To many, apprenticeship and immigraiton may appear to be two separate issues, but the fact is that the two intersect in many ways. Just like many colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions, training centers like IUPAT District 57’s at FTI of Western PA places a high value on recruiting a diverse group of students for apprenticeships – and with good reason.
As a country, we currently need about 17 million workers to fulfill existing infrastructure roles. Millions of jobs are becoming available due to the American Jobs Plan, and we need new, well-trained workers to fill them. There are training programs available at trusted institutes like the FTI of Western PA, but in our current economic climate, recruiting enough students to fill these roles has proven challenging.
More Americans than ever are receiving traditional four-year college degrees, which means even fewer U.S.-born workers are willing to take jobs that require non-traditional education. Additionally, thousands of workers around the country are striking to demand more in terms of pay, benefits, and staffing than ever before.
The bottom line is, these jobs need to be filled, and our government’s current approach to remedying the issue with our economy operates on the mistaken assumption that native-born workers will fill this demand. We shut out undocumented workers from the industries that need young, hungry workers most. Yet, our reality is that unless something changes, we will never have the workforce we need to create enduring prosperity and good-paying jobs for all workers no matter where they were born.
It’s clear that our economic future depends upon a robust and properly-trained workforce. We need immigration reform so we can bolster apprenticeship programs across the country with hardworking individuals from all over the world who will build up their careers and our collective future.