Skilled laborers important to society

Thursday, January 21, 2016

According to the American Welding Society, there will be a national need for 240,000 additional welders between 2009 and 2019, with an additional 100,000 projected to be needed by 2024.

Without skilled labor, society breaks down. Without welders, buildings and infrastructure do not get built. Without commercial drivers, goods cannot be shipped.

Brandon Bradshaw, a welding instructor at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, thinks there is an overall greater push for students to head to college right after high school, which may account for the shortage.

He said enrollment in the welding program has been strong.

"Career education has been looked down on a little bit, but that's been changing recently," he said.

Higher education is important, but students showing an interest or aptitude in a specific skill should be encouraged to explore that as a career option. If they are not, society will be missing out on the benefits of many talented individuals.

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