SkillsUSA Takes Hands-on Approach to Trade Shortage

SkillsUSA seeks to ensure a skilled workforce for the future by engaging and inspiring young adults to find employment in the trades 

By Kate Carsella, Associate Editor | October 25, 2018
Work table with tools hung up
Photo: Unsplash/Neonbrand

Twenty-year old Logan Thomas is learning a new trade and features in the short documentary film, Building a Strong Foundation: SkillsUSA Prepares the American Workforce, produced by national nonprofit WorkingNation for its “Do Something Awesome” series highlighting current efforts to create a future, sustainable workforce.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit seeking to ensure a skilled workforce for the future by engaging and inspiring young adults to find employment in the trades through its “talent pipeline,” connecting them with educators and the nonprofit’s more than 600 industry partners, according to executive director Timothy Lawrence.

One member of that talent pipeline is Thomas, who started his post-secondary education in a traditional undergraduate institution but shortly thereafter changed course in search of work that would be more hands-on and fulfilling. Encouraged by a friend and former competitor at SkillsUSA’s TeamWorks competition, Thomas enrolled in a two-year trade program for electricians. “I found something that I would actually want to do for the rest of my life,” he says.

Following Thomas and his fellow student-teammates at this year’s competition and annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, which showcases career and technical education students, WorkingNation’s documentary seeks to bring SkillsUSA’s trades revitalization effort into the mainstream.

Founded by venture capitalist Art Bilger, WorkingNation was created as a solution to the looming unemployment crisis in the U.S. The nonprofit claims that by 2038, 47 percent of all jobs will likely be eliminated by technology, and says its purpose is to start a national dialogue about the impending employment gap through documentaries, digital shorts, and other visual campaigns.

Since 1965, SkillsUSA says it has cumulatively served more than 12.5 million annual members. Currently, the group has more than 395,000 members.







Related Categories

PB-Education,PB-Labor,PB-Trade Contractors