Glassman Corporation in Hays, KS understands how important education is to our youth and will be hosting their third-annual Skilled Trade’s Technology Day on November 20, 2018 where students are given an up-close experience learning about many vocational career possibilities. For the last two years, Glassman Corporation has reached out to area schools, doing their best to get the word out about the increased demand for workers in the trades.
The industry has approximately 25,000 available employment opportunities and that number is anticipated to increase significantly due to many retiring. A lot of kids are unaware of the endless opportunities that are available in the trades. Unfortunately, students are discouraged from considering the trades because society encourages postsecondary education. Trade careers are imperative to our livelihood because each and every one of us relies on air conditioning, heat, plumbing and electricity in our homes and businesses. It’s really the glue that keeps everything running, so without skilled tradesmen, we could face disruption of these vital services.
Last year, 20 schools were invited to attend the Skilled Trade’s Technology Day, but this year, Glassman Corporation invited over 42 schools. The attendance varies yearly, but with more schools invited this year, a higher turnout is anticipated. Since beginning the Skilled Trade’s Technology Day, one student who will be a senior this year, spent his entire summer working at Glassman. “With only two years under our belt, I anticipate that future graduates will visit us when they are ready to start an internship in their vocational program,” said Glassman Corporation’s HR Specialist, Danielle Lang.
To gauge the effectiveness of the Skilled Trade’s Technology Day, Human Resources conducts a feedback survey. “The survey shows there are a decent percentage of students who attend that are not planning for a career in construction or service. If what we accomplish with most in attendance is an understanding of plumbing, mechanical, etc., we are opening their eyes to more than a four-year degree. We are happy to educate them on the trades,” said Lang. Glassman Corporation has found extreme value with their Skilled Trade’s Technology Days because all of the educators and students go back to school and share what they did and learned at the event. This word of mouth intrigues their classmates to have a newfound interest in a skilled trade’s career.
Hosting the Skilled Trade’s Technology Day has had an outstanding impact for Glassman Corporation. The employees and vendors really enjoy putting on this event. They rotate employees annually to give everyone an opportunity to run the different modules, demonstrations and activities. “Our employees are always excited and eager to volunteer because they are proud of their skill set and have the opportunity to teach the younger generation about their trade,” said Lang. After all, the experienced techs were once young and eager, and this event brings everyone together for a common goal.
Since they began the annual Skilled Trade’s Technology Day, their relationship with the schools has strengthened. The students feel confident and willing to promote what they have learned and it makes it easier for them to decide on a career path in the trades. The trades are among the fastest-growing job sectors in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many students are not ready to attend a four-year college, but are forced to attend because they aren’t aware of other educational options. “We hear more and more every year that vocational schools don’t get the deserved recognition during the decision process for postsecondary education and we wanted to change that with our annual Skilled Trade’s Technology Day. We are hoping by hosting this event, it will peak an interest in some to consider a career within the trades,” said Lang.
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