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Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Future

Today's Students, Tomorrow's FutureIt’s no secret that when state budgets tighten, educational funding is often on the chopping block. Cuts to educational funding over the years have decreased the presence of vocational training in schools, and districts cite that vocational training, such as construction or manufacturing training, is too costly to provide with their limited dollars.

While there are several reasons a school district may cut vocational training classes, the budget is certainly one reason that has led the majority of high schools to provide college-prep tracks for all students. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that only 68% of 2014 high school graduates entered a four-year college. Additionally, of the 68% who enter colleges, nearly 40% of those individuals will never complete their programs of study. This means that nearly 60% of high school students are receiving education which does not prepare them for their future career paths. So, the problem with a college-prep high school education is that whether for lack of money, lack of interest, or lack of ability, not all students will go to college.

I recently read an article in Forbes advocating the return of vocational training in schools. As the construction industry continues to recover, the need for a skilled workforce grows, and with fewer people pursuing the trades as a career, recruiters across the industry are challenged to find good candidates.

At Faith Technologies, we want to help grow the workforce, and have recognized the training gap created by a lack of vocational education. To close this gap, Faith Technologies has its own training program to provide entry-level employees with the safety training and introductory field skills needed to successfully start a career with the company. As these entry-level employees demonstrate their work ethic and ability to learn and use their new skills, the company has internal apprenticeship programs in both the electrical and electronic systems technician trades available to those who wish to further their careers with the company. During their time in the apprenticeship program, an employee receives three-to-four years of classroom and on-the-job training, as well as additional safety and employee development training.

To recruit employees for our training programs, the company’s recruitment team actively works with community high schools to organize classroom presentations, conduct job shadow programs with local students, and provide youth apprenticeship, co-op, and internship opportunities to students. In 2014, recruiters at Faith Technologies visited approximately 40 local high schools to speak with students about the employment and training opportunities with the company. The team also offers a day-long job shadow program to introduce students to career opportunities within the both the construction and engineering fields. Youth apprenticeship, co-op, and internship programs provide students with hands-on learning experiences in a variety of occupational areas while they are still in school. Over the last year, Faith Technologies has employed approximately 50 students in these positions!

Once the recruitment team hires on a new employee, the company’s training department offers numerous opportunities for employees to grow and develop their skills as they start their careers with Faith Technologies. By working together, the training and recruitment teams are able to help grow the workforce and close the training gap created by a lack of vocational education available at the high school level. By taking the time to build meaningful relationships with area schools and new employees, Faith Technologies has and continues to invest not only in itself, but also in the future of today’s students.