ACTE Techniques May 2013 - (Page 4)

MAY 2013 VOLUME 88 / NUMBER 5 Breaking Barriers 16 20 Breaking the Gender Barrier Certain jobs, such as nursing, welding or carpentry, are typically seen as a likely career for only one gender, not both. Learn how CTE is looking to change the notion of genderspecific jobs and S find out how you can help. Breaking Barriers A Nontraditional Path: Arizona School, Students Break Through CTE Stigmas, Gender Barriers At East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT), CTE students are not letting any gender biases stand in the way of their passions. Through the efforts of students and the work of the school, EVIT is working to break the stigmas attached to CTE. Breaking Barriers By Joan Runnheim Olson Photos © 16 1 2 3 26 4 5 6 Techniques 7 May 2013 8 9 ix years ago, while in his 40s, Jeff Johnson was forced to make a career change after his employer had a large-scale downsizing. With limited job opportunities in his field locally, he decided to retool and go back to school. Formerly an aircraft maintenance technician for a major airline in the midwest, Jeff entered a two-year college program to become a surgical technologist. On the surface these two careers do not appear to have anything in common. When asked about this, Johnson replied, “Both careers parallel each other in a number of ways. Orthopedic surgery and aircraft maintenance use similar instruments and tools in their daily work, e.g., drills, hardware, fasteners, etc. Both require the ability to interact with a variety of people on a daily basis.” The most striking difference though, is that he transitioned from working with all males to now working with all females. The statistics are startling. In 2010, only 5.4 percent of welders in the United States were female. And according to , Male Nurse Magazine, out of the approximately 2.6 million registered nurses in the United States, approximately 7–8 percent are male. These careers fall into the category of nontraditional, i.e., ones in which 75 percent or more employed in an occupation or field are comprised of the opposite gender. What keeps females and males from considering nontraditional career paths? What can career and technical education (CTE) educators and counselors do to increase enrollment and retention of students in classes and programs that prepare them for male- or femaledominated careers? 7–8% NONPATH: T R A D I T IO N A L Techniqu es Arizona Schoo l, Students Through CTE Sti Break gmas, Gender Barrie rs May 2013 of welders are female May 2013 Techniques iers A 20 5.4% of registered nurses are male Breaking Barr www.act 17 eonline.o rg 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 30 Bias Against ‘Dirty’ Manufacturing Is Barrier to Good Jobs Students may be shying away from well-paying jobs in manufacturing due to dated images of the work as unsanitary and unsafe. Companies in Illinois and BIAS AGAINST Maine are reaching out to students to change the MANUFACTURING IS BARRIER TO GOOD JOBS perceptions of the field. Breaking Barriers Jobs Now, Careers Later Southwire, a manufacturer of electrical wires and cables, has partnered with two local school districts in Georgia and Alabama to develop the 12 For Life program that encourages students at risk of dropping out to stay in school. Breaking Barriers Breaking Barriers Breaking Barriers By Nancy Mann Jackson Photo © W Illustration © By Stephenie Overman G ood manufacturing jobs in the United States may be going unfilled because of bias against an outdated image of grimy factories and unskilled, blue-collar labor. Since January 2010, the U.S. economy has created nearly 500,000 new jobs in manufacturing, according to the Employment and Training Administration. And a 2012 Society for Human Resource Management survey found that 75 percent of manufacturing companies were hiring, up from 50 percent two years before. But 67 percent of the manufacturing companies that were hiring said they were having difficulty recruiting for specific jobs.1 26 Techniques May 2013 A critical problem, according to Greg Dellinger, director of recruiting for AAR Corp. in Wood Dale, Illinois, is that students, parents, guardians and educators tend to view manufacturing jobs as dirty, dangerous and repetitive. Many times, he says, the parents and grandparents of today’s students “have had a sideways experience with manufacturing.” Their experiences from 20 or 30 years ago “can’t be further from the truth” today at companies like AAR that need employees with advanced-manufacturing skills. Far from being dirty, the company’s aviation maintenance and repair facilities are clean, well lit and safe, Dellinger says. “They have to be. We don’t want the risk of injury or to miss a deadline because inventory was damaged. We’re dealing with products and services that defy gravity. … It has to be done right.” The manufacturing industry needs to recognize that it has a problem with perception, agrees Fred Wentzel, executive vice president of the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing. “In the minds of a lot of middle-class kids and their parents who aspire to have their children move into a ‘professional setting,’” only a four-year liberal arts education “offers respectability and a good salary.” Many low-paying, entry-level factory jobs were shipped overseas years ago, and U.S. manufacturing jobs today tend to “require special skills, knowledge or experience,” he says, and pay well as a result. “Unless the manufacturing sector begins to build relationships … the problem [of misperception] will persist,” Wentzel says, adding that these relationships need to be built “at