As college enrollment tanks, there’s a growing push to celebrate students going into skilled trades

  • Date: 21-May-2022
  • Source: CNBC
  • Sector:Education
  • Country:Gulf
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As college enrollment tanks, there’s a growing push to celebrate students going into skilled trades

Michael Martinez wanted to be an airline pilot. But as he got older, Martinez, now 18, decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a professional welder instead. In fact, the senior at Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas, has already landed a job that will start immediately after graduation. "My dad always wanted me to be in the white-collar class," he said, but "he's proud of me." In Texas, where Martinez lives, there are a growing number of industrial job openings but fewer people to fill them. Part of the labor shortage is due to experienced workers aging out of the field, according to Chris Witte, a senior vice president and site leader for BASF, a chemical company in Freeport, Texas. "We want to grow the talent pool and we want to give students opportunities," Witte said. "The goal is to show them that these are very good, high-paying jobs."  To encourage more students to consider careers in the field, Martinez's school district hosts an annual Career Signing Day. "This Career Signing Day came out of nowhere," Martinez said. "I thought I might as well try it." More people are accustomed to the fanfare that surrounds signing