New collar jobs now dominate workforce

September 20, 2017 06:42 AM

You’ve heard about blue collar jobs, and white collar jobs, but what about new collar jobs?

New collar jobs are well-paying and you can get them without heavy student loan debt. Most jobs hiring right now are in this category and are often referred to as middle skills. Right here in Rochester, job placement agencies are seeing the same trends.

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More employers are looking for people with a special set of skills, but not necessarily a four year degree. You just need specific training, and most of the time you can get that from a two year college.

These “new collar” positions are in high demand and range from technology to engineering to entry level-medical, and they pay well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 6.2 million job openings at the end of June - that’s the most ever. Even with the historical high, more than 7 million people are out of work, and that's because of the skills gap.

So how do we fix it? Dr. Todd Oldham, Vice-President of Economic Development and Workforce services at Monroe Community College says it's all about showing people that these options exist.

"If you look at the economy there's a lot of jobs through placement, growth and a variety of reasons that are often overlooked,” Oldham said. “They're not just technical positions in terms of technology, they can be first responders, emergency services, and it can also be skilled production, we have a lot of that in our region."

There are programs to get more people in these forgotten fields. The P-Tech program for example is a partnership between MCC and Rochester City School District.

Students at Edison Tech can go through a six-year high school and associate's degree program that will place a student right into the job they've trained for after they graduate.


Kaci Jones

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