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Trade schools still in high demand


BIG DROPS – According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Montana’s unemployment rate is 2.3% as of April 2022. As employers continue to seek workers, trade schools continue to be in high demand.

Of those aged 20 to 29 who obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2021, 74.8% were employed, compared to 67.3% in 2020. These Data reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Job Service Great Falls Manager Beth Schmidt said: “Here locally for our trades, entry-level, general laborers, down to those highly skilled electricians, the plumbers, our pipefitters, our welders, our carpenters, they’re all in demand It’s a busy time for all trades people, and they need everyone they can get their hands on to make sure schools are being built, housing is being built of construction, that renovations are taking place on existing properties.

Great Falls College-MSU Trades Division Director Joel Sims said the number of students going into trades is down.

“Not a lot of increase,” Simms said. “There’s actually been a decrease. When we started we had three different intakes that we did throughout the year, and now it’s down to one intake that we do. We ended up losing a program of construction on our businesses, our renewable energy program has disappeared.”

Earlier this year, the Great Falls College-MSU Welding Test Facility has been recognized by the American Welding Society as an accredited test facility after meeting minimum requirements for its personnel, equipment, and test facilities

“It helped some,” Sims said. “In order to keep that accreditation through the American Welding Society, you have to have high standards, so the quality has to be there, and we try to carry that quality into our welding program. So I think that helps not only that, but it’s also helped local businesses in that if they need that service, we can deliver that service and they don’t have to travel to get it.”

Job Service Great Falls said that for those interested in trade schools, they would encourage them to come to their office at 1018 7th Street South, or call 406-791-5800 and speak to a trade consultant. workforce.

“We have a variety of programs like the Registered Apprenticeship Program, APRA Rapid Retraining Program, Workforce Development and many more that help you get the training you need to be the next person in your life. skilled trade for our local employers in need.”