Students Commit to RCC CTE Programs Hoping to Ease Lack of Qualified Workers Nationwide

Today is signing day, meaning CTE students across the country commit to programs after high school.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2019 6:45 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- About 30 students are committing to the Career and Technical Education programs at Rogue Community College. 

Today is signing day, meaning CTE students across the country commit to programs after high school.

Lilly Kent is a senior at the Gladiola campus of Grants Pass High School. She wants to participate in RCC's automotive technology classes. Eventually, she wants to transfer to the Oregon Institute of Technology, and her future doesn't stop there. 

"Hopefully one day I can start my own business where I turn obsolete products that people throw away into new ones that people can use so we have less waste," Kent said.

CTE industries are seeing a shortage of qualified workers.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the jobs in the greatest demand are semi-skilled or skilled jobs in operations and maintenance.

The department says transportation employers are expected to hire and train 4.6 million workers in the next decade. That's 1.2 times the current workforce. Construction, among other fields, is also seeing a lack of qualified workers

That's something Grants Pass High School senior, Levi Dimmick is aware of. He wants to take manufacturing classes at RCC.

"A lot of people just really don't want to do this anymore," Dimmick said. "The older generations are retiring and right now there's this big gap."

That's something Todd Giesbrecht, the department chair for the welding department at RCC, agrees with.

"The ... need is just great right now," Giesbrecht said. "Not just throughout the valley, but throughout the United States."

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