High Demand Jobs, No College Degree Needed

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

September 23, 2013 Updated Sep 23, 2013 at 5:43 PM EDT

GARRETT, Ind. (21Alive) - The Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition is trying to let Hoosiers know there are jobs in high demand right now, and there's no college degree needed.

The Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition released a report, Monday at Group Dekko in Garrett, revealing 54 percent of the state's jobs are middle-skill jobs, but only 47 percent of the state's workers are trained for those jobs.

Middle-skill jobs include welders, plumbers, registered nurses and manufacturing technicians. The group says, right now, there aren't enough skilled workers in the state to fill the amount of jobs available in these areas.

Middle-skill jobs typically require just one to two years of education from a trade school.

Dennis Rohrs works for Fort Wayne Metals. He says, despite no college degree, their workers need to be very skilled technically, to operate the computers that run the machinery.

"It isn't taking a widget, putting it in a machine, pushing two buttons, the machine does the work. What we hire people to do, and what increasingly manufacturers are doing, is they're hiring people for the knowledge that they bring to the party," said Dennis Rohrs, Fort Wayne Metals.

State Senator Dennis Kruse is a co-chair of the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition. He says many of these jobs start paying around $38,000, and some of them can end up paying as much as $100,000 a year.

A concern for Senator Kruse is that the companies needing workers will eventually take their business somewhere else.

"The employers will only go so long. And if they have too many openings, and if they feel like another state has better opportunities with those workers, then they're going to leave us, or they won't expand where they could expand," said State Senator Dennis Kruse, (R) Auburn.

In an effort to create a workforce for these middle-skill jobs the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition is advocating for Indiana to allow part time students better access to state financial aid, to allow them to go to the trade schools. They are also pushing employers to do more 'on the job' training.

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