Since becoming your Governor, my top priority has been creating good-paying jobs. And the most important thing our state government can do is pave the way for West Virginians to get these jobs—because nothing matters more to our families than jobs that keep food on the table and a roof overhead.
West Virginia’s stable economy and positive business climate have resulted in new investments and job opportunities. Specifically, our manufacturing and technology industry have jobs with starting salaries as high as $40,000 and some of these positions continue to go unfilled. I believe it’s very important to help West Virginians earn the necessary training to get these in-demand jobs.
Known as middle-skilled jobs, these careers require more training than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree. With many of the workers in these jobs expected to retire in the next five years, there is growing demand for middle-skilled workers in critical fields such as health care, clean energy and advanced manufacturing. According to a report presented to the Southern Governors’ Association, these jobs make up the largest segment—nearly half—of the jobs in the U.S. economy and will continue to do so for years to come. We are already beginning to see the increased demand, with 48 percent of West Virginia’s job openings projected to be in these fields.
These careers require training. West Virginia’s ten community and technical colleges provide instruction in two years or less, affordably, and close to home. Their emphasis on practical, hands-on training allows them to help students prepare for and obtain employment in these good-paying jobs. And because many community and technical college students participate in internships during their training, many find jobs waiting for them when they graduate.
EarnMoreWV is helping prospective students and graduates locate middle-skilled jobs and learn more about in-demand careers. Featured online at www.earnmorewv.org and on Facebook, EarnMoreWV showcases weekly job postings, success stories and contests to win prizes—including a scholarship to the West Virginia community and technical college of the winner’s choice.
Having the needed training certifications will provide the necessary tools to land a position in one of many in-demand fields. Good-paying jobs are available throughout our state and as West Virginia’s economy grows, having skilled workers to fill these jobs will be essential to our future success. I encourage you to take the first step and learn more about what our community and technical colleges can do to help you take your dreams to the next level.