I grew up in a blue collar family. It really wasn’t that unusual for that time. My dad worked in a car factory for something like 35 years until he retired from there. It was hard work, but good money … and great benefits. It was an honest living, but it was always known that I would go to college. It just … was. My parents wanted (what they thought) was better. And, better for that time meant college. So me (and many of the people who I knew) went to college and got great “white collar” level jobs.
Fast forward to today.
We are now a group of “white collar” parents who want to raise “white collar” kids. But, is that the best thing for them? Should we be raising more “skilled job” kids–kids who don’t necessarily have college degrees but do have specialized training?
Check this out:
From 2010-2012, manufacturers in the United States hired 404,000 workers. However, 264,000 jobs still went unfilled in 2011 because the applicants were lacking the skills and education needed for these jobs.
“The ability to make things in America is at risk…hundreds of thousands of jobs will go unfilled by 2021,” Jeannine Kunz, director of professional development for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in Dearborn, Michigan, told City Journal.
In an LA Times article, Stanley Stossel, senior assistant business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker, stated “Many of [the current] blue-collar workers are starting to retire and won’t be easily replaced.”
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, since 2009 the manufacturing jobs have been increasing. The pay for these jobs average $73,000 each year, which is “well above the average earnings in education, health services, and many other fields.”
To attract more skilled labor, some factories are even offering signing bonuses.
“To cope, some firms are beefing up the skills of current employees or partnering with nonprofits and community colleges to train students for blue-collar jobs,” the LA times reports.
What do you think? Will you steer your kids to more skilled trade education, or is college still a must?