killingsworth
As the United States and Michigan claws a way out of the devastating recession—which recorded record unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression—people are looking at the employment landscape with renewed expectations. The road to college has been paved with a singular view for too long, held up as the premier way to achieve career success. However, mounting college debt and low unemployment rates for college grads have caused many people to wonder: Is there another way to career success?
Today, we are looking at apprenticeships as the other four-year degree, and informed people know that there are good paying, career opportunities in the skilled trades that allow you to earn while your learn, and transition you to full careers in various professions.
Everybody is talking about it. Here are some of the Top Ten quotes we captured that underscore the changing landscape for career opportunities.
- “Investments in skilled-trades training also can lead to good-paying jobs for people, both black and white, who might not have had the opportunity to go to college.” – Detroit Free Press, ‘Race Dominates Discussion at Mackinac Policy Conference’
- “Today everybody is told they have to go to college, they have to get a degree. But I think it’s important that we get the word out that you can support a family, you can make a living in manufacturing without that four-year degree.” – The Detroit News, ‘Skilled Trades Would Get 75% Boost in Snyder Budget’
- “In some ways, we lost track of career tech education and the skilled trades. Big mistake. And we’re paying a price for that today. There are a tremendous number of great jobs out there waiting to be filled.” – Governor Snyder, The Detroit News, ‘Snyder Promotes Trades Training After State of State’
- “There’s this constant balance that goes on between the definition of a good job and our understanding of a truly valuable education. Not all knowledge comes from college, but not all skills come from degrees.” – Mike Rowe, ‘CNNs Mike Rowe: Michigan Must Change Perceptions Of Skilled Trades’
- “We’ve heard the best path for most people is a four-year degree. These things become platitudes and before long it’s inculcated in our minds that there is a path to success and this is what it looks like. We have to be mindful that these stereotypes and stigmas actually exist, and rather than pretend they don’t, it’s useful to talk about them head-on.” – Mike Rowe, ‘Shattering Misconceptions’
- “An MEDC grant of $50 million has kick-started new investment in the Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program. [It’s] an effort to help close a talent gap and meet the current demand for good-paying jobs by enabling community colleges to purchase equipment required for educational programs in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand occupations.” – Governor Snyder, ‘Michigan’s Talented Future’
- “As society has moved from an industrial to knowledge-based economy, skilled trades remain a part of that shift contrary to many misperceptions. The role of skilled trades is even more critical as manufacturing continues to evolve in the high-tech global economy, offering exciting career opportunities that are in high-demand.” – Detroit Regional Chamber, ‘Perception, Partnerships And Pipeline Will Close The Skills Gap In Michigan’
- “What we’re seeing from employers is they want people who have actual skills, who have work experience, who can demonstrate they can actually do something. We think that vocational programs should not be an alternative track for the non-college bound — it should be a track for everybody.” – Lisa Katz, ‘Experts: Apprenticeship Degree Can Land In-Demand Job’
- “It’s the best of both worlds,” Wofford said in an interview at the shop, which makes and repairs molds for plastic parts such as auto-fuel tanks. ‘You get the on-hand experience, but you also need the knowledge of education from college.’” – Toby Wofford (18), apprentice at United Tool and Mold Inc., South Carolina, ‘Apprenticeship Good for Ben Franklin Closes Skills Gap’
- “It is a great message. We’ve got to do a better job of backing kids up and making sure they have an opportunity to explore career options early in their tenure, so that they have a chance to start matching up what they like to do, and their passions, and their talents with a career. We can’t wait until they’re at 11th or 12th grade to do that, so we need to back that up. And skilled trades is a vital part of this state’s economy.” – Karen McPhee, The Detroit News, ‘New Adviser to Push Skilled Trades Issues for Snyder’
The Partnership for Diversity and Opportunity in Transportation (The Partnership) consists of unions, businesses, and non-profit representatives, working collaboratively to enhance economic development within neighborhoods—which are directly impacted by major public works, and transportation construction projects—by creating community benefits, business growth, job training and other opportunities.
MiRoad2Work.org is one of our programs, designed as a “one-stop shop” for information about apprenticeships, apprenticeship readiness services, and business opportunities.