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Closing the Gap

There exists today, a growing skills gap between jobs available and workers trained to perform these jobs. Researchers call it The Skills Gap. In the manufacturing industry, shortages in trained employees-machine operators and technicians, for example-are taking their toll. A recent study, by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, The 2011 Skills Gap Report, produced the following results: the hardest jobs to fill are those that have the biggest impact on performance. According to this study, over half of the U.S. manufacturers surveyed stated that the lack of qualified workers was greatly affecting their ability to maintain production schedules; and an even greater percentage, 75%, reported that a lack of skilled workers was impacting their ability to expand operations.

What does that really mean? Nationwide, approximately 600,000 jobs are going unfilled because workers lack the skilled training employers need.

What can be done to help bridge this gap? Students should be considering career and technical education, designed to focus and streamline training, teaching students specifically those skills industry demands. At Grand River Technical School, post-secondary classes meet six hours per day and allow students to engage themselves in a trade, every day learning hands on and gaining real-world experience.

Our classrooms, shops and labs are equipped with the latest technology. Our instructors are experts in their career fields, and our students benefit from Grand River Tech's partnerships with business and industry. These business partners help keep our programs in touch with the ever-changing demands of modern industry. Students will become nationally certified in their fields. These partnerships, internships, job shadowing, live shops and labs, field trips, guest speakers and industry certifications all extend the learning environment far beyond the traditional classroom.

And it doesn't stop there. Grand River Tech offers personal, extensive job placement assistance, placing an average 93% students every year. And through articulation with several neighboring community colleges, students in their technical programs earn up to 30 college credit hours while here. North Central MO College offers articulated credit for nearly all our GRTS programs, leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree. In just 9 months at Grand River Technical School, students can be ready to enter a high demand career, equipped with the necessary academics, job skills and industry certifications. And in just one more year, can complete with an AAS degree. This is how we bridge the gap.

Submitted by Marla Harrington, Financial Aid Coordinator, GRTS

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This page updated by BK Web Works 12/10/2012.

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