It seems that everywhere we turn we are hearing about the shortage of skilled labor. Employers, including businesses right here in Allegan, are desperate for welders, auto mechanics, machine operators, and so many more, but are having difficulty filling these positions.
In order to be successful in these positions (and frankly in any post-secondary experience) not only do students need training and experience in these fields, but also employability skills. Business owners need to know that the person they hire will show up each day, communicate professionally, work well with others, etc.
Our staff has come to the conclusion that it is our responsibility to teach our students academic content and employability skills. We are in the process of defining what these skills are and developing ways to measure our students success in these areas.
We already have five seniors participating in training programs in the areas of Construction, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Certified Production Technician (CPT). These students will earn national certifications and many will receive jobs that start at $12-$16/hour. We were able to fund these trainings thanks to support from Michigan Works. Even during these trainings, students meet together once a week to learn employability skills that will help them get and keep a job.
As we look to the future, we are excited to expand these opportunities and help all of our students become career ready.