the 10th, 11th, 12th grades,” as well as at the college level. Around the country, some manufacturing companies “are heeding the advice to go out and build relationships,” Wentzel says. “They are helping faculty understand that there are certain skill requirements” in the manufacturing sector. But community colleges tend to focus on the “professional” also, according to Wentzel. “Half or more of community colleges see themselves as avenues into four-year schools … they see themselves as preparers for entry into liberal arts programs. They do not see themselves as training centers for local industry.” Some parts of the country, the Midwest, for example, offer more access to technical programs, he adds. Telling the New Story The Manufacturers Association of Maine (MAMe) is working to change old notions of manufacturing and “to tell the story of what manufacturing is today in 2013,” according to Lisa G. Martin, executive director of the association. In Maine the memories of dusty mills and dirty factories “run pretty deep,” she says. “When you say ‘textile,’ people automatically think of a huge factory with sewing machines; but that typically is not going on in the States now.” Most of the traditional cut-and-sew work is done overseas, but Maine does have some textile companies making hightech products, Martin says. “There are advanced textile companies that are using traditional fibers to make clothing used for wound care that helps in the healing process.” And there are textile companies that have produced materials for the Mars Exploration Rovers, she adds. This type of manufacturing requires “clean rooms” May 2013 Techniques 27 Photo © Illustration © 30 Techniques May 2013 hich of today’s students will have successful careers later, and which ones will face difficulties in finding and maintaining employment? A number of circumstances can contribute to the answers to these questions. Some of the barriers that traditionally hold people back from building careers include socioeconomic status, language barriers, gender and race. Perhaps one of the greatest barriers to employment is the lack of a high school diploma. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, high school dropouts are 72 percent more likely to be unemployed than high school graduates. Simply finding a way to keep students in school can go a long way toward ensuring a strong future for them. In Carrollton, Georgia, and Florence, Alabama, a local employer and local school districts have joined forces to develop a program that encourages students at risk of dropping out to stay in school. Southwire Company, which manufactures wire and cable used in the distribution transmission of electricity, began working with Carroll County (GA) Schools in 2007 to help develop solutions to the problem of persistent dropouts. Together, they came up with an idea to help motivate students to stay in school, while at the same time providing them with real-world experience that would prepare them to enter the job market upon graduation. This idea evolved into the program “12 for Life.” The concept behind the name is that if students completed 12 years of education, they would have better, more fulfilled lives. It was a success from the start, and a second location opened in Florence, Alabama, in 2009. Since the first program opened in Carrollton in 2007, the local graduation rate has grown from 65 percent to 76 percent, and more than 420 students have graduated from the 12 for Life program. Of those graduates, 40 percent have gone on to technical school or college, 20 percent have joined the armed services, 10 percent have gone to work for Southwire and 10 percent have gotten jobs with other employers. “These are students who would not have made these choices or been able to make them before 12 for Life,” says Gary Leftwich, manager of media and community relations at Southwire Company. Developing a Program The seed of an idea for the 12 for Life program was planted in 2005 when Southwire executives learned from discussions with local school representatives that one in three students in the Carroll County schools would not graduate. Southwire executives realized that fact had significant implications for the students, the schools, the community and for their company. “We need a pool of skilled labor to operate, and we require a high school diploma as a condition of employment,” Leftwich says. “The dropout rate created a significant impact on our ability to hire skilled workers. At the same time, we saw the opportunity to help those at risk of dropping out to improve their futures. Studies show high school graduates earn May 2013 Techniques 31 Published by The AssociATion for cAreer And TechnicAl educATion: educATe. AdvocATe. leAd. Techniques Connecting Education and Careers (ISSN # 1527-1803) is published monthly in January, February, March, April, May, September, October and November/December by the Association for Career and Technical Education Inc., 1410 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Periodicals postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Techniques Connecting Education and Careers, 1410 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Subscription rates: Members receive magazine with membership. Students who join ACTE are provided subscriptions at no cost. Non-member subscriptions are available for $57 per year domestic and $98 per year international. If you wish to purchase a copy or copies of Techniques, please call 800-826-9972 for pricing information. Visit us on the Web at 4 Techniques May 2013

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ACTE Techniques May 2013