High school students find employers and colleges are trying to recruit them : NPR

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As greater schooling and business in Wisconsin attempt to adapt to pandemic challenges, the normal pipeline main college students from highschool straight to school is being refined.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Faculty enrollment was down throughout the nation even earlier than the pandemic. However for the final two years, it is gotten worse. Identical factor in relation to the labor market – there aren’t sufficient staff to fill jobs. In Wisconsin, greater schooling and business are adapting by redefining what the trail after highschool can seem like. Wealthy Kremer of Wisconsin Public Radio experiences.
RICH KREMER, BYLINE: Public, technical and neighborhood schools have borne the brunt of pandemic enrollment declines. Since fall of 2019, they’ve misplaced greater than 700,000 college students. The drop was round 16% amongst males and 10% amongst ladies. In Wisconsin, enrollment at state technical schools dropped by 34% over the previous decade. It is dropped greater than 60% at two-year College of Wisconsin System campuses. That comes as Wisconsin employers say they’re more and more determined to rent sufficient staff.
Right here at Sheboygan South Excessive, the lunchtime rush begins with a murmur and shortly engulfs the hallways at this faculty of 1,100 college students. Steerage counselor Steve Schneider says the demand for staff has led to intense recruitment. With each employers and schools knocking on excessive colleges’ doorways, it falls to workers to clear a path in each instructions.
STEVE SCHNEIDER: Allow us to, because the adults, take the brunt of the aggressiveness and filter that in order that if you’re presenting to our college students and after we’re speaking with our college students about these choices, the scholars are nonetheless recognizing that they’re in charge of this selection.
KREMER: These selections embrace a variety of dual-enrollment lessons, with college students incomes highschool and school credit score in fields like nursing, net design and expert trades. The varsity additionally affords work-based studying programs, referred to as co-ops, sponsored by native companies. They pay college students to work part-time whereas exploring profession choices.
Within the metropolis of Plymouth, current graduate AJ Klug says he felt misplaced as he neared the top of his highschool profession. He considered going to school, however was deterred by the prospect of taking up a number of scholar mortgage debt. As a substitute, he signed up for an 80-hour co-op with native automobile dealership Van Horn Automotive and felt at house working alongside grasp mechanics.
AJ KLUG: I obtained into the store, and I mentioned to myself, that is truly one thing that I take pleasure in doing. You realize, I discovered one thing. I haven’t got to, you recognize, fear about it a lot anymore.
KREMER: Klug is now working full-time with the dealership, incomes good wages whereas taking tech school lessons towards a certification. The dealership supplied an apprenticeship program with $6,500 in scholarships for instruments and tuition. Klug expects to graduate debt-free. Van Horn recruiter Shannon Laehn says the apprenticeship was created in 2020 to handle looming retirements.
SHANNON LAEHN: In order that we will begin constructing these youthful technicians and having them work with the grasp technicians to develop their expertise in order that now we have technicians for our future.
KREMER: As companies make inroads to excessive colleges, the normal pipeline from highschool to school is altering. Wisconsin Technical Faculty President Morna Foy says the profession pathway mannequin, wherein workers search further schooling after beginning work, represents probably the most vital change within the greater schooling.
MORNA FOY: It’s now being pushed by what college students and employers, by means of their workers, want – not what’s handy for us, not what’s snug for us because the schooling supplier. However what do they want?
KREMER: Projections present the variety of individuals hitting retirement age in lots of states will shortly outpace the variety of working-age adults. What’s been dubbed the silver tsunami is more likely to drive extra highschool recruitment by companies and even higher modifications for schools.
For NPR Information, I am Wealthy Kremer in Eau Claire.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHAD LAWSON TRIO’S “A FAIR SKY IN WICHITA”)

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