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North Central Kansas Technical College's Tools & Tech 2016

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING Business & Industry Leaders Talk About the Value of Technical Education

Joseph Glassman, President and CEO of Glassman Corporation in Hays, Kansas, knows the value of technical education. He sees it every day in the technically trained employees of his multi-million dollar heating and air-conditioning business. “They’re the lifeblood of our corporation, there’s no question about it,” Glassman said. “We wouldn’t function without trained employees.” Although the demand for trained employees is high, there’s a shortage of technically skilled people in the workforce. It is a national phenomenon, often referred to as a ‘skills gap,’ and it’s creating problems for companies. “There just aren’t enough students in the classrooms,” Glassman stated, “which really puts a pinch on businesses and their ability to grow. It really means everything to us to have well-trained personnel. It is the top issue that we have on the human resources side.” While the skills gap is a huge challenge for businesses, it’s a tremendous opportunity for those seeking training and employment in these fields. “There’s a demand for skilled labor,” Glassman said, “so we’re going to every school we can to try and pick it up.” Skilled tradespeople are in demand and that demand is increasing as more and more workers are reaching retirement age in several industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 65% of jobs in today’s workforce are classified as ‘skilled and technical.’ Jobs in this category require training beyond high school but do not necessarily require a four-year degree. That’s where NCK Tech can serve as part of the solution for employers and for individuals seeking to work in these high-skill, high-tech, high-wage fields. For those who need to acquire the skills to obtain these types of jobs, there are definite advantages to a small twoyear technical college like NCK Tech. “You get that individualized assistance and closeness that comes from being able to know your instructors,” said George Eakin, President and CEO of Osborne Industries, a manufacturer of swine management equipment and other products in Osborne, Kansas. “They really are great instructors, and they really care about their students,” Glassman said. “That shines through everything else. From my experience, most of the instructors really are there to propel the school and to give a great education to the student, which is the bottom line.” “ There's a great demand for skilled labor. Joseph Glassman Glassman Corporation Along with the advantages of being personalized and hands-on, technical training is also affordable; especially compared to other forms of education. A 2012 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average cost of attaining a bachelor’s degree is $127,000. That's 285% more than a two-year degree. To cover those costs, nearly 70% of students enrolled at four-year colleges and universities take out student loans, and over 20% of those students leave school with over $50,000 in debt. In contrast, NCK Tech graduates enter the workforce an average of two years earlier. This www.ncktc.edu | 19

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