So what are you doing to build a solid pipeline of skilled technicians? Believe it or not, right now as this blog is being posted, eleven, hand picked high school grad and several rising seniors, are attending their summer youth development orientation by vocational school instructor at a renovated old elementary school that now serves as a job resource center. As opposed to playing at the pool or goofing off, these kids are about to enter the workforce. These young adults do earn a minimum wage, but they are getting much more than that, they are given the opportunity to actually join the workforce and provided the support from Gene Holder,a metals instructor who arranged for these "kids" to have jobs at 4 employers. Holder will also be the liaison between the employer and the students and will make sure they understand their responsibilities and job tasks. He also will working to upgrade their safety knowledge and other essential job skills by arranging for them to have access to online training programs provided by Tooling University. On Fridays the group will be taking field trips to learn about other jobs, industries, technologies, and will be meeting engineers and business leaders to develop mentors, references and resources to jump start their career. Since this program started during the US national holiday of the 4th of July, tomorrow this group will be attending the SE Threshers Reunion http://www.farmpark.com/ which houses the largest collection in the south east of antique tractors and farm equipment. The South East Antique Machine Society is going to provide them a hands on tour of restored steam shovels, steam sawmills, a machine shop from the early 20th century. They are going to leave with a better appreciation of agriculture, hard work as our past generations, did not have electricity for welding, no oil or gas to run engines, no air conditioned environments to work in. We hope that this tour will give them a better appreciation of the technologies of today by seeing the challenges of yesteryear. Also many of the volunteers for SEAM are actual engineers at area factories and several are hiring. So this may help the kids secure more employment opportunities in the future by having a better understanding of what employers want and need. Hope your area is running summer youth programs and that you and or perhaps your company are helping providing tours, hiring the students, setting up internships or perhaps apprenticeships. These "kids" are our future leaders and are we going to pass the baton to them or just drop it and hope some pick it up? Hope you agree that we need to do the former and be willing to help us FIX IT FORWARD, by building tomorrow's workers today. Will be chronicling their progress as they enter the workforce so stay tuned. Would love to hear what other parts of the US and the world are doing to build a solid pipeline of skilled technicians. Hope you share below in the comments section or email to Joel@Skilltv.net.