From The Editor

Good News for the Trades

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MCN Editor Dan Markham For years, members of the metals supply chain, and others in the industrial economy, have been lamenting the limited number of young people pursuing the trades. Trade groups have undertaken major efforts to reverse the trend.

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs is FMA’s charitable foundation designed to help “individuals in discovering their interest in manufacturing and to encourage the pursuit of a manufacturing career.” NAM offers the FAME program, an earn-while-you-learn training program with more than 40 chapters in 16 states.

These and other efforts are starting to pay off.

The Wall Street Journal reported enrollment in vocational training programs is taking off as overall enrollment in community colleges and four-year universities has fallen. The population enrolled in vocational schools grew by 16 percent in 2023 to its highest mark since tracking began in 2018. This is encouraging news for all manufacturing industries, which have been bleeding employees to retirement for several years.  

Additionally, Metal Supermarkets has kicked off the 3rd annual trade school scholarships program, which includes four $2,500 scholarships to support young people seeking careers in the valuable trade industries in the United States and Canada. Students have until June 28 to apply. The link to the scholarship information is posted on the Metal Supermarkets website here:

Of course, manufacturers also need engineers. The International Titanium Association is offering scholarships to recent high school graduates who are pursuing studies in engineering or related fields. Candidates must be nominated by a member company of the ITA.

For more details on the scholarship program, visit here.