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More young people looking for high school trade jobs, says Chicago-Area College – NBC Chicago

Skilled workers are in demand nationwide, and companies in the Chicago area tell NBC 5 that there are plenty of high-paying jobs in industries that go nowhere, from heating and cooling specialists to truck drivers.

“There are a lot of people between 35 and 55 who do very well as professional truckers,” said Dave Moss of the Illinois Trucking Association.

Moss added that it is common in today’s economy for a truck driver to earn a lucrative sign-up bonus and make nearly six-figure amounts a year if he’s willing to stay away for a few weeks at a stretch.

“It’s a great industry. It’s been around forever, ”said Moss.

Commerce industry experts say skilled workers retire earlier and many high schools focus more on preparing students for college.

However, the instructors at DuPage’s technology center, which works with more than thirty suburban secondary schools, said they are seeing more young people looking to enter careers.

“We get students who haven’t been successful in traditional settings, and they are successful here every day. Then we have the students who are great students in their buildings looking for more hands-on approaches to their learning, ”said Headmaster Jason Hlavacs.

TCD students pick up handicraft hammers and tools in order to prepare them after graduation.

“If they’re accepted into a union apprenticeship, they’ll be journeyman four or five years later and make incredible money,” said Steve Cervenka, HVAC and residential wiring instructor.

Lisle High School junior Amara Gutierrez said her goal is to become a union electrician and possibly a dentist.

She described what it is like to learn valuable craft skills while attending TCD for part of her school day.

“Just seeing how you can start with the simplest things at the beginning and it can look complicated in a way when you plan things and where you put them and that later it can be easily built and created, you see it by and by after something you worked so hard for, ”Gutierrez said.

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