HOUSTON – As you progress through the day, it’s always a good time to give thanks to the people who make the world work the way it should.
September 16 is National Tradesman Day, a day to honor those in skilled trades, because there is an insatiable need for people who know how to work with their hands.
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Of the more than 11 million job openings in the United States, about 40% are for trades: builders, plumbers, welders, electricians, mechanics. For those interested, there is the possibility of being found.
At MIAT College of Technology, Cody Haley is bent over a steel plate, practicing a welding technique. He was never interested in a traditional college degree, but after a stint in the military, Haley found a future learning to work in aircraft maintenance. The world, he says, needs people who know how to work with their hands,
“We get things done. If something breaks, we fix it; if something goes wrong, we fix it. People who know how to work with their hands keep just about everything else going.”
He is not alone. On the North Houston campus, there is a growing demand to learn a trade, where the school plans to graduate hundreds of students over the coming year, who should find easy jobs while away. .
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts tens of thousands of job openings for skilled tradespeople, including carpenters, construction workers, electricians and plumbers.
“A lot of students come to do fun things, one, says MIAT Director Titus Hubbard, “Second, it’s going to pay off, whether they have a continuous job or start their own business. Many students come through the doors to get that freedom.”
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This “freedom” is exactly what Cody Haley is looking forward to.
“I worked hard, got what I wanted, and now I do what I want,” he says, “I like it.”
The demand for skilled workers continues as the pandemic and retirements have prompted existing workers to leave. For those with six months to two years to learn a trade, at a much lower cost than a traditional college, opportunity awaits.