Partners can shape workforce

Published 11:02 am Monday, October 6, 2008

By Staff
A new generation of local workers is - or may soon be - getting lessons in the opportunities ahead of them in the job market.
Industry, education and government are partnering in various ways to give students the skills they will need to be the next generation of business leaders and employees.
And those partnerships are necessary to fulfill the needs of industries in the future, even the very near future.
With new manufacturers moving to the region and new jobs available, existing industries could find themselves losing some workers to the new kids on the block.
Meanwhile, many students are moving on to four-year schools, although the greater number of job opportunities are for skilled workers, not professionals.
The growing need for skilled workers presents an interesting problem for local industries and educators.
Schools like the Escambia-Brewton Career Technical Center and Jefferson Davis Community College are helping to fulfill those needs by training students for skilled jobs and giving them the basic job skills they need to compete.
In addition, industries and government entities - including the regional workforce development office - are looking to partner with schools to help teach students about the opportunities ahead.
Schools and industry leaders can also help teach the basic employment fundamentals - skills we might take for granted, such as showing up to work on time, getting along with co-workers or wearing proper attire on the job.
Of course it is wonderful when students can achieve an education at a four-year college or university, but that path doesn't match every student's interests.
And there are so many opportunities out there for students who want a good job - and so many industries who will be looking for that labor force in the future.