(NAPSI)--For many high school graduates, the path to a professional career will take them to technical schools and community colleges, where they can be trained for good-paying jobs in as little as two years.
Thousands of technical jobs remain unfilled due to the lack of skilled labor. In fact, according to Businessweek.com, there are more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs alone that remain vacant because people donít have the necessary skills required to do them.
To help close this labor gap, many technical schools and community colleges across the country partner with Snap-on Incorporated to teach specific disciplines designed to give students a leg up on the competition when they enter the workforce. Snap-on, a leading manufacturer of tools, equipment and diagnostics for the transportation, aviation/aerospace and manufacturing sectors, has developed certification programs for students to receive extra training in certain technical disciplines.
These certifications are offered in automotive scanner diagnostics, diesel scanner diagnostics, mechanical and electronic torque, multimeter, wheel service and alignment, asset management and tool control, horticulture, and building perfor-mance. More than 70 technical schools across the country offer certifications as part of their curriculum. Since 2007, about 10,000 certifications have been earned by more than 5,500 students, including 538 this past spring.
The goal of the certifications is not to teach how a vehicle operates or how an aircraft flies; rather, it is to teach technicians the proper and best way to use specific tools and equipment to become more productive in their jobs.
Snap-on certifications provide an across-the-board standard for the partnering technical schools to provide in-depth instruction on tool use, theory and application. The certifications are not add-ons, but rather are integrated into the existing courses offered by the partnering schools. Certifications include about 16 hours of instruction, and are blended into the schoolís course programming.
Advantages To Students, Technicians and Teachers
There are many advantages for students to participate. For starters, it makes them more well-rounded technicians. Students who become certified in a specific course have a better understanding of the tools and equipment used in that discipline, making them more productive for employers.
Second, students who have earned certifications are more employable than those without them. Certifications give them an advantage on the competition. Finally, students can now enter the workforce with industry-recognized certifications.
Certifications arenít just limited to students as seasoned technicians can also benefit from them. As skilled labor continues to become more complex, itís imperative that technicians on the job today maintain their skills and stay abreast of tool technology in their profession.
Snap-on has also worked to develop and improve the support offered to partner schools. Teachers are taught standardized approaches on how to train their students, ensuring that curriculum is delivered in a consistent format nationwide.
How To Enroll
To facilitate the certifications in the partnering schools, Snap-on works with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), an organization that validates and oversees the certification assessment standards. For more information on the certification program or to see a list of participating schools, visit www1.snapon.com/education; e-mail Frederick Brookhouse at Frederick.firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.nc3.net.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)