Children are enthralled, teachers are aghast, and parents are searching high-and-low to find their children this new distraction device. The Fidget Spinner, a low-tech toy, has proven itself to be a national phenomenon, and just may speak volumes about the deep desire for millions of young people to be working with their hands, a career path parents, teachers and school counselors generally avoid encouraging.
We are in the grips of a national skilled labor shortage. It’s something that is earning increasing attention in the news and putting a choke-hold on U.S. industrial companies in manufacturing, transportation, construction, energy, industrial services and trades services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) now shows that nearly 1.5 million industrial jobs are currently unfilled across the United States. Not only are these jobs clearly available, but they are good jobs! These positions include trades jobs with rewarding annual wages: electrician jobs ($55,590), diesel mechanic jobs ($45,777), machinist jobs ($42,000), welder jobs ($53,783), etc.
Meanwhile, our national obsession with college for everyone has resulted in $1.4 trillion in national student debt. Handicapped with this burden, plenty of young people are graduating to find limited opportunities, enormous stress and a lack of satisfaction in their careers. No wonder so many young people find themselves moving back in with their parents after college! In comparison, trade or technical colleges offer relatively inexpensive courses that can be completed while the student works and industrial apprenticeship programs are paid. Think about the serious benefit of starting a new career without overwhelming debt and even some money in your pocket.
Quite simply, it’s all about fit. Yes, skilled industrial work is not for everyone, but neither is an office job. We know who these kids are. They are the one’s that are always on the move. They love to work with their hands. They would much rather be outside fixing or building something than stuck in a classroom. We shouldn’t make our children or students feel ashamed of their talents and abilities. We should encourage them to pursue the high-tech industrial jobs that will shape our future. They will be the ones repairing the machines and robots. They will be the ones building our futuristic cities. They will be the ones enabling us to harness new and incredible forms of energy.
As parents and teachers, it is our job to recognize that each young person has his or her “superpower,” something he or she naturally does better (or does more easily) than all the other kids in the class. If you don’t know what this is for your child or students, you need to stop, listen, and learn. Once you can see this “superpower,” it is your job to coach him or her in the direction of a career in which he or she can enjoy both financial comfort and real personal satisfaction.
Power to the “Fidget Spinners!”
Xemplar Workforce Solutions provides career resources as well as recruiting services to top professionals and the companies that employ them in manufacturing, transportation, energy, automation/robotics, industrial services and many other industries. We enable machinists, mechanics, welders, fabricators, electricians, installers, quality control techs, service techs and other related tradespeople to find great opportunities and achieve their greatest potential in their fields. Learn more about Xemplar here.