Updated 12/12/2012 06:33 PM
Brindisi pushes tech curriculum with Regents
The jobs are there, but some companies can't find the right candidate. Manufacturers across the state say they can't fill jobs they have because young adults entering the workforce don't have the right training. Our Andrew Sorensen tells us about new efforts to push the state to bridge the gap.
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FRANKFORT, N.Y. -- It might be a strange sight, a sign reading 'Now Hiring,' but this sign has been here a while.
"In this tight economy, it seems strange that we are in need of a skilled trade person," Steven Naegele, president of the custom machining company CTM said.
CTM, like a lot of skilled trade employers, is looking for people, especially young people, who can make drawings from clients, like NASA, into working parts, but they can't seem to find what they're looking for. High school intern Steven Napolitano is almost the perfect fit.
"I've been interested in engineering since I was in eighth grade through our school's tech program," he said.
But employers are saying most young people like him aren't fitting the mold.
"There's unfortunately a disconnect between what the children are being educated to and what is required for our type of industry," Naegele said.
Most kids like Napolitano don't ever get the hands on experience these employers want, which is why manufacturers and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi are taking the issue up with the Board of Regents and pushing for a technical education curriculum. Brindisi says a college exclusive focus is leaving thousands of jobs unfilled by limiting opportunities for students.
"But certainly we have job openings in manufacturing and we should be tailoring our curriculum to meet some of those job demands," Brindisi said.
CTM says to make these high precision parts, like the next generation moon vehicle pedal, they want to see an interest in education and a very technical base, something these companies say could be fixed if kids were learning those skills while earning their high school diploma, and too few programs, even in BOCES, teach these skills.
"These are good businesses that are good paying jobs, and we should be able to provide with a skilled workforce so they can continue to operate and continue to grow in our region," said Brindisi.
A new technical curriculum could also be the missing piece of the puzzle for the economy, as CTM says most companies their size could add about 10 to 20 percent to their workforce with properly trained candidates.
Assemblyman Brindisi says he's spoken with other members who agree that new technical curriculum should be written, but it's up to the Regents to decide to act.