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The Benefits of Pursuing a Career Within the Trades

Did you know, for every $1.00 spent on manufacturing, $1.37 is added to the US economy? With that direct positive impact, we need to ensure that the manufacturing industry has a quality workforce and individuals hungry to fill open roles when vacancies arrive. We can start to achieve this by teaching kids the value of learning trades and restructuring the educational system for success.

For unknown reasons, there is this stigma about learning a trade.

While in reality it can be a tremendous asset to advance one’s career. People tend to associate manufacturing with dirty, hard work, and while that may be the case in some places, many manufacturers take pride in the cleanliness and upkeep of their facilities. There is a certain freedom that comes with a trade as a choice of work, for the reason that manufacturing can found all over the country in companies of various sizes, structures, and operational offerings on multiple shifts. These companies bring a lot to the table in the forms of long-term career growth, medical benefits, and retirement planning (such as a 401k).

When you were young, do you remember being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Typical answers are professional athletes, musicians, doctors, etc. and by the time an adolescent turns into a young adult, faced with decisions about their futures, it may seem like there are only a few viable options that remain. There is almost too much out there and it’s all unknown!

A major problem present in this challenge is plain and simple; the lack of exposure to options beyond the dreamy, classic career paths listed above.

From 1990 to 2010, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that vocational education credits in high schools dropped by 14%. Since then, these numbers have only continued to decline. As it stands, a majority of high schools send their graduates off to a traditional 4-year college, but not all of these graduates know what they truly want to do with their lives. If vocations were mandatory courses like science, math, English, and history, it would open the door for many who aren’t even aware that a trade school might be a better fit for them!

In fact, another benefit of pursuing a trade is that, as a student, it is significantly more cost-effective than attending a traditional college. On average, tuition for a 4-year college is 4-6x more expensive than a trade school and generally leaves a student buried in debt. If the educational systems could be restructured for success and encourage kids to be excited about trades, manufacturing will continue to thrive as the backbone of our country.

Are you or someone you know interested in exploring opportunities within the trades? Let’s get in touch! Rust Belt Recruiting has the resources, connections, and opportunities to get you on the right path to pursuing meaningful work.


Written by Rust Belt Recruiting’s Account Manager & Recruiter, Matt Forlini.
Connect with Matt on LinkedIn to learn more about career opportunities, vocational programs, industry trends, and more.