TradesFactor for Skilled Trades Schools

What are Skilled Trades Schools?

There are many educational institutions that offer technical training for skilled workers. Programs in fields like Construction, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Energy, Healthcare, and others prepare students for successful careers. These schools are categorized as "Career and Technical Education" (CTE) institutions in the United States. Individual schools are known as "Career and Technical Centers" (CTCs). Both secondary (high school) and post-secondary students are served.

How Are CTCs Funded?

Like other educational institutions, a combination of federal, state, and local funding support CTCs. In some states, certain performance standards are placed on CTCs in order to receive some of their funding. For example, 70% of graduating students must be employed within one year of graduation.

The Challenge

How Do CTCs easily know which of their graduates are employed after graduation? They can solicit their graduates by phone or email to get this information. For smaller classes and programs, this may not be too time consuming. Regardless, is there a better way?

Skilled Trades Workers Don't Use LinkedIn

For many companies, LinkedIn will have more detailed and accurate information about their employees than internal company databases. This is because the individual owns their data. They take pride in their publicly available professional data.  But why don't skilled trades workers use LinkedIn?

There are two fundamental reasons. First, LinkedIn is not structured to accommodate the unique environment of skilled trades workers. From project-based work, to different nomenclature, to different values, the LinkedIn profile simply does not meet the needs of skilled workers. For example, LinkedIn's profile structure is based on companies and job titles. Skilled workers may work for three to four different companies (or more) in a given year. Their job title doesn't change.

Second, the value of skilled workers differs from office workers and management. Skilled workers may need to possess specific skills in their trade. LinkedIn's one-size-fits-all skill listing isn't specific for skilled workers. Management recruiters are looking for similar environments (automotive, food, distribution, etc.) that a manager or professional has demonstrated experience. They also look for demonstrated results in these environments. Skilled trades recruiters want to know that a given worker knows how to operate specific machinery, or has demonstrated experience in a particular craft. In the world of skilled trades, it's more binary (e.g. has erected scaffolding, yes or no).

Why TradesFactor for CTCs?

TradesFactor allows skilled workers to be found by potential employers. It also helps skilled workers manage their professional information digitally. As they collect certifications in their field, they can store them digitally in TradesFactor and share them with employers.

As workers transition from one project or employer payroll to another, they can share their personal data directly with employer payroll systems to reduce repetitive hiring form completion. Workers can literally scan into a project using a phone, just like they could use their phone to board an airplane.

Workers can track and possess their individual time cards throughout their career. Apprenticeship hours tracking? No problem. Productivity improvement for each skill? Reports and graphics powered by Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (BI) can display this for any employers granted access by the worker.

For CTCs, all of this individual information for the worker can easily be reported on. A CTC can quickly and easily pull a report in TradesFactor of all of their alumni from a given academic year. They can see who is employed, where, in what field, what certifications they have earned, what wages they are earning, and much more.

This becomes a reality when the CTC uses TradesFactor to help manage their current students and encourages alumni to register. This service is absolutely free for CTCs, their students, and alumni.