Representative James Langevin was in town Monday afternoon, paying a call on to discuss the ways in which businesses and schools are collaborating to get people trained to fill available jobs.
Again and again, it came down to the fact that not enough students are following the career paths that will end in jobs right now.
“There are a lot of companies looking for the same talent,” said Pat Blakemore, NEIT’s director of career services. “There are not enough young people going into these career trends. I don’t think enough is happening at the high school level.”
Donald Nokes, president of Warwick-based IT services company NetCenergy, agreed. “There’s a lot more that can be done on the high school level in my opinion. I’m hoping that this initiative … is going to help bring this awareness down to the high school level.”
Nokes was referring to Obama’s call in his State of the Union speech to provide job training for 2 million people. Nokes and Astro-Med’s John Page were both on hand Monday to reiterate their commitment to working with New England Tech to train workers.
Both employers offer on-the-job training as well as scholarships for workers looking to build on their skills.
But Nokes also talked about one employee who came to NetCenergy with a masters degree in Eastern European religions (see video, attached). He got an entry level job at NetCenergy but had $120,000 in tuition debt and only an entry-level paycheck. Nokes lamented the disconnect between what the man had studied and its cost, and what he could earn.
“And I don’t think he’s the only one like that,” said Nokes.