“FOR TOO LONG, manufacturing has had the stigma of being a low skill profession. That’s not at all true anymore.”
The words of Brian Sarvello, the career and technical education director for MARESA.
He makes that point as he explains how the Upper Peninsula will spend the $1.2 million recently awarded to us through the Marshall Plan.
Cutting edge manufacturing equipment will be distributed to students throughout the central UP. And a mobile manufacturing technology lab, with tools controlled by computers, will travel around the UP for use by colleges, high schools, and adult learners. The program should start this fall.
Get skilled on this equipment and you’ll find a job.
“There are literally thousands of manufacturing jobs in the UP,” Sarvello says. “Businesses need skilled workers right now.”
That’s something we need to hear after being told for years that ambitious young people have to leave the UP to get a good job.
Apparently no more.
This mobile manufacturing lab, and the brand new UP Cybersecurity Institute at NMU are clear signs that the economic landscape in the Upper Peninsula is being transformed.
One further point that we’re now beginning to accept: Too many college students are still being educated for jobs that simply don’t exist, while too many jobs–many of them well-paying–remain unfilled because young people aren’t being trained for those jobs.
A recently leased 2019 vehicle occasionally posts a message on its dashboard screen, even while you’re driving.
It says “Taking your eyes off the road for too long or too often while using this system could cause a crash resulting in injury or death to you and others. Focus your attention on driving.”
You want the driver of the vehicle to read this important safety message on the dashboard, then tap “OK” so that the message disappears, but you’re also telling him/her, “Don’t take your eyes off the road!! You might kill someone!”
You almost get the sense that someone in the auto technology department has a wicked sense of humor.