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The Need for Technically Trained Employees
In an industry that is constantly changing and remaining at the forefront of product advancement, the need for employees with specific technical skills continues to grow. The AgCareers.com 2009 Agribusiness Job Report, just released a few weeks ago, showed that job opportunities in the ag industry are continuing to increase. This includes all types of careers in the industry, creating opportunities for the white collar professional as well as the technically trained employee. The employee who has a specific skill that he or she can bring to the workplace can be a hot commodity in the agriculture industry, an industry that is fueled by 'the man in the field.'
Many community colleges and technical schools are identifying with this need and are realizing the reemergence of this type of student in their enrollment offices. Dr. Scott Mickelsen, Dean of Ag and Community Services at Northcentral Technical College in Wisconsin says his college has seen a 21% increase in enrollment and 12% of those are displaced workers still recovering from the economic downturn of 2008. Those students are being enrolled in Career Decision Courses and are identifying areas where they need to be re-tooled to receive basic technical training that will allow them to re-enter the workforce. Luckily, federal and state tuition aid for displaced workers entering college and vocational programs can make returning to school a reality for many. This also benefits employers who have a need for up-to-date trained employees in emerging fields such as wind- and solar-energy technology and "green" construction.
According to the AgCareers.com & AgrowKnowledge Skilled Labor Report, nearly 60% of employers in the agriculture, food, and natural resources industries, anticipate increasing their recruitment of skilled employees for their company within the next five years. Positions they list as being in high demand include mechanical technicians, precision agriculture and geospatial technology employees, and veterinary techs. In looking to the future, 83% of faculty at post-secondary institutions who participated in the survey stated that their institution has plans to implement new programs that focus on training for skilled labor professions in the next five years. Those programs include; Agriculture Biotechnology, Three Dimensional Machine Control, Wind Energy Technology, Countryside Management, and Geospatial courses.
These opportunities provide a welcome mat for individuals, who formerly worked in areas like the automotive industry, to bring their technical skills into agricultural careers. "In an industry that is responsible for feeding and clothing the world, we can be assured that there will always be a need for people who have a desire to accomplish that goal and can bring specific skills to the workplace, states Ashley Collins, Education Coordinator at AgCareers.com. 'We are fortunate to have such a strong community college and technical school system that can provide this hands-on training to our workforce and that we have so many people taking advantage of those opportunities.'
For more information from the AgCareers.com and AgrowKnowledge Skilled Labor report, download your free copy today by CLICKING HERE. For more articles about employment in the agricultural industry check out our newsletter archives at this link http://www.agcareers.com/info.cfm?task=narticles.