Next generation of workers showing more interest in skilled labor jobs than millenials

Mike Dougherty
November 03, 2018 - 10:00 pm
Cameron Holmstrom in Mr. Roskiewich’s welding class

Mike Dougherty | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- With the cost of college continuously climbing, kids from Gen-Z, the generation after millenials, are turning toward trades and skilled labor more and more. 

In the past few years, teachers say there's been a definite shift in the mentality towards trades and vocational school with kids.

"For 100 years, we've been the ugly duckling of education, but not anymore," said Dan Roskiewich, a teacher at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

Roskiewich teaches welding and says more students, both male and female, are interested in becoming electricians or construction professionals because they see the demand.

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"Most of the tradesmen today look like me, old and grey haired," he said. "We need young blood in those spots."

Alex Gonzalez is a sophomore in the electrical program. He watched a generation of students before him go to college, graduate with a mountain of debt, and then struggle to find a job. So he's trying a different approach.

"I always wanted to work hands on, and it's always kind of interested me," Gonzalez said. "So when I shadowed here, I like what I did."

He hopes to land an apprenticeship with the electrical workers union.