DENVER—On Wednesday, a bill that will call upon public high schools in Colorado to add information about skilled labor jobs and military enlistment to their Individual Career and Academic Plans will go into effect. House Bill 1041, sponsored by freshman legislator Phil Covarrubias (R-Brighton), requires schools discuss the various career pathways available to postsecondary students, and the types of certificates and jobs to which each pathway leads.
“This bill will help reintroduce skilled trades to high school students, which can lead to early apprenticeships and exposure to good-paying jobs right after graduation,” said Covarrubias, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and now owns an excavation company. “A four-year college degree may be a good fit for some, but I want students to know that there’s great opportunity in trade schools and through military service that doesn’t require the enormous cost of tuition at universities.”
According to a 2015 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Association of Home Builders there are currently 143,000 vacant construction positions nationwide, and a 69 percent of the members surveyed were experiencing delays in completing projects on time due to a shortage of qualified workers.
Additionally, a 2015 Deloitte survey of manufacturing executives found eight in 10 said the expanding skills gap will affect their ability to keep up with customer demand, and that it took an average of more than three months to recruit skilled labor positions.