Which Are the Biggest Industries in Your State?

Way We Were

Between the years 1940 and 2016 (the latest date for which information is available), there was a dramatic shift in American industry. Manufacturing, once one of the country’s dominant industries and biggest employers, lost ground in a number of states.

Which industries are now the largest employers in your state? Administrative services? Healthcare? Banking and financial?

The Way We Were: The Changing Geography of US Manufacturing, a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), provides interactive tools that let you explore the shift in manufacturing jobs and discover what career fields are rising to replace them.

Congratulations to Filmmaker Justin Buss!

Photo credit: Maggie O’Mara
Filmmaker and high school senior Justin Buss, recently featured in this American Graduate: Getting to Work video, was awarded an Emmy Award for “Student Production – Short Form Fiction” at this weekend’s 56th National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Northwest Chapter Emmy Awards ceremony.

Buss, a student at Mountain View High School in the West Ada School District, was joined at the awards ceremony in Seattle by his film teacher, Michael Gartner, as well as family, friends and classmates.

As if winning an Emmy was not impressive enough, Buss and his crew of filmmakers were also awarded the “Best Cinematography – Open” prize at i48: The Idaho 48-Hour Film Festival for their film Interceptors.

Earn While You Learn With JATC

In this video from American Graduate: Getting to Work, discover a career path that pays well while avoiding the burden of student debt.

The Eastern Idaho Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) offers standardized training that allows students to earn while they learn the intricacies of the electrical construction industry. This is a high-demand career field that pays a livable wage.

The JATC apprenticeship program, based in Pocatello, is a five-year training open to students of any age who meet the criteria listed below. Unlike a traditional college degree program that can lead to a mound of student debt, the JATC program pays its apprentices to work while they learn. “With us, you have a job, you’re earning a living, you’re putting into your retirement, you have health insurance your whole five years,” says James Smith, training director at Eastern Idaho Electrical JATC.

Applicants for the program need only to be 18 years old, have a driver’s license, have earned a GED or high school diploma, and have some high school or college algebra.

Josh Wheeler, vice president of administration at Wheeler Electric Inc., reiterates the value of the JATC apprenticeship, even for those who are considering a traditional college degree. Wheeler Electric started working with the JATC program shortly after becoming a business. “Go through a five-year program, come out with no debt while earning an excellent wage and benefits package, and I’ve done you better than free college,” Wheeler says. “This is as challenging and as valuable as a four-year college degree.”

How Crucial Is Training Beyond High School?

A Stronger Nation

According to A Stronger Nation, a report from Lumina Foundation, by the year 2025, 60 percent of Americans will need some type of high-quality credential (degree, training or certification) beyond high school to find their place in the workforce.

Idaho’s attainment rate is currently 41 percent, and the state is working toward that 60 percent goal. But the report also shows disparity between Idaho counties, which makes the promotion of technical skills training and apprenticeship programs in rural areas even more critical.

Congratulations to Auto Tech Paul Danenberg


Auto technician Paul Danenberg, who was featured last December in an American Graduate: Getting to Work video, will represent the United States in Automobile Technology at the biennial WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia. Danenberg will compete as a member of the WorldSkills USA team, selected and trained by SkillsUSA. The 45th international event will be held Aug. 22-27, 2019.

Danenberg looks forward to competing in Kazan. “Seeing all of the different cars that aren’t available in America — and being able to work on them — is going to be a valuable experience that I will never forget,” he says.

When asked what he most enjoys about his skill, Danenberg says, “You can see any combination of weird issues: a vacuum leak causing a fuel rail pressure sensor code on a VW; a jumped timing chain causing a low fuel rail pressure on a GM; or a ground that has high resistance causing all kinds of electrical problems from voltage feedback. The work is very rewarding.”

After the WorldSkills competition, Danenberg hopes to become a field service engineer, traveling across the country to diagnose and repair issues that nobody else can fix. “It sounds like a great opportunity to travel and perform my favorite part about my job. Eventually, I would also like to give back to my community and become an automotive teacher for a post secondary program.”

Every two years, WorldSkills hosts the world championships of skills, which attracts more than 1,600 competitors from more than 76 countries and regions around the world to compete in more than 50 different trade skills. Considered the best in the world in each trade skill, contestants compete before the public for four days in contests that are run and judged by industry using demanding international standards. They represent the best students from each nation and many are highly trained by their sponsoring country.

There are 22 members on the WorldSkills USA Team, with an average age of 19. Other occupational areas in which the United States plans to compete include Aircraft Maintenance, Autobody Repair, Bakery, Bricklaying, Cabinetmaking, Car Painting, CNC Milling, Cooking, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Hairdressing, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, Mechanical Engineering CAD, Mechatronics, Plumbing and Heating, Print Media, Restaurant Service, Web Technologies and Welding.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators, public policymakers, employers, teachers, trainers, technical experts and government officials from around the world will attend this competition. The event will be held at the Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre.