"Trading Up" videos promote construction apprenticeships

Below are two informative videos that focus on the benefits of skilled trades. The first, Trading Up, features testimonials from workers who built Miller Park Stadium in Milwaukee, WI. Traiding Up 2 covers the BIG STEP program, a pre-apprenticeship tutoring program that helps prepare individuals for apprenticeships in the construction trades.

Trading Up:

 

Trading Up 2:

Michigan Today: A Wakeup Call for Manufacturing

A wakeup call for manufacturing
BY TERRY KOSDROSKY
April 19, 2012

A recent uptick in U.S. manufacturing has optimists hoping to end the lost decade that saw steep employment drops across the sector.

Today, productivity is up, a relatively cheap dollar is boosting exports, and the wage gap between the U.S. and China is shrinking. Some companies are even repatriating operations from overseas.

But a huge portion of U.S. manufacturing—as much as 40 percent, experts project—hangs in the balance as firms assess whether to stay in the country or move elsewhere. It all comes down to pending policy decisions, according to a study by the University of Michigan's Tauber Institute for Global Operations and consulting firm Booz & Co.

[To read the rest of the article, check out the article posted at the University of Michigan's Michigan Today.
URL: http://michigantoday.umich.edu/story.php?id=8217 ]

PBS NewsHour Piece on Mfg Jobs

PBS NewsHour recently posed the question "How Many Manufacturing Jobs Can the U.S. Realistically Maintain?"

As President Obama and GOP presidential candidates talk about reviving the U.S. manufacturing sector in hopes of creating jobs, how realistic is that goal in the face of continued outsourcing and machines filling jobs once held by humans? Ray Suarez speaks with three experts about the challenges and demand for skilled workers. Watch How Many Manufacturing Jobs Can U.S. Realistically Maintain? on PBS.

Obama Releases Blueprint for Transforming CTE

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held an event at Des Moines Area Community College to release and promote Investing in America's Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education.  This iconBlueprint outlines the Obama Administration's proposal for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.  The plan focuses on increased collaboration between secondary and post-secondary schools and institutions; better alignment with industry to ensure training meets occupational demand; the establishment of common performance measures; and competitive funding opportunities to reward success and innovation. Don't have time to read the entire document? Grab the icon Blueprint Summary instead!

Demand up for construction, skilled trade workers

DETROIT October 18, 2011 (AP) — Demand for construction and skilled trade workers is growing in Michigan, and apprentice programs are gearing up to help fill the need.

The increased demand is a boon to journeymen, apprentices and union officials who sweated out the past few years on unemployment or with part-time work as construction projects ground to a halt, The Detroit News reported today.

Don Kissel, director of a Detroit-area skilled-trade apprentice training program, keeps a list of out-of-work apprentices in his desk drawer at his Ferndale office. The list used to be three pages; now it fills barely three-quarters of one page.

"It's a sign people are starting to invest in the workforce," said Kissel of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

A comeback in commercial projects is behind the increased demand, officials said. Many projects are for businesses in education and health care. Lately, The News reported, more workers are enrolling in apprentice training programs, a union requirement for new workers.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget said the number of construction and related jobs in the state is projected to grow 6.8 percent between 2008 and 2018. Michigan has averaged 124,725 construction jobs a month this year.

The manufacturing sector is even reporting a shortage of skilled trade workers, said John Challenger, chief executive at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based job outplacement consulting firm.

"They can't find people with skills in the requisite areas like welding, mechanics and machinery," Challenger said. "There's a skills mismatch."

The news is a bright spot in Michigan's struggling economy. The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.2 percent in August, the third-highest in the nation for the period.

Frank Craddock, 49, of Trenton, was laid off after 17 years at an auto supplier and enrolled in a multiskilled maintenance program at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn. He worked as a millwright, but now the same job requires more skills, he said.

"They want you to know more than machine repair," said Craddock, who plans to begin looking for a job at the end of the semester. "They want you to know welding and pipefitting and even electric work now."