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New Collar Jobs: The Career and Technical Education Movement

While traditionally, we’ve thought of careers as falling into two categories – blue collar and white collar – today’s technology-driven society asks us to add a third option: new collar. New collar jobs are defined as those careers in which an employee has relevant skills that may not require a college degree and can be obtained through vocational training. While these jobs can take on a variety of forms and functions, we are most commonly seeing them in the IT and healthcare industries, but it doesn’t stop there. New collar jobs are popping up across nearly all fields, and we’re proud to help our schools be a part of it. Whether building multipurpose rooms in our facilities or allocating space specifically used for robotics and healthcare sciences, we’re at the forefront of this educational movement.

One thing we know for sure is technology is rapidly changing, and the jobs we are educating children for today might not even exist yet. Skills, versus a college degree, are becoming more and more valued in our society, and that’s not a bad thing in the slightest. In fact, this shift only opens-up more opportunity for students who possess skills in other areas beyond the classroom to be successful. Additionally, post secondary education tuition continues to rise making it important for students to know their options. Shifting the focus to having career-ready students will help to meet the future needs of our labor forces.

As to be expected, with the change in our societal needs also comes a need for a change in our education and educational facilities. Maker spaces are being introduced into traditional learning environments which create a multifunctional, multi use space for things like team and project based learning. In terms of design and construction, think classrooms with moveable walls, USB ports in addition to traditional electrical outlets, and other flexible classroom opportunities. The key is flexibility as the schools we are building today will eventually be teaching with and preparing for technology that has yet to be invented. In addition to unique, multipurpose spaces, we are also seeing smaller magnet and charter high schools take the opportunity to truly specialize their schools. In some cases, these locations do not have the traditional high school athletic facilities and are instead opting for spaces that can support robust technology programs.

Evergreen’s role in new collar jobs is multifaceted. In addition to depending heavily on a skilled workforce to build our projects, we are also actively involved in our community to show how these new collar jobs fit into our company. From participating in career fairs to monetarily supporting the local districts, we are working to do our part to ensure the next generation fills the void in skilled, new collar labor. Learn even more about our 21st century classroom experience and our expertise in building today’s classrooms for tomorrow’s future, or contact us if you’re ready to discuss ways we can help your new collar dreams come to life.

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