Capital Region Cares Capital Region Cares 2017-2018 - Page 99

engineering, construction & design M echanical, electrical, and plumbing career opportunities are boundless as 31 million baby boomers in those roles will retire by 2020. We’re not only losing skilled workers who make up 25 percent of this country’s workforce, but also face a skills gap – there simply aren’t enough young people trained to fill those openings. MEP Career Pathways Academies, a non-profit formed by six trade organizations, is creating a conduit between high schools and trade careers. Launching this fall at Sacramento’s Rosemont High School, the Engineering, Construction and Design (ECD) Academy will train future workers for the myriad careers that are critical to a functioning society, and that provide professionals with fruitful middle class incomes and lifestyles complete with medical benefits and pensions. The ECD Academy offers career paths to kids who otherwise might not be exposed to these disciplines. We’re conditioned to think that the only pathway to success is a college degree, but the majority of students who go to college don’t graduate, while accruing enormous debt. Modeled after a program at Stockton’s Lincoln High School, the ECD Academy offers classes in engineering, computer design, construction technology, metal technology and more, in addition to mainstream state-required classes. After high school, ECD students may easily access union apprenticeships that provide nighttime schooling and daytime work with apprenticeship wages far exceeding minimum wage, medical benefits and, after six months, a pension plan. Classrooms will be outfitted with computer labs, shops and expensive NECASAC.ORG Ecd academy CAREER CONDUIT TO REAL LIFE equipment vital to hands-on learning. MEP Career Pathways Academies is looking to the community to help raise $350,000-$500,000 toward those tenant improvements. “There’s a lot of talk now in schools about career pathways, but we’re putting meat on that bone, starting at one school and hoping to expand to others. We’re preparing young people for real life, real careers, and tremendous opportunities,” concluded Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. ENGiNEERIN G, CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN AT ROSEMONT HIGH SCHOOL comstocksmag.com | 2017 CAPITAL REGION CARES 99