College in Butte helping meet need for skilled laborers

Trade school in Butte receives assistance
Posted at 12:14 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 14:17:09-04

BUTTE — The workforce of trade laborers is aging and retiring quickly, and there’s need of new blood.

“We figure by the year 2025 we’ll need 14 million machinists,” said Tony Patrick, a department head at Highlands College in Butte.

Highlands College of Montana Tech in Butte recently received a $10,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to pay for scholarships to get kids into it’s machining program to meet the demand for more skilled laborers.

“The industries starting to lose these highly skilled individuals so we’re now trying to gear up to meet those needs,” said Highlands College Dean David Gurchiek.

Two-year trade schools are appealing to students who don’t want the time and debt from traditional four-year schools. And more non-traditional and female students are enrolling in trade schools.

“I’ve actually been offered a couple jobs already when I’m done with school and they said that they’d be able to hire me right away,” said student Bree Coon.

“We’ve had people come in and tell us they are willing to start our guys pay up to $30 maybe $40 an hour,” said Patrick.

For more details on signing up for the program at Highlands you can head to their admissions website.