The Encore movement is a national effort to leverage the energy and experience of Americans who seek to fill community needs upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers. Launched in 2013 by the Cleveland Foundation, Encore Cleveland helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders with an array of meaningful opportunities in the community.
WIRE-Net’s Youth Programs, in collaboration with Max S. Hayes High School, were pleased to finish the 2015-16 with some great success stories from the Technical Corps Program (TCP) that made its debut in the machining, welding, and manufacturing design career pathways. Gary Dudich, a retired Journeyman Iron Worker, served as a Technical Corps member in the welding lab during the Spring semester.
At eighteen years old, I had my life planned out perfectly – or so I thought. It was the summer of 1997 and I had just graduated Strongsville High School and was set to attend Cuyahoga Community College, and transfer to OSU shortly after. My older sisters had already gone off to college, and my parents wanted, even expected, me to follow suit. My neighbor owned an HVAC company, and offered me a job delivering parts to his technicians for the summer. Business was booming that year, and before I knew it I was being sent on service calls, and doing fairly well.
The Generation Y Challenge
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that by 2020, there will be a shortfall of 10 million qualified workers in manufacturing-related industries. With a significant portion of the workforce facing retirement, jobs will need to be filled by younger workers; however, a lack of interest in manufacturing among American youth threatens the growth of industry.