Washington students compete in technical and agricultural fields
YAKIMA, Wash. -- More students in Yakima and around the state are choosing technical and agricultural fields for their careers.
Perry Tech hosted this year's Washington State Future Farmers of America competition where high school students had the opportunity to test their skills in welding, construction, electrical and agricultural equipment.
Student Chance Robison who participated in the competition says he works in a farm right now but wants to enlist in the army.
He says this competition has definitley challened him and helped him gain skills for his future.
"You get to learn how to read manuals, you get to learn how to weld, you learn how small engines work and even big engines depending on your school. You get to learn so many different traits and skills throughout this," said Robison.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster than average job growth across vocational fields over the coming years.
More than 700,000 jobs are projected by 2026 for vocational fields such as electricians, carpenters and various construction-related work.
Dean of Education Nathan Hull says many students are turning to trade and vocational schools because they are more cost-efficient and more likely to lead to a well - paying job after school.
"Well agriculture is booming and they also have a high amount of baby boomers right now that are retiring. It makes it an ideal time for the youth of this generation to take advantage of all of the jobs that are going to be available," said Hull.
Hull says this competition also helps students test skills that can be used not only in agriculture and tech jobs but also in any type of workplace.
Welding helps students gain skills such as multi-tasking, having close attention to detail and gaining artistic creativity.
The students not only gained skills but they were also able to receive $1,000 in scholarships from Perry Tech to use toward the AG Tech or Machining Programs.