Thousands of vocational programs, many ways to connect

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

More than a year ago, we released an extensive database of thousands of vocational education programs across the country. We recently updated that list, adding about 1,000 new programs, separating them out by state tabs and standardizing the descriptions to make it even easier to search, sort and use.

Why would a marketing communications firm make such a resource? We hope the tool will bridge the gap between manufacturers and educational programs. The database serves as a helpful tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen.

There are a myriad of ways to take advantage of a tool like our database. I’d love to name a thousand ways to use it (given enough time and coffee I probably could too!) but I’ll leave you with a few suggestions of how to make our work, work for you.

Fill the Talent Pipeline

Your HR team or recruiting group is probably aware of area schools, but they may not be aware of all of them depending on how stretched they are. Take to tool, find the schools in your backyard and neighboring communities and connect with the programs. There are a variety of ways to connect with these programs, here are a few:

  • Hire their graduates
  • Provide scholarships
  • Develop a co-op or apprenticeship program
  • Invite them to career fairs
  • Participate in recruiting events

Get In Front of the Students

Making your organization known to those learning a trade is never a bad idea. Tradespeople who start using a certain brand of tool or installing a specific type of product, are likely to continue using them throughout their career, so get in front of them. Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Lend your experts as speakers
  • Bring students to your facility (perhaps for National Manufacturing Day)
  • Donate materials/tools
  • Offer your facility as a lab

Further Develop Your Own Talent

Vocational programs can be a resource for your own organizational development.

  • Partner with local schools for continued training and certification programs for your own team
  • Diversify your own employees’ skills through cross training at local programs

Support the Industry

Industries can’t move forward without the support of those inside of them. You can’t count on others to advance the field you’re in, you have to be involved. Use education programs from the list to get started.

  • Help programs recruit students
  • Learn about the next generation of tradespeople through the programs so that you can better work with them when they become your employees or customers

It will take teamwork and effective communication to help close the skills gap that the industry is facing. Support for vocational training programs is crucial, and it should come from those within the industry.

Visit sonnhalter.com/vocational to download the database and get started.

And of course, don’t hesitate to contact us to put together a program.

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