Building a Pipeline to Careers in the Skilled Trades

To build a nationally recognized economy, we need world-class builders. And electricians. And plumbers. And advanced manufacturing workers. People who can get the job done with hard work, know-how, attention to detail, and dedication to their craft.

That’s why the MadeByMe Coalition exists. It’s a group of leaders from the business, education, and economic development sectors, united to cultivate the next generation of our skilled workforce by:

Sparking students’ interest in 21st century manufacturing and skilled-trades careers.

Bringing business leaders and educators together to provide knowledge and skills.

Helping students–and our economy–reach their full potential.

What we do

We share our message with students, their parents, and educators via:

Solid pay. In-demand skills. Little-to-no student debt.

The skilled trades offer a compelling career path, and we’re taking that message directly to local students. We partner with local schools to give presentations about the opportunities available in the trades. Many of these presentations come from local business leaders who provide firsthand insights about the industry.

Allen County will see 33,000+ job openings in the construction trades and advanced manufacturing in the next 10 years, according to forecasters.

It’s one thing to hear the numbers; it’s another to meet the people who will do the hiring and see firsthand what the jobs look like. That’s why we attend career exploration fairs at local K-12 schools and community colleges, and we encourage local employers to join us there, too. Those connections can open the door to rewarding careers and a stronger workforce.

Educators are a critical piece of the puzzle.

So each summer, local companies welcome teachers and guidance counselors to the jobsite for externships. They see what a typical workday looks like in the industry, the training required, and more. Using this on-site experience, educators can share firsthand knowledge with students about the benefits of skilled careers.

Best of all, these externships may fulfill educator licensing requirements through the state of Indiana. And while not mandatory, externships tend to be paid. In fact, all companies that have participated in this program in the past have offered compensation to educators during their externships.

Right here in Allen County, impressive young people are choosing careers in the trades. Hear from them in their own words: