NACCE/SkillPointe Create School Counselor Advisory Council to Encourage More Students to Pursue Skilled Trades

NACCE/SkillPointe Create School Counselor Advisory Council to Encourage More Students to Pursue Skilled Trades

Cary, NC, July 03, 2024 — NACCE, through its SkillPointe tech platform, is dedicated to raising awareness of skilled trade opportunities across the United States. The SkillPointe School Counselor Advisory Council seeks to transform how and at what age students are introduced to these well-paying, in-demand and often overlooked careers.

The Council will build on SkillPointe’s mission to increase awareness of 80 skilled trade careers that require focused training but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. SkillPointe makes it easy to explore these in-demand careers, find training and get the financial support needed to avoid debt. Many of these careers can become paths to self-employment, in alignment with NACCE’s mission.

The Council’s goal is to create a dynamic curriculum that increases awareness of skilled careers at every age level, from elementary school students to adult learners. SkillPointe is the flagship workforce development tech tool of NACCE, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

The Council is led by Rebecca Johnson, a school counselor at Daphne Elementary School who was named Alabama’s 2023 School Counselor of the Year by the Alabama School Counselor Association. Johnson is joined by a growing number of elementary, middle and high school counselors from across the nation.

“The average tradesman is a 55-year-old, and it’s long past time to replenish the ranks of these skilled tradesmen and make sure their expertise is passed on to a new generation,” says Johnson. “SkillPointe already points the way to lesser-known lucrative career opportunities while reducing student loan debt.” The group will also provide guidance about how specific skilled careers lend themselves to starting a business. SkillPointe’s research has found that entrepreneurial skills matter in any career.

“We have found that many educators are already utilizing SkillPointe’s 2-minute career quiz to introduce students to a variety of skilled jobs that will require a relatively low investment in training and have tremendous earnings potential,” says Rebecca Corbin, president & CEO of NACCE and an inaugural member of the advisory group.

“We believe the School Counselor Advisory Council will be able to bring awareness to skilled trades earlier and more effectively in the primary education process, as well as to our adult learners, to create a pathway for programs not necessarily requiring a four-year degree.”

Counselors Play an Important Role in Closing the Skills Gap
This partnership highlights the importance of closing the skills gap and the crucial role counselors play in broadening students’ perspectives about work.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts there will be more than 3.3 million job openings each year for skilled careers. SkillPointe’s career pages help students of all ages and backgrounds understand what the career entails, what skills are needed, how many job openings there are, what kind of training is required, scholarship opportunities, and salary information.

As U.S. schools face a critical shortage of counselors, SkillPointe provides an opportunity to reach young, diverse students who can capitalize on these career opportunities. “SkillPointe provides that crucial first step to a skills-based future,” says Victoria Castro-Corral, college advisor at East Valley Institute of Technology and an inaugural SkillPointe council member. “Education has opened so many doors for me in my life. A quality education creates opportunities, and it’s exciting to see different educational paths beyond bachelor’s degrees gain more traction.”

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