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How to get the training to land in-demand trade jobs

Image of robotics experiment at Pikes Peak Community College
Posted at 5:13 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 07:52:10-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Is there a trade job you've always wanted to do, but never quite had the education or training for it? Are you looking for the kind of job that will be in demand no matter where you go?

Here at News5, we are working to help you rebound during this pandemic with answers to these questions and more on how you can get on the fast track to success.

Trade jobs haven't slowed down because of this pandemic. They've really just adapted. For instance, manufacturing companies are now re-purposing their equipment to produce medical supplies.

If you want to get involved in this industry, it's not too late to do so, regardless of how many years it's been since you were in school.

Community colleges are there to help get you land that trade job you've been dreaming of in as little as two semesters, depending on your prior experience. Industry leaders also work closely with colleges to hire their students as soon as they graduate.

Pikes Peak Community College, for instance has classes in trade careers like robotics, machining, and architecture. Here are links with information on their different programs:Robotics MachiningBuilding and Construction TechnologyArchitecture
These are certificate-based programs, so if you just need to brush up and get certified in certain skills, you could knock out a degree in less than a year. Otherwise, it could be two years.

Along the way, industry partners help students by offering internships and recruiting them for full-time positions after they graduate. So, these skills can create a lot of opportunities.

"It's important to know that a skilled trade is not just a local trade, they could take that trade, you know, throughout the country," said Michele Koster, department chair of the Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program. "They always will find a job. Always will have something that they can make money at."

Right now, you can take classes on your own time, even while balancing responsibilities at home. PPCC is currently offering classes online for the summer, with limited in-person lab time, though they hope to go back to in-person classes by fall.

Pueblo Community College also offers trade job training, and you can find more information on their programs here. Keep in mind, these colleges also want to make this education affordable.

Many, including PPCC, Have received millions of dollars grants through the federal "CARES" Act, which covers food and housing for students who are struggling. PPCC says they also have scholarship programs to help folks of all ages stay on track and finish their degree, and they provide financial assistance to more than half their student population.