Seeking in-demand, stable, good paying career? Some say they’ve found the answer
Excerpted from Florida Today, January 10, 2020
by Bailey Gallion
…According to the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, 23% of the 20,346 jobs created in Brevard County from 2015-2018 were in manufacturing. Demand for manufacturing workers in Brevard is growing fast, especially as the workforce ages. According to an EDC survey, more than 60% of manufacturing workers will retire in the next 10 years, EDC spokesman Brian Baluta said.
EDC CEO and President Lynda Weatherman said the United States lost a generation of people going into manufacturing and the EDC wants to set that right with its CPT certification. She said that with the EDC’s “See Manufacturing Through New Eyes” campaign she’s fighting the perception that manufacturing jobs are repetitive, dirty and lower class.
“I’d like to say, and it sounds kind of melodramatic, but I truly believe in this: It’s changing people’s lives one job at a time. There’s nothing more noble than a good job,” Weatherman said.
The EDC runs a ten-week, 80-hour course through Eastern Florida State College that allows participants to earn a Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification, tour local manufacturing facilities and receive coaching to better their chances of landing a job.
The CPT certificate is a qualification that makes graduates stand out to employers, Baluta said, and the course can count toward college credit. In September the program had an 86% job placement rate, according to an EDC press release.
Lori Robinson, Manufacturing Business Liaison at CareerSource Brevard, said her organization refers job seekers every day to programs like the EDC’s CPT program. The CPT program and Eau Gallie’s program are just two of many; for example, local apprenticeship programs serve as a bridge into machining and other trade jobs.
Brevard Public Schools provides vocational training through its adult and community education program and Junior Achievement of the Space Coast works with the EDC to expose younger students to potential careers in manufacturing with tours of local businesses.
“Manufacturers here in the county are strongly raising their voices about their need for talent,” Robinson said.
Read the rest of the article in Florida Today online.