Many students will graduate college this Spring to find themselves on that tiring job hunt.
But not everyone with a degree will find one right away.
Employers have higher numbers of highly educated people to choose from in the applicant pool.
And Director Roger McGregor says Hannibal's Career and Technical Center is seeing higher numbers of enrollees as it prepares students for college or career with hands-on experience.
"From automotive to welding to business, accounting, health services," said McGregor. "As students have seen more of a growth in technical skills jobs that are out there, we're seeing an increase of enrollment in that."
Once the students graduate, McGregor says most of them do go on to college or further training.
But the experience and training they get right now trains them for the workforce so that many of them are able to work a higher-paying job while they put themselves through that two or four-year degree.
McGregor says companies in the area actually advise the school of what training they are looking for in their employees.
Specifically, what machines they are using. The school purchases and extensively trains students on that equipment so that many of them can walk right into a job right out of school.
McGregor says educators need to look ahead to properly train their students.
"We need to do a better job in education and as a state and as a nation to identify where those jobs will be five years from now, ten years from now so as those students do leave and go on to college or whatever that is, that they know that there will be positions available for the pathway that they choose," said McGregor.
In fact, McGregor says advisory panels for the school consist of people working in these fields. They make sure the curriculum works just like the workplace so that the students work on the same machines and do the same things as they would in the workforce.
But student Louis Miller says he, like many others, is using his education at Hannibal as a kick start to post secondary education and his career.
"It'll look better on your resumes for college and jobs and all that," said Miller. "Especially coming out of Mr. Wilson's class. And being able to MIG, stick, and TIG processes. And learning plasma cutting and all that underneath your belt already."
And many of the classes in this program give students college credit that they can use if they go on to further their education like Miller.
Miller says when he graduates this program, he plans to enroll in welding school and go on to work on the pipeline.
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