Skilled 4 Work: Some believe trade jobs are a 'dying art' | KOB 4

Skilled 4 Work: Some believe trade jobs are a 'dying art'

Tessa Mentus
June 05, 2019 07:14 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Thousands of good-paying jobs that don’t require a degree are sitting unfilled in New Mexico.


The problem has been on the radar for about a decade.

About ten years ago, the National Skills Coalition determined the largest share of jobs in New Mexico are middle-skilled, which are jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree.

Middle-skilled jobs include plumbers, welders, construction workers and some jobs in the health care field.

The same study showed those jobs will continue to make up the majority of the state's labor force for the foreseeable future.

“We just have to find a way to really grow that interest because we know our partners in the industry are looking for this skilled workforce,” said Samantha Sengel, CNM vice president.

According to the study, 49% of the jobs in New Mexico are middle-skilled. However, only 45% of the workers in the state have the proper training for those jobs.

Some speculate that middle-skilled jobs aren’t as attractive as they used to be years ago.

“This is a dying art,” said TLC apprentice Derek Brownson. “There are a lot of older guys who are getting out and there's not a lot of young guys coming in, so there's a demand for it.”

There are many contributors to fewer people getting involved in middle-skilled jobs. More children are now encouraged to go to college and get four-year degree. And on the other side of the spectrum, there are many New Mexicans who lack basic reading, writing and math skills to qualify for middle-skilled jobs.

Many stakeholders in New Mexico are working to find a solution to the problem.

Over the next four months, KOB 4 will be highlighting their stories to help New Mexicans become Skilled 4 Work.


Tessa Mentus

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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